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.
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!
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.