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Management Consulting & Training

A First Time Author's Journey

Promotion in Motion

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Promotion in Motion
The downtime waiting for the heavy editing of the manuscript has been filled by a lot of promotion work in advance of our July 20th release date. We have been quite busy on several fronts. First, our publisher just informed us that they hired a public relations agent to work with us on the book. The great news about this is the PR agent they got for us is one of the best in the business. I'll call her Peggy. Mike met several PR agents on his last book, and he said Peggy was the PR agent he wished we could get to help us on this book. I?m not sure if it is a coincidence or a small world in the book PR agent space in our niche, but our publisher just told us this week that Peggy was going to be our PR agent. Mike called me as soon as he heard to let us know how lucky we were. She won't be officially on retainer to work with us until we get a bit closer to the book release, but it is great to know she is there. The second main effort has been around getting the endorsements from people to put on the book jacket and our book website to say the book is worth reading. Early endorsements are a way to prove that an author has the authority to publish a book on the topic. You do that by getting people with the most impressive job title's or other brands that you can to say that. You cajole, you beg. You call in every favor to get people to agree to do it. Then you have to remind, remind, remind. I really, really hate asking my personal friends for professional favors, but this was one time I decided I would have to do it. I never try to sell my consulting and training services to my friends, since I don't want them to be uncomfortable ignoring or turning me down me like they might any other salesperson. But because my book is such a personal experience to me, I decided to make an exception. The publisher gave us an April 15 deadline to get all of our endorsements in, and my last ones -- two of my biggest ones -- got in in the last day or two before that deadline. Now that I look back, I am quite impressed at the list of endorsers Mike and I somehow got for the book. A Harvard Business School professor. A CEO of a household name national retail chain. The head of a HUGE federal government agency. A #1 New York Times best selling author. I could go on, but I will summarize by saying everyone on our list is someone that is a rock star in their field. The shelves in the Business Leadership aisle at your local Barnes & Noble are full of books. If you pull down five titles, maybe one or two will have one name of an endorser that you will give a silent "Huh - maybe this is worth reading if they endorse it" moment. We have fistfuls of those "Huh" endorsements. I am starting to think I would preorder this book even if I didn't write it. The other big thing we have been doing to promote the book is a mass reach-out to all the prominent bloggers in the same "leadership of people at work" space as our book is. Mike, being the machine he is, has set up a systematic plan of attack to do so. He has created a spreadsheet listing all the people he has worked with or that have been listed in Top 500 or 100 most trafficked bloggers in the space. (Mike is typically in the top 10-20 of these lists, by the way.) Across all these lists, the spreadsheet now totals 700+ rows. My contribution has been the effort to find the email addresses or other contact information of the folks Mike doesn't already know. That has taken me a few days of searching through hundreds of leadership blog websites looking for contact information. That exercise has been quite interesting on its own to get a sense of the people who have built large followings in the same leadership writing space into which I am about to publish a book. I also got a few good ideas for my own business website. Now that we have gathered most of the emails, Mike and I have divided up the list and we are starting to reach out to each person asking them if they can help us with our book release by letting us do a guest blog on their site, by interviewing us, or by reviewing our book. So far I am getting maybe 10% of people to reply back with a "congratulations and yes, I would love to help" reply. It is nice to see that there is some camaraderie in this space. We will be replying back and scheduling guest posts and interviews and such for the next week or few. Then we actually have to start creating the content to go on those posts. Oh well, enough for today. I just got an email from the editor at the publisher who will be doing final edits. She introduced herself and told us it will be pretty intense for the next few weeks leading up to the June 3 printing date. Stay tuned.
Posted on April 25, 2015 Slideshow