Posted in Business, SocialMedia, Technology, Writing

I Have a Book In Me

Thanks for reading!  There’s a question at the end for writers and authors…I value your input.

I just have to share a brief story about a friend/colleague.  He calls me up and asks for a few minutes of my time during a break at work.  So I say “Sure!”  Turns out Zach is an animal society non-profit volunteer and board member, and he wanted some advice on “improving” their website .   Zach stated that they already have a dedicated domain name and a website that’s currently out of date.

So, immediately the wheels start turning, my adrenaline gets pumping and dots are being connected at wicked speeds….I can just feel the synapses firing in my brain!

So my friend (lets call him Zach) says that their non-profit website is sort of “just there!”  The guy that volunteered to design and maintain their website moved to the East Coast but continued to maintain the site…until recently when his computer died.  Now they’ve turned to Zach for help.  He was looking for suggestions that would be cheap or free.  So I started off with some basic questions.

I asked what is the Purpose, Audience, and Goals of the website to the non-profit organization.  So I wrote those words down on the back of my printed out schedule for the day like this:

Purpose (of the site):  Membership, Volunteers, Fundraising

Target Audience (of the site):  Society Members, Volunteers, Contributors

Goals (of the site):  Raise Funds, Increase Membership, Increase # of volunteers

I mentioned that there was a huge difference between purpose & goals.  Purpose is why it exists, why you bother devoting any time to it in the first place.  Goals are achievable targets (increase fund raising by 5% per month, increase membership by 10% each month, gain 5 new volunteers each month.)

I asked him how the non-profit uses tech to engage their audience…apparently there is only one person who posts things on Facebook.  (I just did a search on FB and found nothing but external links)

I said, “Zach, if you’re not using free services like Twitter, Facebook, Quora, and LinkedIn to engage your audience, you’re missing out!  If you would begin using those services, within six months, I guarantee you’ll achieve all of your goals and increase the number of volunteers (under age 30) of your non-profit society!”

I told Zach that they asked for “help with a website” but what he needed to present to the board, was a business plan.  A domain name and non-interactive website are the same as a vacant lot or empty building!  It’s just a place–nobody’s going to come or even come back if there’s nobody to talk to.  I suggested that he deliver a proposal for a strategy to really give their society a long-overdue boost!  I suggested he take the page of notes and turn it into a quick 5-slide PowerPoint presentation to present at the next board meeting!

We agreed to get together later when we could devote more time to discuss the plan and he asked me for a copy of the notes I took so he could begin looking into the social media aspects.

My mind was on fire about this idea…I thought wow, that session was more than a brief visit/discussion, it was a consultation!  This sort of thing happens to me a lot, and I really enjoy it.  That is where a lot of my passion lies.  On my lunch hour I had to put the adrenaline to use.  I logged onto my Evernote account and quickly outlined my page of notes.  When I finished, I realized what was staring me in the face could be the table of contents for a practical book that would help literally hundreds of people.

So here’s my question!  Leaning on great advice from a dear #usguys friend @loiscreamer , I won’t ask “Does the world need another social media enthused business basics book for entrepreneurs?”  but instead…should I go the self- ePublishing route or traditional query letter path? I know I could churn it out in a couple of months, go through several drafts and edits, and be ready for publishing by year’s end.  What do you think?

Easter Day Update:  So, I decided to go for it and have taken the advice of several encouraging people to begin my book.  You can read more about it at the blog created specifically for writing my book here:  http://profitdiagnostics.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/book-petri/

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Author:

Eternal Optimist, Writer, Music Lover, Avid Gardener, Science & Tech Admirer, Cook, Baker and Social Networking Encourager

12 thoughts on “I Have a Book In Me

  1. My first thought was “e-book”, especially with the type and content you are talking about. Keep on taking notes and putting it together. Where to send it, or how to publish will reveal itself when the time comes. 🙂

    1. Thanks Mickey, I think that is the direction I’ll take! I do tend towards a “Let it be, Let it be” approach ~ all roads lead to another ~ don’t worry, be happy! Hope you’re having an awesome weekend! Its so beautiful here in Nebraska…waking up to the sounds of Meadowlarks.

