You’ve been kicking around the idea of a book for some time. But you have one question remaining: Do you actually have enough content to publish a book?
How Much Content Do You Need for a Book?
Not as much as you think. Consider the last time you talked passionately about a subject. Could you talk about that subject for an hour? Two? Three?
In general, a one hour conversation is about enough for a chapter. A book will usually cover a number of topics, each specific and complex. When you think about the outline of a book, think about it as a list of “topics.”
It’s likely that you have more content than you think. Writing a book is a lot like having a conversation—it’s just a conversation with an audience.
Do You Really Need to Write a Full Book?
A “book” is really a lot of things. A book could range anywhere from 150 to 300 pages. If you have a very light book, that’s not a bad thing. It can be a short book. It can also be filled with diagrams, statistics, or pictures.
But you also don’t need to write a full book.
It’s possible that you only need an eBook. You might need a book from 20 to 50 pages long, that only goes over the major points of your strategy, service, philosophy, or history.
You may also only need a sequence of authority-building articles, or a sequence of short stories. It depends on what your ultimate goals are, and the amount of content that you really want to present.
The Importance of Not Stretching It
With rare exceptions, it’s better to write a punchy 100 page book than a 300 page book that is stretched for content. There’s nothing that people hate more than having their time wasted.
Today, there’s been a push for longer and longer pieces of content. Blogs have gone from 400 words to 2,000 words. Even tweets became longer! This push for longer content is really a push for engagement. The more time you can get someone to spend on your content, the better the relationship you’ve built with them (or so they say).
But people are becoming fatigued. They are inundated with content today, and they really want to spend their time on things that are unique and insightful. So, if you have less content, you don’t want to push yourself to provide more. Instead, you want to find the right medium for the content that you have.
What If You Do Want More Content?
If you have your heart set on a 200 page book, but you have 100 pages of content, there’s still one secret trick:
This is the hidden role of the ghostwriter. You may want to talk about a certain medical process that you’ve studied. But a ghostwriter can dig down deep and find out more about the history and the context of that medical process.
Ghostwriters are able to build out content significantly by doing additional research surrounding it. Rather than just “padding” the content, they produce valuable information that works contextually with the information that you yourself have provided.
If you’re wondering whether you have enough content, the best thing to do is connect with a professional. It can be difficult to really figure out how much content you have without sitting down, writing an outline, and exploring what you need to say. Most people have more content than they think they do—they just need some help expressing it.