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Revitalize Your Nonfiction Book With Some SCAMPER Magic

book marketing Mar 21, 2024

Are you looking for a creative twist to revitalize your nonfiction writing and book marketing? 

Then SCAMPER is your answer!

This creative framework, which goes by the acronym Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse/Rearrange, offers several thought-provoking prompts that encourage authors to view their content from fresh and interesting perspectives.

Bob Eberle created SCAMPER to improve products and services. It can be used effectively in education, business, and many other fields to solve problems effectively and stimulate creativity. 

This structured approach allows nonfiction authors to learn various ways to refresh their books' formats, merge insights with diverse media, and adapt content for various audiences, ensuring their work captures readers’ attention worldwide and remains relevant. 

Transforming a nonfiction book to appeal to a broader audience, the creative SCAMPER technique offers a systematic approach to repurposing content, ensuring it remains relevant, engaging, and accessible. 

Let’s explore how you can use each SCAMPER element to breathe new life into your nonfiction books.

Substitute:

The idea is to switch the book’s format to cater to different preferences and lifestyles. In today’s digital age, transforming a print book into an audiobook or an eBook can significantly widen its reach. 

Audiobooks are perfect for people who prefer listening to content while commuting or multitasking, whereas eBooks offer convenience for those who like to read on their devices. 

Moreover, translating the book into various languages or simplifying the content for children can open up new audiences, allowing the book to resonate with a more diverse group of readers.

Ideas in a nutshell:

Question to ask: What can be replaced? (for example, components, materials, and people)

Marketing: Replace traditional advertising with digital platforms or book tours with virtual events.

Repurposing: Convert the book into an audiobook or eBook, or adapt it for a different language or audience.

Combine:

This step involves blending the book’s content with other mediums or materials to create a richer experience. By integrating the book with a workbook or journal, readers can interact with the content, enhancing their understanding and retention. Similarly, pairing the book with a documentary series can provide visual context to the written words, appealing to visual learners and adding a new dimension to the content. This not only diversifies the book’s format but also enriches the audience’s engagement with the material.

Ideas in a nutshell:

Question to ask: What can be combined? (for example, other features, devices)

Marketing: Integrate various tactics, like combining a podcast series with the book’s themes.

Repurposing: Merge the book with a workbook or tie it to a documentary series, enhancing the learning experience.

Adapt:

Adapting the content involves tailoring it to different contexts or audiences. For instance, a book on leadership can be customized for specific sectors like technology or healthcare by incorporating relevant examples and insights. This customization makes the book more relatable and valuable to professionals in those fields. Furthermore, transforming the book’s content into a curriculum for a course or workshop can shift the audience’s role from passive readers to active participants, deepening their connection with the material.

Ideas in a nutshell:

Question to ask: What can be added? (such as new elements or functions)

Marketing: Utilize successful strategies from other fields, like adapting interactive webinars from education, to engage readers.

Repurposing: Tailor the book’s content for specific industries or transform it into an educational curriculum.

Modify:

Modifying the book entails altering certain elements to create something new or more relevant. This could mean updating the content to reflect recent developments, adjusting the depth of information to suit different expertise levels, or redesigning the book for better portability. Such modifications ensure the book remains current and continues to meet the evolving needs of readers, thereby sustaining its relevance in a rapidly changing world.

Ideas in a nutshell:

Question to ask: What can be modified? (for example, change the size, shape, color or other attribute)

Marketing: Adjust the book’s cover design, pricing, or description to appeal to different market segments.

Repurposing: Create a pocket-sized version of the book or modify the content’s depth for various audiences.

Put to another use:

This step encourages finding new applications for the book’s content. For example, the research and insights from the book can serve as the foundation for a blog series, an email newsletter, or a set of webinars. These different formats allow the content to reach people in various contexts, maximizing its impact. Additionally, repurposing the book for specific groups, such as turning a business strategy book into a guide for entrepreneurs, can provide targeted value and practical applications.

Ideas in a nutshell:

Question to ask: Could you use the product in a different way or in another industry?

Marketing: Repurpose book excerpts as blog posts or develop a workshop based on the book.

Repurposing: Use the book’s content to kickstart a blog series or transform it into a guide for entrepreneurs.

Eliminate:

Streamlining the book by removing irrelevant or outdated content can enhance its clarity and focus. This might involve cutting outdated case studies or extraneous details to highlight the book’s core insights. Alternatively, zeroing in on a particular theme or section of the book can result in specialized content that appeals to niche interests or addresses specific needs.

Ideas in a nutshell:

Question to ask: What can be removed or simplified?

Marketing: Remove ineffective marketing channels or excess elements to clarify the book’s message.

Repurposing: Create a condensed version of the book or focus on a single aspect to create a mini-guide.

Reverse/Rearrange:

Changing the order or structure of the book’s content can offer new perspectives and insights. Rearranging the chapters or shifting the narrative focus can rejuvenate the material, making it more engaging or comprehensible to different audiences. This reorganization can transform the reader’s journey through the book, potentially uncovering fresh angles and interpretations.

Ideas in a nutshell:

Question to ask: What would happen if you reversed the product’s production process? What can be swapped or flipped?

Marketing: Alter the campaign’s order, starting with intriguing questions rather than conclusions.

Repurposing: Rearrange the book’s structure to offer a new narrative flow or perspective.

Applying the SCAMPER technique, you can innovatively repurpose your nonfiction books, extending their reach and relevance. This process enhances the content's accessibility and appeal and ensures that it continues to resonate with a diverse and evolving audience.

Through thoughtful substitution, combination, adaptation, modification, repurposing, elimination, and rearrangement, you can ensure your nonfiction books maintain their significance and continue to enlighten, educate, and inspire readers across different formats and platforms.