Friday, August 17, 2007

The Value of Repurposed Content

Yesterday during The Talking Book Show with Stacy Hawkins Adams, I spent almost an hour and a half talking about different aspects of book proposals. If you missed the live program, you can still download the entire interview and listen to it on your own schedule. Just follow the link.

I know the replay is available because after the program, I went to the site, checked on it, then downloaded the program. Why? In situations like this in the past, I would have pressed on to the next writing project or my next radio interview. I'm grateful for the opportunity to help would-be writers to understand more about the book publishing world and to promote my Book Proposals That Sell. Over the last 20 years, I've spent the majority of that time writing original content. I've learned a great deal about how to write for various magazines and how to write different types of books for different ages and styles. I've moved from project to project. Yet in recent years, I've tried to be wiser about the value of repurposed content. If you don't know what I'm talking about, stay with me because I'm going to explain it.

Probably about 15 years ago, I attended a workshop at a writer’s conference with the topic of reselling reprints. While I can't recall the specific author, she was a master at reselling her magazine work and normally had about 1,000 of her reprints in circulation at any given time. When one of her submissions came back rejected, she had a system to send it to another magazine and get it into the consideration process. That effort on her part was adding considerable income and exposure to her work in the marketplace. At the time, I was writing for a number of magazines. I tried to remarket the reprints and did place a number of them and earn some more income from it. But in general, I found it to be a bothersome experience which didn't bear as much fruit as writing original material. I chalked it up to experience and returned to my bent of crafting original content for another magazine or another book project. To me at that time, it seemed more productive. I didn't understand the value of repurposed content.

I downloaded The Talking Book Show interview because I can use that material for something else related to marketing my book proposal material. I can do some minor edits and even rebrand the program with music at the beginning and the end or a new introduction using Sound Forge. The process isn't complicated or time-consuming. I can use this interview in a promotional effort or as a bonus when someone purchases another product or any number of other ways. I can only use it if I'm taking advantage of this content and intentionally repurposing it. If I press on to another project where I am creating original material, I leave behind a potentially valuable asset.

One of the best examples of how I've repurposed content is with my Book Proposals That Sell. When I signed my contract on the trade paperback, I kept the exclusive electronic rights to the material. In other words, I can sell the ebook version for whatever price and do whatever I want with it. I turned the book into an ebook which is a part of my affiliate program and continues to sell. It takes a bit of planning for the writer to take this step. First you have to protect your rights and make sure you control whatever you need to control in order to repurpose the content. Next you need to proactively move that repurposed material into the marketplace.

I continue to write original material and I'm not pretending to have all the answers about how to repurpose my content into other forms such as an audio or an ebook or a home study course. The possibilities are endless if you are open to the concept.

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1 Comment:

At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous Left a note...

Hi Terry,
This would be a great post for the Carnival of Christian Writers. What do you think?


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