From the very start of developing the concept for a book, I am thinking about the customer. I am thinking about the problem the book is solving. I am thinking about what kind of language in the book description and imagery on the cover will best represent the work. I am thinking about what retailers and media outlets will be interested in the message. My guess is that most publishers think about exactly the same things.
For me, I am also looking for something deeper, something I can use to anchor the launch of the book. I am looking for something I can create that will both communicate what the book is about and can be embodied in the marketing of the book.
One of my favorite examples of this was the original launch of Seth Godin’s Purple Cow. The subtitle for the book was “Transform Your Business By Being Remarkable.” Godin told readers to do things in their business that make people want to talk about them—be remarkable.
In living that message, he shipped the first 10,000 copies of Purple Cow in two quart milk cartons.
From the start, I was thinking about the question of how to extend the message of When Everyone Leads into the marketing of the book.
I love the book’s title because it captures what needs to be different in leadership and the potential if that change comes to be.
In a meeting one day with the core launch team, someone said, “Wouldn’t it be cool for there was a version of the book for teachers called ‘When Teachers Lead‘?”
From there it just cascaded, “What about…?”
- When Nurses Leads
- When Non-Profits Lead
- When Government Leads
- When Roofers Lead
- When Architects Lead
We wanted to start to find ways for more readers to see themselves in this book.
I am talking about this idea today, because a physical version of this idea is shipping into the world today and I am really excited.
As a publisher, I want to engage as many folks in the publishing ecosystem as I can when Bard Press launches a new title. We create a plan for Amazon. We develop a rollout for airport bookstores. We connect with libraries.
For today’s rollout, we wanted to find a way to engage with independent bookstores. As a business book publisher, indies can be a tougher audience. You need a book that plays to a wider, more general interest audience for something to work in that retail segment. We think we have that in this title.
To demonstrate that to indie booksellers, we have created a limited edition galley titled When Booksellers Lead.
We wanted to recognize and celebrate the work that indies do every day. And show them a different kind of leadership that already engage in and could encourage even more in their communities.
Here is the opening letter I wrote for this edition:
The work you do is so important to the communities you serve.
You are on the front lines of …
- Fighting for free speech
- Bringing together many and varied groups
- Advocating for new voices
- Spurring local economic development
As a former bookseller at Harry W. Schwartz Booksellers, I saw those same challenges. And I saw how those with authority or who carried titles rarely made real progress on those difficult issues.
When we started working on When Everyone Leads, I thought about booksellers and how you lead. You all see leadership as an activity— small actions take in moments of opportunity. You take those small actions every day in your storefront window displays to your nightly author events.
This pre-publication edition was created to celebrate the work you do and hopefully give booksellers more ways to continue to lead.
Thanks for the work you do,
This limited edition galley is going out in the January mailing of the American Booksellers Association’s White Box. The mailing goes to 750 stores around the country.
Bard Press is also going to be at The Winter Institute in Seattle in February to hand down more galleys and thank booksellers for the work they do.
We think there are other audiences we can engage with around this idea, and that this is a pretty good start.