A Simple Shortcut to Profit in Online Publishing

The perfect strategy for your first venture in e-book publishing is to create a shorter version of a successful book.

Reading habits have changed and people want content that’s a fast read. Amazon even has a special category for “short reads,” and sales in that segment are exploding. Four of the top five short read books in the “Business & Money” section are piggyback books.

The best thing about piggyback books? They’re totally outsourceable.

Simply hire a writer, give them a basic content outline, and let them do all the writing…while you plan where you’re going to spend the royalties. And the fees you have to pay your writer are much lower than a typical book because piggyback books generally run from 15 to 50 pages long.

Take Ayn Rand’s classic book, Atlas Shrugged. It is massive. It’s more than 1,000 pages long.

But an enterprising self-publisher created a piggyback book called Atlas Shrugged: A Book Review and Lessons from the Ayn Rand Classic. It’s just 35 pages long and took only days to complete.

Another great example is Cheat Sheet: Master Getting Things Done…In 2 Minutes. It’s a summary of David Allen’s mega best-selling book on time management, Getting Things Done. The Cheat Sheet is just 17 pages long and is ranked second in one category and third in another. It’s got a four-star rating and some very nice reviews.

Leah Remini’s tell-all book about Scientology was released on November 3 2015. Seven days later a 19-page summary book was published by an alert entrepreneur and is piggybacking on the high visibility of Remini’s work. The piggyback book is first in two different short-read categories.

Who buys the piggyback book? Students who have been assigned the book to read but who want a shortcut…readers who read the full book in the past and want to be reminded of the principles and message it contained…people who want to learn more about the book before committing the time to read the full volume.

Here are six ways to piggyback a best selling work:

• Non-Fiction summaries are popular with people doing coursework and schoolwork, and those in business or technical fields.

• Fiction summaries are in demand for people who are reading fiction for school, coursework, book clubs, and long works like the aforementioned Atlas Shrugged.

• Review books are similar to summary books but also offer an opinion and analysis of the original book.

• Discussion guides are in demand for fiction books. These are often used by book clubs and provide additional reading and discussion questions for the book.

• Study guides break down complex ideas in textbooks and complicated books and provide assistance with studying the concepts in the original book.

• Fan guides, like the 37-page Game of Thrones: A Family History Volume I, capitalize on popular culture and books, comics, video games, television shows and movies.

And I’ll bet you’ve already thought of a few ideas yourself…

Image ©iStock.com/eternalcreative


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