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To create a book from your course:
Being able to clearly describe your course is important. This is a crucial piece of marketing material that engages and enrolls students for your course. Similarly, when you write a book based on your course, you’ll want to be very clear about what the book is about and who it is for.
You will also want to paint a clear picture of who you are, how you came to gain the expertise that you have, and what makes you the ideal teacher for your ideal reader.
Knowing who your ideal reader is and why they might be interested in what you have to teach makes a huge difference in the success of your course.
Many times, people want to think that what they have to share is for everyone. But the more specific you can be about who it is for and the narrower your topic area, the easier it is for people to quickly and easily decide if your course or book is right for them.
People value their time. So, the longer it takes them to come to a buying decision, the less likely they are to purchase what you’re selling.
Make it easy for your ideal student and future reader to determine they want what you have to offer.
Besides, having a narrow topic means you can then write related courses and books on the same topic for other audiences.
The simplest way to do that is to view your course goals as a promise you make to your student. If they invest their time and money in your course and put what you teach into practice, what will they earn from that investment?
It’s the same with writing a book. You want your ideal reader to know right away what their investment of time and money will buy them. Is it the solution to a problem? Clarity on how to reach their goals? Information that helps them build their business or improve their personal life?
Whatever it is, make it abundantly clear.
Part of doing that means making it clear too why your course or book is different from others that are out there. What unique experience or expertise do you bring to them that makes you the right person to learn from?
Once you’ve painted a clear picture of all this, you can start working on the actual framework for your book. Most likely, it’s going to follow a similar flow of information as your course. And we’ll reuse relevant bits of the course in the book as well.
Many nonfiction books follow a fairly common framework that begins with an introduction, sharing what the reader is going to learn (at a high-level). This is where you can use your course description, but it’s also where you want to acknowledge who your ideal reader is, and what outcomes they can expect from spending time learning what you have to share and implementing it in their life.
After the introduction, you’ll want to identify the key steps that take the reader from where they are to the outcome they want to achieve. Depending on the topic, this may be 3, 5 or 7 key steps, each of which will form a unique chapter of its own. (Notice, there are usually an odd number of steps.) Each step may correspond to one or more lessons in your course, depending on how your course is structured.
For each of those chapters, define the three key points you want to make and the lessons that need to be covered, and then identify any stories or examples you can provide that will illustrate that step in action. (In other words, paint a picture of what’s possible for the reader.)
When the last of the chapters is outlined, it’s usually wrapped up by a concluding chapter that paints a picture of what a future looks like when the reader has successfully accomplished what you’ve taught them. This may mean revisiting the course goals and expanding upon them or creating completely new content for this chapter, but you want to make sure it ties back to the introduction and the promise you made the reader at the beginning.
When a course is presented online, it’s fairly easy to create a written transcript from the recordings you already have. There are plenty of services that do this at very reasonable prices (often $1/min or less).
So, identify the parts of your course that you know you want to reuse in your book and get them transcribed. Then they can be dropped into the relevant sections of your outline to start building out your book’s content.
And if you happen to dislike writing, you may find that dictation or transcription provide the key to being able to successfully complete your book. You’ve already created a structure that’s compartmentalized (chapters, key points, illustration). If you don’t like writing, just use the dictation app on your phone or record an audio of you talking through one of those elements of your book and then have it transcribed. You can hire an editor to help you polish the content, so don’t feel like it has to be perfect.