  2. Hi, Ed. I’ll start by asking you, “What is your goal?” Do you want to write the book simply to get it out of you and hope is publishes some day OR do you want to make the book available while its content is current and applicable so that others may benefit from it. If your answer leans towards the second, I say self-pub with POD (print on demand) with CreateSpace and Kindle ebooks.

  3. Great post, Ed.
    Since you asked, my advice is to self-publish via POD. Not because I think your idea won’t attract a publisher’s eye – I think it would – but because of the length of time it takes to bring a traditionally published book to market. I’m afraid that by the time you finish and get it published by traditional means, the information will be dated. By self-publishing, you have the opportunity to not only put the book out while the information is still fresh, you can keep it current by uploading updates with new opportunities as they arise. You can also remove sections that are no longer valid, so if, for example, you have a section or references to a popular social media site, and some scandal happens that makes that site a pariah, you can easily remove those references and upload a new edition in a matter of hours or days. With trad publishing, you’re looking at months/year to bring out a new edition, and you’re left with potentially thousands of unsellable copies of the earlier edition.

    Good luck with it!
    Eric

    1. Incredible insight and wisdom. Thank you so much for sharing. You brought up some things I would not have considered or anticipated. I appreciate not having to learn lessons the hard way. Thanks Eric!

  4. I would vote for an ebook. Here is why (http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/why-major-marketers-are-moving-to-google/#more-16275)

    Mike: Have you self-published this book?

    Guy: I did, working with the folks at Libboo, mostly Halley Suitt Tucker, and an independent consultant named Shawn Welch.

    I self-published because I wanted to hit a low price point—”less than a Starbucks grande latte” to be exact—and I wanted total flexibility to do any kind of licensing, sponsoring and whatever-strikes-my-fancy deals.

    For example, Samsung is sponsoring 6,000 copies. Can you imagine trying to get that through a traditional publisher? Tim Cook (current Apple CEO) will retire before that will happen.

    Also, Google says that it introduces one new feature a day, so I have to be able to revise this book all the time.

    Plus, do the math. I make 70% of $2.99 on an ebook, so about $2. I have to sell two copies of What the Plus! to make about the same amount on one copy of Enchantment. I think it’s easier to sell two copies of What the Plus! than one copy of Enchantment. And the time to market from the time I finished the book was less than a week.

    Ebook self-publishing is very compelling if—and it’s a big if—the author can also market the book. I can let you know in a few months how this experiment has worked out, but it sure is fun.”

    Guy Kawasaki just recently wrote and published his first ebook and said it was a great experience. I had the pleasure of working with him throughout the whole process and have a guest chapter. If you decide to go the ebook route, I can introduce you to Halley Suitt Tuckker and Libboo.

    Good luck!

    1. Peggy, Thank you so much for the time you took to enlighten and encourage me! I will take you up on the introduction offer to Halley Suitt Tuckker when I’m ready to publish. I’m starting the writing this week…the last time I was this excited was when we found out we were going to have twins! Again, thank you so much for your thoughts and encouragement.

  5. to be fair, im not sure of advs/disadvs of ebooks over the other…ive always found the simplicity of just turning a page make the traditional book more appealing to a wider audience…of course id have to agree with the first comment in letting the content decidem,,,

  6. No matter how many books have been written on social media, none will have your point of view, your stories or your personality (and wit)!

    If I’m considering writing on business growth, you can write on social media.

    OMG. I think we’re going to do this Johnboy ..

  7. Besides just a book, there is a significant small business startup here. I’ve been tossing around the idea of starting a company that specializes in creating a significant web presence for small businesses (website, social media, marketing, etc).

    Anyone interested?

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