Nearly every health practitioner I’ve worked with asks me if they first have to establish their authority and expertise by publishing a book. In fact, I sat across from a brilliant doctor a few months ago who believed just that. He has a busy practice, and was certain that in order to expand his authority beyond his local practice he had to write The Bestselling Book.
He was relieved to hear this strategy is now ancient history. Here’s what works now: produce content in the way your readers and future customers are actually consuming content.
Here’s how people are consuming your content
Today, they read your email (or read your post, view your video, or listen to your podcast) on the train to work in the morning, or while eating lunch — or during “drive time” in the evening. Today’s reader is always in a hurry, and rarely take the time to read or listen deeply. They skim, they scan: very much like you may be consuming this post right now, which is why I’m keeping this short and simple.
In short, book consumption is dwindling. Consumption of bite-sized single-topic health information is growing exponentially.
You know all those great ideas for a future book you have?
Jot down a list of topics, then choose just one and craft an email or a post with a few paragraphs on that single idea.
Why? Because by publishing small, bite-sized ideas, you’re looking for proof your ideas have some resonance with your audience through their feedback: mechanisms like their comments, shares on social media, or your readers sending emails back with a response; negative or positive. If they respond, there’s proof. Make a note of that. And then write another email or another article on another of your topics.
If your readers are confused (or worse, there is no response), then rewrite, simplify, or streamline your idea, concept, or thought, and try it another time. Aren’t you happy you didn’t write an entire book around that idea?
The best part: The effort invested writing your emails or articles is never wasted.
Eventually, you will collect the winning emails and articles and collate, repurpose, repackage, and create longer “pillar content” content for your website, or create ebooks, courses — and maybe that future bestselling book of yours.
Today, many books and best-selling information products online begin life as single articles and emails that catch on with readers long before they’re ever a glimmer in a publisher’s eye
There’s simply no better way to discover what resonates with your audience.
Why does audience response matter so much?
Here’s the hard truth about publishing: today, large book publishers aren’t looking to take a chance on your manuscript, no matter how brilliant you might think it is.
Today, when publishers offer a doctor a big book deal, they are often buying that doctor’s audience — and will want to see evidence that the ideas in your book manuscript resonate with that audience. They’ll look not only for the size of your email list, and website traffic numbers, they’ll want to see those first initial book-topic posts you wrote that exploded in popularity a few years back.
So, start sharing those ideas of yours with the world. You never know which will take off.