The importance of repurposing


Have you decided to step into the world of publishing and write a book? If facing the blank page can be frightening for experienced writers, it can be even worse for those who are new to publishing.

In the previous article, we suggested that before you plunge into writing a book you stop to ask yourself why you want to do so. If that review of your motivations hasn’t revealed enough clues about the content you should focus on, it’s a good idea to think about what content you already have available that you can repurpose.

Most businesses produce a lot of content. Here are just some potential sources of material:

Social Media: Twitter, FaceBook, Instagram, Pinterest…

The limited length of social media texts means they may not provide much content, but they can be very useful in providing topic headings or links to material that you want to refer to when writing.


Even if newsletters are connected to topical events, there may still be content that can be extracted and re-used.

Blog posts

Not all blog posts will be re-usable, so remember that “booking your blog” is not simply a question of downloading all the posts and reformatting.

Talks and Presentations

In the same way as a slide deck provides a structure for a talk, it can provide a structure for you to expand on in writing and provide the raw material either for a small book or a section of larger book.

Collateral, including product & service descriptions

If you have collateral that explains what your business does, it may well include material that can be repurposed.

Case studies & portfolio items

These can be especially interesting as they may already take the form of stories, which makes them accessible and memorable.


As with case studies, testimonials can provide valuable examples of real-life applications of your subject matter.

Onboarding documents

If you provide prospective clients with documents explaining your approach and methodology, these will probably contain useful background material.

Pitches & business plans

Even if the actual texts would need re-writing, these are well worth reviewing for raw material. There may also be additional background material and notes that were produced when the research was carried out, but which were later rejected.

Emails & notes for meetings

Explanatory notes that you produce for a single client can be adapted to be more generally relevant.

When looking for possible material, remember that books are not limited to print. Digital publications go beyond words and static images to include audio, video, animation and all sorts of images including interactive infographics, timelines, exploded diagrams, pop ups…

Beyond content

Once you have reviewed and collected all the content you already have available, you may think you have the first draft of a manuscript. But it’s vital to recognise that content, however good, is not the whole story: what makes content valuable is the way it is organised.

Your job as an author is to put together good content in a way that the structure and organisation adds value and offers new insights: this is what will make your book stand out from the crowd.

In addition, it’s important to remember that if you are thinking of writing a digital book, the content is not limited to words and static images. You can include audio, video, animation and all sorts of images including infographics, timelines, exploded diagrams, pop ups…

Uncommon thinkers reuse what common thinkers refuse.
― J. R. D. Tata

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