I’m writing a short book about leadership by summarizing some of the world’s best books about the topic.
It’s a lot of work, but I’m learning & having fun building it in public.
I’m also creating microcontent along the way. My approach is based on the idea of “Document. Don’t Create.” by Gary Vaynerchuck.
Here’s an example of what I’m doing that could help you create microcontent ideas as you write your own book.
1) Summarize each book as a blog post
After reading each leadership book a couple of times, I summarize them on my Couch Manager blog.
For example, I recently read “The Coaching Habit” twice.
The first time was to get a high-level overview and highlight interesting sections.
The second time was to do a deeper dive into the concepts. I then used the Kindle notes export function to send my highlights to Google Drive.
Tip: Export your notes using Chicago-style citations, especially if you’re writing a business book. This will make it easier for you to add those references in your book later.
I analyzed a few things:
- The main leadership themes in the book
- The tactical lessons that remote leaders can apply with their teams
- The positive and negative reviews on Amazon
- The popular highlights
I used all that analysis to come up with three main takeaways for remote leaders.
I then published a blog post that covered:
- A quick summary
- Basic concepts
- The three main takeaways
- Notable reviews & popular highlights
Publishing a summary on the blog helped with a couple of advantages.
First, the exercise forced me to think through the takeaways that will potentially end up in my book. Second, it gave my followers some meaningful content that they can also learn from.
You can check the blog post I wrote about The Coaching Habit by clicking here.
2) Send the post to email subscribers
I then sent that blog post link to everyone who subscribed to my email list.
Earlier, I had set up a simple “Coming Soon” landing page with a mockup cover for folks who were interested in getting notified about updates via email.
You can check out that page by clicking here.
3) Re-summarize the post on LinkedIn + Facebook
I also wrote a short post on LinkedIn summarizing my three main takeaways.
This was a “summary of a summary” because of character limits on LinkedIn.
The post got quite a bit of engagement (20K+ views) given that Michael Bungay Stanier (the author of The Coaching Habit) was actively responding to comments on my post.
I also added a link back to my blog post in the comments for people who wanted to read a bit more about the book.
Note: If you plan on publishing content on LinkedIn, avoid adding links to your original post because LinkedIn would “throttle down” the reach. They don’t like people leaving the site. Instead, add an image in the post to make it engaging, and then add the link to your post in the comments. You can see how I did that by checking out the LinkedIn post here.
I then copied the same post on LinkedIn and pasted it into a Facebook post. The same type of content (short posts with images) works well on both platforms, so I didn’t need to make any tweaks here.
4) Re-summarize the post on Twitter
After that, I wrote a short post on Twitter (this was a summary of a summary of a summary 🙂 ), and tweeted it out, again with a link to the blog post.
Given that Twitter is the most restrictive in terms of characters, I needed to get creative on the words I picked. I could have published a thread (i.e., multiple, linked tweets), but I try to stay away from that because Twitter’s algorithm discourages it.
5) Create a short video on TikTok
Finally, I created a short 15 second video with some background music on TikTok, summarizing the three takeaways even further.
I then saved the video on my phone and uploaded it to Twitter fleets, Instagram stories, and Instagram reels.
I didn’t need to modify the video to re-upload it to Twitter or Instagram because they allow republishing of TikTok content (with no restrictions related to music copyright).
Here’s the original video on TikTok:
That’s pretty much it.
I simply repeated the same process with other books (and I still am).
It’s a lot of work, but I save a bit of time in creating content because I’m not rethinking what content to publish every time.
I just summarize and repackage for the platform I’m publishing on.
The hard work pays off because I get to:
- Read books I enjoy
- Learn the subject deeply & grow as a leader
- Learn platform storytelling
- Build in public (while also creating a following)
Most importantly: I get to have fun 🙂