Writing a book is hard. No doubt – anyone who tells you otherwise is lying! It takes hours of brainstorming, writing, editing and rewriting. Ideas fizzle out. Words become hard to come by and people just…give up!
A mistake I see a lot of people make is assuming that if they want to write a book, they need to completely start from scratch. But they are prolific content creators! You can save a lot of time by repurposing some of your existing content. This content can come from your podcast, blog, videos, etc. and be repurposed into your book.
Believe me, it’s possible. After all, I wrote the book, Content 10x: More Content, Less Time, Maximum Results, using a lot of my own content and I’m not the only one.
I’m always on the lookout for interesting examples of repurposing content into a book, in episode 71 I spoke to Emily Prokop about how she repurposed her podcast into a book. And, in episode 108 I spoke to Mike Morrison about how he repurposed a podcast into a book AND an email challenge in to another book!
Ready for something different?! Author of Marketing Now, David Bain, knows a thing or two about finding creative ways to repurpose content into a book. He repurposed an EPIC livestream series into a book, Marketing Now, which is packed full of actionable marketing advice from 134 of the world’s leading marketers.
As a digital marketing pioneer, podcast host and producer, David Bain started his first online business back in 2000. Then he launched his first podcast in 2006. Since then, he’s worked with several global organizations including Google, Nespresso, PA Consulting and Farfetch. He has also delivered dozens of digital marketing training sessions and hosting hundreds of podcasts, webinars and online summits.
Nowadays, David helps marketers stay up-to-date with the latest tools, tactics and technologies through his books, podcasts and digital services. He guides marketers to cut through the noise and focus on what shifts the needle.
I was keen to catch up with David and learn more about the creative repurposing strategy he took to help write his new book. He was more than happy to dive into this topic with me and even revealed his entire process.
You can listen to the podcast below, or keep reading…
How David wrote his book
Marketing Now is the result of eight hours of livestreams with over 130 digital marketing experts. Each of them came onto the livestream series and shared their number one digital marketing tip, which David repurposed to form much of his book.
David had his entire livestream series transcribed. At first, he assumed/hoped that all he had to do was convert the transcript into written copy for his book. Of course, he soon realized that the spoken word doesn’t read back as fluently as he had hoped.
This meant that it wasn’t a simple copy and paste job, which repurposing never is! David had to gently rework and rewrite a lot of the tips, with the contributor’s permission, to get to the final manuscript.
Why repurpose livestreams into a book?
I was curious to know why David decided to create a book based on the combination of other people’s tips, ideas and sound bites shared in his livestreams.
David talked about how he recorded hundreds of podcast episodes since the launch of his podcast, Digital Marketing Radio, in 2014. Many of the episodes were packed with incredible tips from some of the world’s leading digital marketers.
At the end of 2018, he hosted five separate livestreams featuring digital marketing experts who shared their top tips with David and his audience. The entire livestream series came to eight hours of content, which David then repurposed to create his new book.
If you want to watch the first livestream in the series, click here!
David partnered with a different marketing tech brand for each of the five livestreams. This meant that when the livestreams took place, they were published on the associated marketing tech brand’s Facebook page. One of the pages included was the HubSpot Academy!
Since the tips shared throughout the livestream series are not time sensitive, it means that his book, Marketing Now, will continue to be relevant to marketers not only today but long into the future.
Challenges of repurposing livestream content into a book
David explained that one of the main challenges he faced when repurposing a variety of marketers’ tips into a single book was that there were so many different perspectives to consider. His job was to categorize and collate the tips and provide his own commentary too. For example, he referred readers to other related tips throughout the book.
That way, readers can read one person’s perspective on something such as SEO, and then follow up by learning about a completely different approach or strategy.
Livestream to book logistics
However, David’s biggest challenge came in the technical and logistical side of things:
- Livestreams don’t always go according to plan!
- Microphones can suddenly stop working or pick up interference, you might have a guest who is a little late or early, webcams might not work…etc.
Another challenge is when guests wanted to get some extra promo out of their guest appearance. So, they might churn out tips like their life depended on it, discussing their own agenda a bit too much. The challenge comes in editing and deciding what to cut out and being, well, ruthless about it.
Planning to repurpose
I always say that repurposing should never be an afterthought. It should be planned in advance.
Planning to repurpose your content into a book will make the process a lot easier when the time comes to put all of the content together into a well-written book. Note: I didn’t say “easy”, I said “easier”!
In David’s case, he had to make sure his guests were fully briefed. Before they came onto the show, they needed to know their tip and it had to be fairly short and straight to the point. There was a lot of planning involved in the creation and repurposing journey of Marketing Now. This ranged from organizing what tips to include in the book to all of the rewriting and chapter planning.
Overall, it took around nine months to repurpose the audio from his livestreams into a published book.
David’s #1 tip for repurposing livestreams into a book!
I asked @DavidBain to share his number one tip for anyone who wants to repurpose their content into a book. And, his answer was simple: Don’t run before you can walk!
In other words, master one medium before you move onto the next medium. For instance, begin by producing a quality podcast and then move onto pre-recorded video. Once you’ve mastered those things, you’re ready to try your hand at livestreaming and incorporating audience interaction. You can take that further by moving onto live summits.
It’s important to avoid trying too much too soon. David also reminds us that, as content creators and marketers, we’re all competing with the big leagues such as BBC and Netflix. After all, they’re competing for your consumer's time and attention, which makes them your competitors.
The key is to produce high quality content.
If your audio quality isn’t up to industry standard, you’re going to have a hard time getting people to watch your video content and livestreams. So, focus on producing quality content in multiple formats and mediums.
Connect with David
Find out more about David’s books, podcasts and digital services here.
Want to learn more about repurposing content into a book?
Don’t miss episode 108 of the podcast - Book Repurposing: How Quality Content Can Lead to Publishing a Book with Mike Morrison. In episode 108 Mike Morrison talked about how he had repurposed content for two books he’s publishing…including repurposing an email challenge into a book!
You can also check out episode 71 of the podcast to hear how Emily Prokop repurposed her podcast into a book!