Over 100 decisions and tasks. Dozens of choices. Endless opportunities.
In bringing your book to market, you’ll have more than 100 decisions and tasks to face. A few of them are no doubt obvious to you. Others may be unclear or confusing, and many are probably not even on your radar screen. Each of them should be considered at least briefly, what you decide about some will influence or eliminate the need for others, and those that apply to your book require well-organized orchestration and proper sequencing.
We are your strategic consultant, planner, team builder, project manager and coach for making your book a big success.
By understanding your complex and high-stakes options and how each can influence your book’s impact and results, we identify the best strategies and help you make the right informed decisions that will make your book your ultimate marketing tool. We then direct and manage the experts we’ve assembled as they go to work, leaving you free to do what you do best — your business — while we do what we do best — create a book that brings all the results you seek and more.
Deliverable #1: A strategic plan for achieving your book-related business goals.
Just as your company has a PR plan, a marketing plan and a business plan, your book needs a carefully thought out plan of strategies, tactics and success measures for the results you expect it to produce. A plan that’s the roadmap to guide and document your decisions and choices, beginning with the most important one:
• The business, brand, profit and career outcomes you hope for. We begin by identifying your desired results, and we describe them in measurable terms. They are the grounding principles for your entire project because they determine which decisions and tasks will be required as well as which strategies and tactics should be considered. (Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your content is the first thing to decide — it can’t even be decided second — and the driver of all your decisions. That might work for authors whose only endgame is selling books, but it fails for executives expecting business results.)
• The prioritized target audiences who are specifically related to the results you’ve identified. Some will be gatekeepers and decision makers while others will be influencers. We profile each one in detail and normally phase in some segments before others.
• Your book’s topic, type* and content. These don’t necessarily need to be unique or groundbreaking, but they absolutely must reflect something your targets will appreciate learning — and learning from you. It’s essential that you solve one of their problems, offer a new insight or point of view, inspire them or deliver other benefits. (* A type provides the structural framework, point of view and voice of a book. Think training manual vs. contrarian point of view, description of new trends or cautionary case studies.)
• Your time and dollar resources and ideal pace and completion date. These factors influence your remaining decisions and typically narrow down the possibilities that will be right for you.
• Your best overall strategies. These define, in broad strokes, your approach to reaching your audiences and achieving your results within the confines of the budget and schedule.
• The right decisions and top tactical choices in six areas: your content creation and format, its production, publishing, distribution, promotion and marketing activities. We build on everything we know about your project and determine the best actions that will lead to impressing your target markets while leveraging your business in the best possible ways.
Deliverable #2: Team members who understand the issues surrounding books created to generate business results.
With the tactical decisions made and the budget identified, we find the very best experts, service providers and vendors for each task. Some may be on your staff or people you’ve previously worked with. Most will be from our network of executive author specialists.
Deliverable #3: A task timeline of the plan’s activities.
Your timeline eliminates any ambiguity about who does what, when, how and at what cost. All accountabilities for at least 12 months are defined and scheduled — including yours.
Deliverable #4: Project management and execution.
To bring your book to life by following the task timeline, we project-manage its activities — to minimize your book’s disruption to your life — and coach you through the aspects requiring your involvement. Our extensive publishing experience allows us to anticipate issues before they become serious, problem-solve and mid-course-correct along the way. We can also complete select special projects.
Deliverable #5: A business assessment that leads to 2-way book-business leverage and a strong synergy.
At every turn, we work to make your book and business work together toward your goals. A key part of that is determining what needs to be modified in your business — and how — before your book can generate serious results. After we’ve completed the assessment, we define how best to make your book and business leverage each other and generate a synergy that will fuel your unmistakeable success.
In addition to these five deliverables, equally valuable is the information, guidance, suggestions and referrals we provide throughout your project.
So, how to get started? We always begin by “testing the fit” through a small, stand-alone project related to your book or a few nonbillable hours together before jointly committing to a full-project workplan.
Because our client relationships involve high-stakes issues and are long term in nature — typically spanning at least a year and sometimes two or three — it’s essential that there’s a good fit between us.
Specifically, our separate worldviews must be broadly compatible regarding three things: the drivers and dynamics of your business’ growth, what your book-driven desired business results will require and the new and evolving realities of publishing. Plus our expertise must dovetail with your current knowledge so that we’re consistently providing high-value, on-point and actionable advice, guidance and ideas.
We’ve found the best way to test the fit is to “start small or start free.” We typically do that with new authors through our Getting Started Program described in the sidebar to the right (or some other small-scale project related to planning your book). If, instead, your book is well underway, we like to begin by brainstorming and sharing ideas about the next phase of your book project during a few hours on the phone at no charge.