Live Blogging the Author’s Pow-Wow in Austin
1-800-CEOread has been promoting Nanovation extensively. I’m attending their annual author pow-wow in Austin. Live blogging…
Author, Love is the Killer App
The only reason to give a talk Is to change the world.
There are six story archetypes and one of them is the Coming of Age story. That’s what this is, because the expression of advice has come of age.
Key metric in book success: do people finish it? Unfinished books have 15% of the referral rate of finished books. So when you write a book, you have to move the story forward.
A disruptive innovation comes along when a market is overserved and overcharged. That’s when someone comes along with a game changing innovation that that takes half the cost out and still delivers 85% of the performance.
(PLEASE NOTE: he must have just finished reading NANOVATION!)
Are book buyers overserved? What do you think? That’s why e-books must be taken seriously.
Books that work create a conversation in social media and here’s an interesting point: he says that there’s an inverse relationship between the literary/scholarly level of the work and the level of viral interest. (“Duh!”)
Information rules. When information becomes easier to move, it increases in value.
While he was speaking, he was using an app from SpeakWrite. By tomorrow, his talk will be fully transcribed by people in India and will become part of the text for his next book. “Writers sometimes get writer’s block but they never get speaker’s block.”
He records all his speeches in this way because he believes there’s a stand-alone market for e-only releases.
By 2010, e-books will be well past print books – 60/40. E-readers will grow but audio+txt will grow faster.
Tweetable factoid: He rates getting a Hudson’s bookstore deal for placement in airport bookstores at a 5-to-1 ROI for speakers.
E-books are the new white papers. They can get your ideas just as much attention.
Social media is now half of all media.
Apple IOS users by 20% of all on line media.
The rise of free chapters is a big idea – they released a free chapter of his recent book that had links to both social media and to pre ordering. When I launched, it it #90 on Amazon the first day.
What if you could fund the production of your next book through social media followers?
His favorite book of the year: The Lean Start Up by Eric Ries.
His next idea and part of the idea behind his new company is the “Yelpification” of the publishing industry – making available reviews of every editor, publicist, agent and publisher – the people – and giving writers the chance to understand their reputation. Same with writers… giving publishers an idea of what the writer is like to work with.
NetMinds is a publishing network where you take an idea and find collaborators, creating a market in ideas where you can raise collaborators and money.
Discoverability is how easy it is for people to find you.
Interesting link: www.smalldemons.com … creating automatic discoverability for books, sentence by sentence.
He says we’re creating a nation of authors – everyone as a book in them and it’s usually a how-to book – and getting them all published. Writers, while writing, buy 6X more books than regular people.
Books are way too long, by 50%.
Interesting link: http://tinyurl.com/CannibalPaper
e-first release: going E first give accelerated data to give you leverage on your advance.
Yahoo brand buzz – tracking interest in book topics.
Noah Rickun (Gitomer)
At last, someone is using visuals.
Noah says “Don’t read them your book, tell them what’s between the lines. Tell them what happened to you while you were writing it.”
I did 250 talks for free and videotaped each one and then studied it.
Victoria says think about the best speaker you ever heard. What were the components? Invariably, he was hitting all the components of a great talk.
Think about why you wrote, why you speak.
For me, it can be a picture of my grand-daughters Ada or Nola and talk about the world they’ll inherit, a world of radical and disruptive innovation.
Great presentations are presented along lines of dramatic struture. They need to have the full spectrum. What’s the nobility behind your work? Align a real vision for the world with your message.
Think KDF: what do you want people to Know, Do, Feel?
A speaker should ask, what’s unique to you and how do you share it in your work and speaking?
Construct your presentation with “tent poles” moments of peak engagement in your speech, any experience story or tool that brings the energy up. But whatever it is, it has to be authentically you.
Don’t tell the audience what you know. Tell them what THEY need to know.
Great speakers? She talked about Vince Poscente and Alan Weiss.
He best advice?
Never end a story on a Q&A. Only three things can happen and they’re all bad.
I’ve been out of the room dealing with some client issues, so I missed the talk about sales, or most of it. Some of this has been hard to hear!
Katie Schnack (Shelton Interactive)
Tanya Hall (Greenleaf)
Shelton try to lead with digital first, and then do very strategic print distribution in key accounts. Relying on discoverability.
E-books not increasing as fast as fiction books. About 10% of sales.
New software is in EPub 2 (soon 3) – feel free to suggest to publisher how to enhance your book with media.
Les McKeown’s idea was to offer e-book in advance of publication, with the promise of a hardcover when the book came out. Generated advance sales and interest.
In the digital space, you do have the freedom to experieent.
Katie likes to distribute through inscribe because they have a better marketing agreement with Apple.
Ray talked about how he got Nuts! published.
Clint talked about 13 NYT best sellers, making books really attractive and visible.
Karen based in SF, works with lots of authors.
Changes in industry: Shrinking retail space – where are we going to sell books?
Trying to get 60,000 copies out in advance on a book.
One of your big customers is the sales rep. you have to really give them the back up to sell the books. If you want big distribution, you need a good sales kit and great platform. A bigger publisher might have more brand recognition with book buyers at the chains, but not necessarily the best way to go.
Digitil is disrupting everything – but not as much as the press claims.
Our job is to create great content – there are plenty of people out there who can figure out how to sell great content.
Former buyer from Barnes & Noble talking about best-seller lists — they really look at store sales as the true metric.There seems to be general disinterest in best-seller lists, everyone knows you can generate placement with consultants.
Agent with Jan Miller.
Focus on the book proposal.
What are the four things an agent wants to hear?
Who is your core audience?
How has agency changed? So many ways to go now and so many approaches. They have a 95% sell through rate.
First time authors need to build a platform, realize that social media isn’t scary, build a base of followers, a forum, and audience who can create content for you.
Include marketing portion – who I am and who listens to me, how I can translate that into book sales.
Become the CEO of your Book
What’s surprising about publishing? They’re the same things that surprise an entrepreneurial start up. All the same positives and negatives. So just like being a CEO of a company, you have to be a CEO of your book.
What does a CEO need? Vision, strategy and execution skills. Having the right idea a the right time – eg, it’s a bad time to come to market with collateralized debt options, but a great time to walk into VW Group with a high-efficiency fuel pump you can sell for half of market value. Accountability – understanding that you have to take the reins and drive the team. Ability to develop a team. Self-knowledge. Ability to understand others, understand your audience and what they’re looking for. How to deliver on the promise, how to deliver on the value of the brand. Your brand and your book’s brand has to be front and center. Authentic and consistent communications. Flexibility – the ability to know when things are working.
Stranger in a Strange Land – idea of being a fair witness. Able to operate as objectively as possible. It’s harder to be a fair witness when you’re emotionally connected.
It has to be something that’s profitable and sustainable. The publication date is the starting line. You have to be relentless and resourceful. You have to be willing “to clean the toilets.” Living in a specialized world, a CEO has to be the consummate generalists. Know what success looks like for you and for the project.
You have to be liked, trusted and able to inspire others. Passionate leadership gets passionate followers.