The future of publishing, a first hand account
If you haven't seen already, I hit the ground running in 2014, launching my new book MOBILE READY.
I've loved writing this book, but brilliant books need resources to come onto the market. So I set myself a target of raising $10,000 through a pre-order campaign on Publishizer. Self-publishing was always going to be a challenge, particularly given this would be my first book as the title author. In the past I've had awesome opportunities to write contributions for Bank 3.0 and Next Generation Finance. The funding target was based on the costs associated with bring the first 1000 copies to market, pushing the book over the finish line and into your hands. Although wit the aim to have this book out before the end of the March 2014... and with the help of some awesome supporters that will be possible.
On Wednesday January 22nd, I hosted a Soft Launch at the HUB in Singapore. A night that I will now never forget. If you already follow me on social media (if not, do it not: Facebook, Twitter) you would have witnessed the rise of content promoting the book in the final few days before the launch event. And with the help of some AWESOME supporters; CIO Summit, Card & Payments Asia, and Next Bank, I was able to blow the target out of the water, touching on 180% of the target by the time proceedings started at the launch. But the journey doesn't end there, at the time of writing this piece there is still eight days left in the preorder campaign and several organisations keen to join the MOBILE READY journey. The book is already the most successful campaign on Publishizer, and with the help of a few more organisations and preorders its going to be a global success story for Self-published, crowd-funded books.
Self-publishing is a route that is recreating the nature of the publishing industry. It's empowering authors to new heights. Granted my past experiences and supporters give me a strong platform that would likely get the attention of a publisher, but I chose self-publishing. The innovative entrepreneur in me chose the path that would give me the greatest leveraging and create the strongest learning journey. Throughout the journey I had yo think of my thought leadership as a platform and the book as a product coming onto that platform. Creating a rather exciting fusion of my skills in Lean Startup, Content Marketing, Product Sales and Corporate Sponsorship. Never before in my career have I had the opportunity to pull on all these skills for one project.
I have to admit, I've been surrounded by some awesome people. My editorial and publishing team lead by Publishizer’s CEO & Founder, Guy Vincent, a fellow Hubber in Singapore. I met this guy when we both presented at a Pecha Kucha, which resulted in such a great collaboration, getting this book into action. Guy was the central part of this book’s success, without him I would not have connected with the rest of the editorial team. My editor, Matt Gartland of Winning Edits. A truly enthusiastic guy that not only helped develop this book, but all build my skills as an author. If you haven’t yet, you should check out his podcast AuthorMBA. Dave Priestly of The Mood Room, who took on the challenging task as my designer. Dave’s creative flare was injected into everything from the promotional video for the book’s preorder campaign, through to the layout of the book. And yes, he is another Hubber. My good mate Ben May, who worked with me on Moven, did the creative work for the cover design while the book was still only a concept. My Publicist, Rob Nissen of Nissen PR. Who has been instrumental in helping ensure people hear about this book.
So what have I learned about publishing?
Here are a few tips, so you learn from my experience:
- Share Early: One of my limiting factors early on was I never thought my manuscript was good enough to share. Once I got it out in the open, amazing feedback and collaboration started to flow. So don't be scared to get people to read what you have, no matter how weak you think it is.
- Self Publishing can be FUN! Yes, for those that want to learn along the way, self publishing, like building your first Startup is full of exciting lessons. Actually making publishing enjoyable is a key way to stay energised and enthusiastic, curious to learn at every step.
- Find a GREAT team: Don't hunt for people that have awesome CVs, look for a balanced team of people that you know you can work with. The team's ability to work together is more important.
- Content is KING: When it comes to writing a book, especially as a self-publishing author, the content of the book is your best source of marketing. Find creative ways to turn statistics, insights and points of view into images, videos and articles.
- Learn the ASK: Most first time authors turn to friends and family to buy the first copies, which they may do simply to be polite. But friends and family aren't enough to get your book off the ground. Learn from Gary Vaynerchuk's Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook. Give, give give, but remember to make the ask for support, sponsors and sales.
For anyone that is yet to embark on the journey of writing a book, I encourage you to not waste another second. Now is the moment to start. I took far too long to bring this book to the shelves. Full of excuses, distractions and juggling far too many balls in the air, my book project always seemed to fall to the bottom of my priorities. My turning points was when I finally admitted to myself that writing a book is the ultimate expression in my point of view. Whether you right, wrong, or completely crazy, you have to learn there comes a point where you draw a line in the sand. So if you’ve got a book idea, START NOW.
If you need any help, contact me. More than happy to share more about what I've learned.
8 days to go on the preorders of MOBILE READY, order now. For corporate orders, drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org