I understand. You probably think that there’s something that bothers you about the word “hack.” That’s what I thought, the first time I encountered the term. However, I soon discovered that “hack” is an acceptable term.
Merriam-Webster, defines hack as: “a clever tip or technique for doing or improving something.” Which nicely describes the idea I want to share with you. Because, perhaps like you, I’ve often frustrated by the time it takes to create helpful, relevant content.
Given the time it usually requires to create consistent visibility, the following describes a practical way you can reduce the amount of time it takes to pre-sell your next book and keep your current book (or books) in front of potential book buyers.
Simplifying the structure of your content not only helps you create more and better content in less time, it opens the door to reusing and reformatting content in the future. As you may have discovered, once you’ve created content, it’s relatively easy to improve it!
Book of the Week experiment
I’m currently in the 4th week of my LinkedIn “Book of the Week.”
My goal was to create a simple structure for preparing the graphic and text for weekly visibility. This help create consistent visibility, plus the time saved allowed me to address other topics.
I chose the topic because I’m already familiar with design, marketing, and writing books. As described below, it doesn’t have to be books.
The graphic shown above can be saved as a template and easily updated. This ensures proper spacing of the text elements and book cover each week. There are only a few elements that need to be updated each time I update the series:
- I update the title with the number of the post
- I replace the previous book cover with the current book cover
- I insert the current book title in each of the four questions
- I repeat the title at the bottom of the graphic and insert a link to the book’s website or page on Amazon
Why four questions?
The four questions simplify completing the post. Each question prompts my answer. It also replaces a “teaching” or “selling” tone with a conversational tone.
Each answer opens the door to reusing and reformatting your content, increasing the visibility of your content even more! The content can be condensed—perhaps reformatted into concise tidbits for social media, or expanded into compilations like articles, blog posts, newsletter features, or podcast topics.
Perhaps, even a nonfiction book!
Is this idea for you?
My “Book of the Week” idea is not for everyone. I works for me because I’m already familiar with numerous nonfiction writing books, as well as books in adjacent fields like design and visual thinking.
The Book of the Week format is only an example. You can customize the basic idea to your particular goals and interests. Options might include:
- Important terms
- Frequently asked questions
- Best practices
Putting simplicity to work
The success of this content approach requires selecting the right topic and questions. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is the topic, or category, relevant to your most important market segment?
- Does your topic or category contain at least 12 options to address each year?
- Can you address each question in one, possibly two, paragraphs?
- Recyclable. Is it clear to you how you can you reuse or reformat the content for different marketing opportunities?
Best wishes on your journey to simplifying content for increased production efficiency without sacrificing its effectiveness.
Roger C. Parker’s first book was Looking Good in Print, a NY Times-recommended book translated into over 30 languages. Now, Roger helps nonfiction authors complete their books on time, without sacrificing sleep or other commitments. Roger welcomes your comments or questions.
If you like this blog post, you’ll love our Author Toolkit for book marketing. It includes checklists, templates, worksheets and more. Check it out!