Saturday, October 25, 2008


I'm happy to share that I've been asked by Jack Covert and Todd Sattersten to return to this year's 800CEORead Author Pow-Wow at Catalyst Ranch. Last year, the 2d for the gathering, was a wonderful learning experience for me. The gift of having time to spend with the professionals in attendance was great - but better was the opportunity to meet many authors who were so engaged with their projects and willing to invest their time to learn more about how they might succeed in bringing their work - their passion - to the widest possible audience. During these two days, many of the issues that I'd been struggling with in my role as Associate Publisher at Harvard Business Press began to come into sharp focus ... and I expressed that a little clumsily at the time. For example, I stated that there was potential for a disconnect between author and publisher...that they might not necessarily share the same goals. I got more than a few puzzled looks, understandably. Didn't everyone want to sell books?? Yeah, but...
So, let me try again (and give a bit of a preview on my take). In the business book category, the author's revenue stream includes speaking and consulting (at least that's the goal!). However - the book publisher does not share in that speaking/consulting revenue stream. So there is little (make that no) incentive for the publisher to invest in developing the author's platform. In fact, the publisher thinks "I'll use the platform to sell the book". Authors are often under the (mistaken) impression that the publisher will help (or even has the goal) of building the author's platform. In reality the author should be saying "I will use the book to build the platform". The publication of the book is a critical inflection point in the author's thought leadership trajectory. How should the author use this important occasion in the 24 months, 12 months leading up to the publication date? What should the author be doing the day of publication? Here's a little tough news - nobody is running into a bookstore (or firing up the computer) on pub date to buy the book. Not with 20 to 30 new titles in the business category being published every day. I've been sharpening my thinking and I'm looking forward to meeting and speaking with the attendees this year -