Welcome to the Amazon Book Publishing Blueprint Mini Course
Today I wanted to re-introduce you to Todd Brison. You will have seen Todd in some of the other courses that I’ve done, including the Medium and the LinkedIn courses. He’s a bestselling author, Medium champion, and his work has been seen in TIME, CNBC, Apple News, and a ton of other places across the web. He’s also published five books on Amazon himself, ghostwritten three, and runs an Amazon Advertising agency on the side.
He’s here to teach us all about a big piece of the online writer’s toolbox that many people just miss (including me)
Amazon book publishing.
You’ll definitely want to watch the whole video to see how Todd shows how easy it is to assemble a book… he gets a quarter of the way through one in less than 15 minutes. It’s incredible.
Here are the highlights from the video
Three big myths of book publishing
Myth #1 – A book must be all new content
Some traditional publishers still cling to this idea. They say “oh no, you need 50,000 BRAND NEW words in order to make a book!”
It’s not true. Especially if you’re self publishing, you can take your own content, put it in a book. It’s new value. Don’t assume that every single person will read all of your blog posts. They can get them in book form.
Myth #2 – A book must be super long
We have this idea in our heads that a book has to be a huge thick hardback, something or other that takes up space. That simply isn’t true.
When you think about a book, don’t think length. Think value. If you can deliver value in a short book in today’s world, honestly, they’ll probably thank you more than if you gave them a long, bloated book.
This short book idea is not new. Seth Godin, Ken Blanchard, Spencer Johnson, have all written bestsellers that are closer to 100 pages than 400.
Myth #3 – A book takes forever to write
When you’re writing content online, your book is already writing itself. One of the most magical things about this process is that if you are creating content regularly, you are already writing your book.
For some of you reading this right now, I’m willing to bet you already have plenty of content to make a book.
If you’ve written 20 articles that are roughly 1,000 words apiece, you probably have a book. That’s 20,000 words, and that’s close to a 100-page book. Probably a little over it, depending on how it’s.
Books are better than tip jars
One thing that’s frustrating me at the moment is there are a lot of writers that are using these donation platforms. I’ll be honest. I really, really dislike it. It comes across is desperate. It’s like you’re on the street, like begging for money. Writing has been around for hundred of years and you have writers now suddenly thinking that they’ve got to beg or ask for money.
You have enormous value. You have just as much value as like a CEO of a fortune 500 company. You don’t need to beg. All you need to do is be smart. You can release free content in the format of blog posts. And then you can put a link to the bottom and say, please buy my book. And then when they buy your book, you can sell them another book or another product that you have.
How to start writing a book from your content
Todd starts this process like he’s about to write a brand new book. Here’s something he said I thought was amazing:
“I’m not going to get lost in titles. I’m not going to make an outline. I’m not going to write a first chapter. I’m not going to put together this proposal because usually what that is is procrastination. What I’m going to ask is how can I write most of my book without having to write an extra single word?”
Todd scans through his Medium content and starts looking for common patterns in his writing. The reason that Todd looks at patterns instead of stats is because he knows what you write about a lot is a very good indicator of what you care about. What you care about gives you fuel to compose a book. What is a book, after all? It’s a big pile of words on one topic.
If you’re looking for the shortcut, find the areas that you have already written a lot.
The next step… copy and paste????
This blew my mind. Todd literally started copying and pasting his existing posts into a new document for a book. I thought you had to at least edit them as you go. Honestly I started watching him do this and thought he might have a new book for sale by the time we finished filming.
Here’s another gem from Todd I took down in my notes:
“It’s much easier to edit a whole book than it is to edit a chapter at a time. It’s back to that batching thing, isn’t it? you’re doing the same tasks together. I will take my editor’s pen to this. But I’ll do it after I’ve assembled the book using as much of my existing content as possible.”
Take a look at what you have, and start to organize it
Once you’ve got as much existing content as you want in your new book document, scan the chapter headers and start to organize it. If you’re truly an expert on the topic (which is why you picked that topic, remember?), you’ll be able to see easily which chapters come first and which come later.
This way, you’ll be able to create a high-level outline from what you’ve already got.
Rinse and repeat
We ended up cutting the video before Todd finished a whole book (I had to slow him down so he could teach dummies like me). But ultimately, he’d repeat this process:
- Get your existing content into a single document
- Organize what you have into a clear sequence
- Find or write more content to fill the gaps in what you want to teach.
I was blown away how simple it was.
Be sure to watch the video, and let me know if you have questions (firstname.lastname@example.org)