Chapter by chapter releasing a book
Finding a publisher is damn difficult. Honestly, getting denied time over time again isn't that bad, feedback improved my writing and made the book to what it is today. Yet, what is content if it doesn't reach the audience. If the knowledge stays on my computer, nobody benefits. Hence, flipping the perspective and practicing what I preach, I decided to publish by myself, digitally, piece by piece.
Requirements for digital publishing
What you need
- .com to be the 'home' of all my content to connect and merge all content items
- social reach for distribution
- newsletter for an owned audience (release in spring 2020)
- analytics to keep track
- content eco-system: how do the .com and the distribution work together
- brand persona for consistency
- plan and planning to keep me accountable
- growth mindset to learn and improve
How to distribute what tag, to which audience, by what channel? The 'tag' is the 'topic', meaning the main subject of your content item. One content item can have several tags. With these tags, you give structure to what you want to tell. Not all tags are equally interesting for all audiences. And audiences have preferred channels they use to get their desired information.
Use content tags
My tags are in line with the main chapters of my book plus relevant keywords that are hot in the content industry and on Google. 'Basics' for the basics you need to know on content. 'Structure' to create an overview of your content story and to give structure to your organization and team. 'Interviews' is pretty self-explanatory. Same goes for 'data', 'tools' and 'process'.
Notice that the tags are not set in stone. Along the way, I add tags when relevant to my audience. I try to limit the number of tags per content item to three, maximum five. Rule of thumb, the tag has to be logical from the audience's perspective and it has to be a keyword they could use on Google.
The brand persona is the counterpart of the (buyer) persona. Humanize your brand to be recognizable and consistent in your communication. How do you look, visual identity. How do you speak, tone of voice and lexicon. How do you sound, sonic identity. Read more in the chapter brand persona once I publish this.
Visuals to bring content to life
Online publishing has, next to formatting, one big difference with the offline publishing. You need visuals. A lot more visuals. Every piece you publish needs its own visual. The content magic is in the combination between the image and your words.
Finding great visuals is one of the most difficult parts of writing. You want to stay away from the obvious usual suspect stock imagery. Your own supply is limited or, even worse, outdated. And create new bespoke visuals takes time and eat budget. How to get great visuals, by preference something original and for free?
Failing to plan, is planning to fail. Simple. To keep myself accountable, I created a planning in excel. When and what. You can use fancy tools, in all honesty, if your organization isn't that big, just start with an excel, learn and improve along the way. The only requirement is that you update this document continuously to keep track and to prepare timely.
Keep on learning and improving. Stay open for feedback. And hungry for more. A growth mindset is the most precious character trait you can learn.
Carol S. Dweck describes what it is and how to get it in 'Mindset: The New Psychology of Success'. Copy-paste from the Amazon review 'People with a fixed mindset are less likely to flourish than those with a growth mindset—those who believe that abilities can be developed.' The almost 3.000 book reviews with a 4,5 out of 5 speak for themselves.
You have to have some balls. It ain't easy nor a walk in the park to publish a book digitally. Next to the time it takes, expect feedback, positive and negative. There are a lot of hmmm .... weird ... people in the digital space. Some want to fiercely express their own opinion or do blatantly their sales pitch. Expect this, accept this, embrace it and move on.
Personally, I love this duality. On one side, the energy I get from sharing the knowledge, getting the feedback to improve together, and getting the praise and compliments. On the other side, the mirror of the society to broaden my horizon with different opinions and visions.
Practice what I preach. From getting denied by publishers to digitally publishing by myself. Scarry as sh*t and gives energy like hell. Loving every moment of it