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book proposal

Who owns that voice in my head?

I received my first publisher rejection notice this week from the nicest man in the world. My book topic is too specific for the portfolio, however, the proposal was promising and I received some great new contacts to explore. Of all the rejections I may receive, this one will be the best.

My “look on the bright side” perspective is opposite  to how I interpreted not getting a call back from a friend of a friend who works at a publishing house. As the weeks slipped by, I slid from “she is busy” to “she isn’t interested” to “she hates me.” I was aghast when I noticed last night that my email had bounced back and not been delivered. Why did the voice in my head go to the dark side? Why did it move me to the darkest part of the dark side? Why didn’t I check my delivery failure folder? Who owns that negative voice in my head?


I own that voice in my head and am accountable for my perspectives, emotions, and actions. Negativity drains your energy and slows you down. It nudges you off course and blocks your creativity.  I am putting the following mechanisms  in place so this doesn’t happen again.

  • Check my delivery failure folder to make sure my email was received
  • Use more than one method of contact (email, phone, LinkedIn, etc.)
  • Communicate when and how I will make contact again (“I will follow up/call you next week…”)
  • Record each communication and follow up date on my calendar
  • Increase the number of contacts to gain momentum and lessen the impact of each one
  • Assume positive intent
The last one is the most powerful and attacks the negative voice at it’s core. It’s an ongoing battle.
Phil

Change With Confidence

Here is a short video about Change With Confidence.

And here is my book proposal for publishers.

Change With Confidence Book Proposal Summary

For more details on this book proposal or to request sample chapters, please send a note to phil.buckley01@gmail.com.

Phil

If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, what about a video?

It makes sense that a consumer needs to be interested in a product before buying it. No interest, no sale. My challenge is to inspire interest in publishers to review my book proposal. No interest, no review, no sale.  

One barrier to interest is the commitment of time to read it before knowing whether or not it is worth reading. To overcome this challenge, I am creating a short video to introduce my book,  describe what it contains, and outline the benefits of reading it. 

Fortunately, Mel, my good friend and colleague,  is an excellent video director and editor. We spent Thursday morning filming (twenty-nine takes!) and selecting footage. Before shooting, the agenda was:

  • What is my book about?
  • Why buy my book (benefits)?
  • What are my credentials?
  • How is it unique?
  • What is the audience?
  • Call to action: read my book proposal

After many takes, the agenda was reduced to:

  • What is my book about?
  • What are my credentials?
  • Why buy my book (benefits)?

The more I talked on camera the less clear my message became. I wanted to explain my points in detail, which was counter to my objective. To be interesting, a good teaser video needs to be short, simple, and clear.

The footage is now in Mel’s capable hands to edit and add section titles. I know she will make it look as good as it can be. The test will be how many publishers double-click on my proposal. The objective is always the bottom line.

Phil

So, who is going to buy your book?

When I started writing my book, I had a clear picture of who would read it. They helped guide my content and formatting decisions, and knowing they are time-starved business people, anything that didn’t provide quick access to practical advice was deleted. At least 30 percent of my first draft was edited out because it was not adding value. As I wrote my publisher’s proposal, I realized there are other audiences that could gain from my book and that I would need to market to them when it becomes available. Here are my three audiences:

1. Leaders of Change (primary)
2. Teachers and Students of Change (secondary)
3. Cadbury and Kraft Enthusiasts (secondary)

Leaders of Change
Leaders and their teams working on big change
projects, including executive
sponsors (who fund and have overall accountability for projects), project
managers (who run the day-to-day operations), and team members (who have project-specific roles).

Teachers and Students
Universities that offer change management/organizational development degrees and MBA programs (most include change management courses). My book includes 100 mini-case studies (fifty good practices and fifty poor
practices), accommodates all four
learning styles, has recommended actions that promote lecture discussion and assignments,
and all content is based on practical experience.
Cadbury and Kraft Enthusiasts
Current and former Cadbury/Kraft employees. My book includes  forty-four mini-case
studies on Cadbury and Kraft, almost all of which have never been published.
It excites me that these audiences will look at my book through different lenses and focus on what they find useful. Regardless of your intended destination, the reader is in the driver’s seat.
Phil

So, what are you going to do to sell your book?

P.T. Barnum said, “A terrible thing happens when you don’t promote yourself…nothing.” I’m sure this is true for authors so I jumped into writing my Promotion Plan with vigour. The goal is to state what I will do to sell my book (with vigour). There are many articles about how the author (not publisher) must drive awareness and sales. If not, then something terrible happens. 

Passion, confidence, and commitment are three themes I have  woven into my promotion plan. It has six elements:


Book Distribution to Audience Influencer: Sending copies to members of my three target audiences: leaders working on big changes (my primary target), post-secondary teachers and students, and Kraft and Cadbury employees and supporters.

Social Media Notifications:Communication about my book to my networks and business associations.

Magazines  and Blogs: Reviews, interviews, and serializing content in magazines and blogs.

Keynote Speaking Engagements: Presentations at conferences, association meetings, and schools.

Book Web Site: A dedicated site including this blog, author Q&A, chapter summaries and support materials.

Award Submissions: Participation in media and association award programs.

Please let me know if I missed any promotion opportunities. I would appreciate your thoughts.

I just bought Michale Hyatt’s Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World to fortify my plan. He is offering $350 of bonus resources if you buy a copy by the end of today. Now that’s a promotion!

Phil

101 Reasons to Publish My Book!


I have enjoyed switching gears to the book proposal writing phase. It’s familiar territory (how many proposals have we written in our careers?) and doing research again is fun. I even went to a public library and signed out two books on winning proposals! 

Writing a proposal is like making a cake: each ingredient must be added in the right amount and in the right order for it to create something special. Experimentation is risky. 

Most advice contains the same sections and a lot of the same tips:

  • Overview – What is your premise and how does it satisfy a need?
  • Markets – Who will buy your book?
  • Competition – What books are similar to yours and why is yours different?
  • Author – Why are you the best author for this book?
  • Promotion –  What can you do to help sell your book?
  • Table of Contents
  • Sample Chapters
In the past, I would create a proposal framework and then fill it the sections sequentially, building the narrative. This time,  I dove into writing a draft as I was researching. This was a mistake because it missed the big picture and was less organized. After a day of “free-wheeling” I went back to a more structured and effective approach.

One hundred and one reasons for becoming my publisher is a stretch, especially since my goal is to convince one that my book will sell enough copies to make a profit. All other reasons are icing on the cake. 

Phil

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    When impressing leaders, what is the 1 action you would take to get 80% results in 20% of the time? Here’s mine: bit.ly/3CHq0Ho. The podcast episode with key opinion leader @RobbyNap is on Sounder bit.ly/3iKl2js. #change #changemanagement #leadership #podcasts pic.twitter.com/wUxLfW3w0M

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