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Behind the Scenes: Building a Book from a Podcast

April 22, 2024
The Recognized Authority Podcast Cover

The podcast that helps experts & consultants on the journey to becoming a recognized authority in your field, so you can increase your impact, command premium fees, work less hours, and never have to suffer a bad-fit client again!.

Have you ever wondered if you could write a compelling book that resonates with your audience? Have you ever thought about starting a podcast?

In this episode, host Alastair McDermott shares his unique approach to turning his podcast, “The AI-Powered Thought Leader,” into a valuable book on the same topic.

Alastair reveals his process, from selecting guests who can provide valuable insights to synthesizing their perspectives into a cohesive narrative.

He discusses:

  • Leveraging podcast conversations to scope out a book’s structure and themes
  • Exploring the tension between AI tools and authentic thought leadership
  • Testing ideas and hypotheses through expert interviews
  • Developing a useful, practical resource for readers

Don’t miss this rare glimpse into the making of a thought-provoking book.

Key Insights:

  • Repurposing podcast content into a book can be an effective strategy
  • Having conversations with experts helps scope out a book’s themes and structure
  • Creating useful, practical content is essential for building authority
  • Podcasting allows synthesizing diverse perspectives on an emerging topic like AI
  • High-quality content like books and podcasts will help build sustained authority

Tune in and learn how to transform your own podcast into a cornerstone content piece that solidifies your expertise.

“Having these conversations really helps me to figure out the scope of the problem and the scope of the problem area.” – Alastair McDermott


Show Notes

Guest Bio


Alastair McDermott 0:01
Today, I want to go a little bit behind the scenes and maybe go a little bit meta. So if you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, then you know that I’m all about creating content, which will then build authority. And so you’re building a personal brand, building authority, sharing expert knowledge, and creating this body of work, which is your expertise, and your knowledge sitting out in the world for people to encounter. And that could be as simple as a blog post, or it could be something like a podcast like this. It could be a YouTube channel, a YouTube video, it could be you guesting on other people’s podcasts, there’s so many different ways to do this. And one of the classic ways is to write a book. And so one thing that I like to do is repurpose as much as possible. And that is when I create something, see if I can turn that into something else as well. Now, I believe in podcasting, because I’ve always been a podcast fan. I’ve always listened to podcasts. And so it was one of the channels that I really wanted to work on myself. But I just want to tell you about something that I’m doing with a new podcast that I started called the AI powered thought leader. And the reason why I started that podcast was because I wanted to explore the topic of AI because I think it’s very important. And also because I didn’t want The Recognized Authority podcast to become all about AI all the time. And I’m not going to talk all about AI today, I might mention it because it’s a bit like mentioning electricity, or the internet or something, it’s just going to be something that’s foundational for us. But I think that the behind the scenes of how I’m thinking about the process, maybe might be useful for somebody out there. So what I’m doing with this podcast is I wanted to explore the tension between the concept of being an authentic, credible thought leader, and the use of AI tools, because I think there’s a there’s a big conflict there. And so what I want to do is talk to people who are thought leaders about how they’re using AI, people who are experts in AI about how they see it going how it could be used by thought leaders, and talking about where the line is where the line is between whether something is human created, or is AI generated. And, you know, blurred, because that line is really blurred. So I find this really interesting area. And I wanted to cover that. And I want to learn from myself as well. So that’s why I’m doing that, I want to it’s an area that I think is going to be very important in the future. And so I want to take some ownership in that space. And so now I have that podcast, I’m the host of that show, people can introduce me that in that way they say it’s something that’s the list it with the podcast that I that I have. And the other thing that I want to do is actually want to turn this into a book. So I want to write a book called The AI part a thought leader, or something very similar to that. And in the book, I want to put in the things that I’ve learned from all of these conversations with all of these experts, and thought leaders and people like that. And this is something that I think is really interesting about a podcast, because you can start a podcast, with the intention of using it to create another piece of Cornerstone content, like a book. If you think about it from the beginning, if you think about I mean, you can actually do it without having thought about it from beginning as well. But it does make it a bit easier if you’ve thought about it from the beginning. And so this is something that I’ve been doing with the new podcast is I’ve picked people in particular to speak with who I wanted to who I thought would be good at helping me to figure out the overall the overall challenges, the overall conflicts and arguments. And because I think that’s what will ultimately be will make for you know, something that’s really useful. And if you go back to one of the earliest episodes of this podcast, I had Rob Fitzpatrick on. And he talked about the concept of writing a useful book. And we want what we create to be useful to the people who consume it. So I want this podcast episode to be useful to you listening to it right now. I want people who read the book that I ultimately produce or who listened to the airpower thought leader, I want that to be actually useful and practical for them. And so I’ve been thinking about that, as I do those interviews. And as I shedule on guests, because what I’m trying to do right now is I’m trying to figure out in this new landscape, and I’m kind of reticent to use the word landscape because I feel it’s one of those words this gets overused a lot by AI amongst other things, but in the kind of the new environment that we’re in with The width the growth of these tools, I’m trying to figure out, what is the, what is the kind of the problem area, what is the scope. And so having these conversations really helps me to figure out the scope of the problem and the scope of the problem area. And the first seven or eight interviews that I’ve done, have really helped me to do that. So now I have an idea of the where the edges are, what the main, the main areas that I want to talk about where people are, and I’m starting to draw some conclusions from the conversations that we’ve had so far. And so where it is now, what I’ve been able to do, as I’ve been able to sketch out, you’ll probably hear it some paper rustling, I’ve been able to sketch out the major areas, I’ll tell you what they are just just to give you an idea. The very first thing is the positives of AI in increasing productivity, and looking and examining that area. Then looking at the tension, so that kind of the negative and AI versus authenticity and credibility, and maybe over reliance on AI, and that kind of negative part. And then addressing authorship and credit and intellectual property, the ethics of AI and you know, the training data, where that’s sourced from and people’s privacy, and then a path forward in terms of continuous learning and adapting. So those are right now kind of the main areas. And if I was writing a book, they would either be chapters or sections, I’m not quite sure yet, because I’m still fleshing all of this out. But that would be approximately what this might look like in terms of an outline. So having these conversations with people like Jonathan Stark, and Christo, my friend, Jocasta, bona, Debbie Jenkins, who’s writing a book called stop the credibility crisis, having conversations with all of these people has really allowed me to develop my own thinking, it’s been really useful in figuring out okay, what does this whole big picture look like? So it’s effectively almost like doing some primary research, I don’t know, if it’s, if it could quite be compared to that. But it’s kind of like that, exploring this problem area, and trying to figure out because this is literally something that nobody has, nobody really knows about yet, because it’s so such a new area. So that’s what I’m doing with this podcast, because I want to ultimately turn that into a book. I’m working on creating like the draft outline. And as I have more and more conversations, that’s helping me to flesh out my own thinking. And what I’m able to do is I’m able to develop theories hypotheses, and then test them in my next conversation with the next expert who comes along. And so I’m able to use the podcast to create this cornerstone content piece, which is going to be a book. And so I wanted to give you just a little bit of an insight into how I’m approaching this. And maybe this is something that you can do too. Now, you could take a completely different approach, which is more like what I’ve done with The Recognized Authority podcasts, which was started with no intention of writing a book, or at least not no intention of directly writing a book, you know, based on, you know, using the, the, the conversations to explore the ideas. I did, I did know that I would eventually write a book on that topic. And that’s the other book that I’m working on is going to be called recognized. And I’ll talk more about that some other time. But I didn’t start out with a plan of Okay, let’s try and figure out and scope out the area. I think maybe, because I had more of an understanding of the problem area, I didn’t feel like I needed to do that in quite the same way. But I had already done some research in this area. So I think I’d scoped out a lot of that from the research that I did the primary research. This, this new book that I’m working on it at the airpower thought leader is, has been very much approached, approach the podcast from the perspective of I’m doing this to help to scope out the book. And I find that to be really useful, because it’s just helped me to figure out what questions to ask in the interviews, and even the conversation that we have in the greenroom before and after the podcast as well. It’s helped me to test the ideas and and figure out the scope a lot more. So

