Where do books come from? A non-writer might ask this question. As a writer/author, you know that books come from ideas, imagination, dreams, inspiration, need… But books can also come from other types of writing—other mediums.
I once wrote a book based on a conversation I overheard while in line at the grocery store. A couple of my books evolved from articles I’d written. Some of my 900-plus blog posts have inspired and provided fodder for some of my books and articles. And I’ve even written books based on questions from other authors. The Right Way to Write, Publish and Sell Your Book was conceived because I was getting the same question over and over again—“How do I publish my book?”
I realized that authors needed to have more information about the way the industry works before they even decided to write a book. Then they need to know their options, the possible consequences of their choices and their responsibilities as a published author. I knew they needed information about approaching publishers as well as self-publishing. They must have an understanding of book promotion, distributors, wholesalers, book reviewers, designing a website, public speaking and so very much more. I knew that without this knowledge, they would be some of the 76 percent of authors who fail every year. Thus, this 340-page book was created from author’s questions.
The book I wrote based on the conversation I overheard was on long-distance grandparenting. I heard two women talking that day about how difficult it is to bond with your grandchildren when they live in another state. In preparation for that book, I talked to a lot of grandparents about how they engage and bond with their long-distance grandchildren. I interviewed the directors of grandparenting organizations. And I pulled perspective and material from my own grandparenting experiences. The result was, Creative Grandparenting Across the Miles.
Recycling or repurposing your writing (as Susan Daffron refers to it) is an incredibly prudent and efficient practice. What are some of the ways you can do this?
• Create blog posts from your articles.
• Write articles from your blog posts.
• Expand thought-provoking emails into blog posts or articles.
• Develop a book from a series of articles or blog posts.
• Design a blog post or article from a speech.
• Create a speech from a chapter in your book.
• Write a book or article based on a portion of your daily journal.
• Turn your genealogy research into a book.
• Write down the stories your grandparents share.
• Produce a book from a letter you wrote or received.
• Develop a class from an article, blog post or speech.
• Expand a tip sheet into an article.
Don’t let your writing die after one incarnation. Use these prompts to keep your writing alive. Get into the habit of recycling your ideas, thoughts, experiences and writings.