How to Turn Your Book Into a Course

Keith Perhac
Founder @ SegMetrics

You published your book?! Congratulations!

Take a minute to let this sink in: People are paying to read the things you’ve written. That’s one satisfying feather in your cap.

And whether your book is a self-published ebook or a physical book on Amazon, it was a huge undertaking. Hours of work. Blood, sweat, and tears even.

(But hopefully not too much blood…)

However, now that it’s done, think about this:

What if your book could be something more?

What if you could take all of that work you’ve already done, and create an entirely new product from it…

One that can generate additional revenue, without tons of ongoing work…

And one that will have your readers saying, “Shuddup and take my money already!”

That’s exactly what you can do by creating a course. A course based on your book.

Let’s jump in, and I’ll explain how it all works.

What a course can do (that your book can’t)

First, let’s talk about why you’d want to create a course in the first place.

I mean, can’t people just read your book to learn everything they need to know?

Well, no. They can’t.

Your readers, even the ones who read your book twice, still want a course for a couple of reasons.

One, if they bought your book and read it, chances are, they’re REALLY interested in the subject. And when they’ve finished your book, they want to learn even more.

You can provide that opportunity to dive in deeper with an online course. Because if they don’t get that from you, they’ll just get it from someone else.

Also, readers often want you to help them implement what they’ve learned. Yes, they’re psyched out of their minds about your ideas, but they want you to hold their hand along the way.
An online course can provide the kind of interaction that you can’t give them in a book.

And for you, the author, an online course is the ideal way to repurpose and expand on the work you’ve already done with your book. For a small amount of upfront work, the course will be an asset that brings in revenue for years to come. We’ll talk more about how that works in just a bit.

First, let’s look at how a book can become a course…

A course is the natural next step…

If you were to go to a bookstore and take a look around, you’d see a gazillion and one topics on the shelf that could easily become online courses:

  • how to cook Thai food
  • how to throw a murder mystery dinner
  • how to teach your puppy new tricks
  • how to eat paleo
  • how to start business
  • how computers work
  • how to win at Mario Bros
  • how to be a better salsa dancer
  • how to start a vegetable garden
  • how to keep bees
  • how to talk to your aging parents,
  • how to raise a happy, healthy kid

So many possibilities!

Now, think about the work that went into your book. You had to decide on a target market. You had to come up with a topic they care about, and become THE expert on that topic. You had to create a structure, to organize your big ideas into a logical sequence.

For instance, let’s say you’re an expert on backyard bird watching. You’re especially enthusiastic about the birds in your native state of Michigan (go Blue!). And so you decide to write a book on how to get started in backyard birdwatching in Michigan.

You organize your book first by subject, like “how to create a backyard habitat” and “birding hotspots in Michigan” and “profiles of backyard birds of Michigan.”

Then in the profile section, you break it down into types of birds, like hawks, crows, swallows, owls, etc. Then under each type, you have a profile of each species.

Now, that’s just one example. It really doesn’t matter how you’ve organized your book, the point is, it’s organized. This ain’t your momma’s scrapbook! (Actually, your mom’s scrapbook is probably super organized. So we take that back, Mom.)

The point? There’s a structure in place. A structure that can easily turn into an online course.

Now, let me warn you about a mistake we see sometimes: Creating a course about your entire book.

We’ve found that it’s far more effective to pick one slice of your book, and turn THAT into a course. For instance, in our previous example, you could create a course on how to create a backyard habitat, which is just one of the chapters in your birdwatching book.

You already have the content written, so now you just have to make it interactive. You can create worksheets, videos on the best types of birdfeeders and birdhouses, a checklist of plants and yard features that attract birds, and so on.

It can be that simple–this isn’t rocket surgery!

In fact, creating a course has never been easier…

Not only is it easy to turn a section of your book into a course, but thanks to the magic of the internet, it’s never been easier to get a course up and running.

After you’ve created the interactive elements for your course, you’ll just need a password-protected platform to run your course.

And once the course is live, there’s not a whole lot more you have to do.

Maybe once you hit 10,000 students, you’ll need to hire some customer service help. But creating a course like we’ve described isn’t a major life commitment. And it doesn’t have to be a second full-time job.

Think of it this way: if you’re a subject matter expert, an online course is a natural extension of your book. It’s just one more way to share your expertise with the world.


Keith Perhac

Founder @ SegMetrics

Keith is the Founder of SegMetrics, and has spent the last decade working on optimizing marketing funnels and nurture campaigns.

SegMetrics was born out of a frustration with how impossibly hard it is to pull trustworthy, complete and actionable data out of his client's marketing tools.

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