Alastair McDermott 9:30
I just wanted to on a short episode here. I just wanted to give you some ideas about how you can use a podcast to create something else like a book. And in particular, where it’s something that you want to learn about. And what better way than to come and bring in experts to talk to you about this and start to figure figure this out. And what we what we call what we say about the AI is AI synthesizes all this information. That’s a effectively, what I’m doing here is I’m synthesizing the information from these different people and putting it together and looking for those patterns. So if you are thinking about writing a book, then maybe a podcast might be useful for you. And it can be as simple as getting into zoom, and just chatting with somebody, you can make a plan for the podcast, if you need help with that, let me know, I’d be more than happy to help. You can also check out 33 ways not to screw up your business podcast that’s on Amazon on Kindle in paperback and hardback. And that might help you if you are thinking about doing the podcast. I think that creating Cornerstone content like podcasts, and writing high quality, useful books, I think that those are what are going to set us apart. And help us sustain it in future, when there’s going to be a lot of AI generated content out there. And having a personal brand and developing a reputation in a particular field and maintaining that credibility, that’s going to be very, very important. So that’s why I think that tools like this, the podcast and where you can hear my voice, and you can have trust and credibility that I think that AI will eventually be able to do some of that, but it’s never going to have the human human connection. And so that’s why I personally, I’m going all in on and have gone all in on podcasting, and video. I’m not doing this particular podcast on video, but I will do a video on this topic at some point. Because I think that those are the things that are going to set us apart and make the connection with other human beings. And with potential clients who will find our body of work, they’ll encounter our body of work and will want to work with us because they see that we have experts expertise in the area that they’re interested in, and that they need help with. Thanks for listening. I’ll be back next week with a great interview. And I have some super interviews lined up for The Recognized Authority. Thank you for listening. I do appreciate your time and your attention. I know you could listen to something else. I do appreciate that. See you next time.


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