I read "We Should All Be Feminists" in less than an hour with a toddler and a 9-year-old underfoot. I wrote a review for it here, but there are several takeaways from the book from an author's perspective I want to share. Being a successful indie author can take many paths and lead to many destinations for each person. So maybe the lessons I found from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will help you.
The book was an essay taken from a TedTalk where Adichie had spoken. What she said was written out, repackaged in a book, and sold. While many authors struggle with being original, you don't have to be. You are an original, and when you share your unique perspective and voice, then the story becomes new again.
You're no less or more an author for coming up with entirely new content, not even from your own content. Re-use and repurpose the things you've said and done. You can even do that with your blog and social media content. There are business people who have taken their blogs and taken the content verbatim and sold it as a book. There's nothing wrong with this. The words are still words, and you can't plagiarize yourself.
If it's valuable once, it can be again and reach an entirely different audience. People who didn't hear her speak can now read her words whenever they wish with a physical or e-book copy. Or people who enjoyed hearing her speak can have a copy for themselves. They can share a little book with a friend and spark a conversation that may lead to a change as the author intended.
You can also repurpose content for social media. Long-form content like blogs, videos, and podcasts can be broken down into shorter content. I see a lot of business owners and creators not using this. It could simplify and optimize your marketing efforts. The main problem is that these entrepreneurs don't have the time and sometimes the know-how. Content repurposing is a package I offer as a copywriter. If you want to know more about working with me, click here.
The book was small, maybe 6x9 inches, and about 60 pages. It was priced at $8. There were no pictures or complicated images that had to be printed. So I imagine the cost to produce was relatively small, meaning a higher profit margin. I'm not saying go write a bunch of short books so you can make more money or you have to do it that way. But you can, and there wouldn't be anything wrong with that. There's a market for that.
It was only necessary to go in-depth on one subject. Every section flowed into the next and built on one thought, the advocating the need for feminists. Because it's short, if you're an indie author, then you can write faster. Writing faster means you can release books rapidly and build your backlist. Your backlist is like a long-term investment and a gold mine for established authors. There are always new readers you can market your backlist to, and there are probably readers on your email list who haven't read everything you've written yet.
In addition to building your backlist, you can have a higher profit margin. You can reduce the cost of an editor or if you order author copies to sell directly yourself. You can write more books quickly. Having a series of short stories or essays might be more to your liking, especially if you have a full-time job. If you didn't want to have short books, you can always compile them into a collection as well. As an indie, your options are limitless.
I like to read reviews and what readers think of books. Some reviews for "...Feminists" were negative and based on the length and that it was repurposed material. The reviewer said it was the same as her speech, and you could watch it for free on Youtube.
Someone will always have a negative thing to say about your work. in this case, the reviewer was right. It was repeated material, and it is avialable elsewhere. Audiobooks are also repeated material and avaiable elsehwere. The book is a different format for something that already exists. There is nothing wrong with that.
There will always be someone who doesn't like your work, but there will always be more who enjoy what you do. Not only enjoy it, but actively support you by buying, sharing, and leaving positive reviews. You can use content marketing and content repurposing to help you reach them. Start here and reach out and I'll answer any questions you have.