Behind Every Successful Leader Is a Bestselling Book
Interview with Kytka Hilmar-Jezek, Bestseller Authority
1. Based on your experience, how is book writing an effective form of marketing tool and part of a business strategy in today's context?
We're rapidly approaching 2014 and I'm sure we can all agree that even more technology will make how we are seen radically different from what we've seen in the past. In the 1980's. When I worked as an Art Director, we used images, placement, positioning with simple sound bites to convey our clients’ messages. At the time, our presentation style was radical and it looked more like advertising than marketing and catalog work. We had more work than we knew what to do with because how people consumed information was speeding up.
These days we're reduced to 140 characters in our communication and an image to convey numerous things. That is how we get attention and if we miss that split second, consumers and potential clients are on to the next thing. So the first thing a book has to master is the cover.
The cliché says "never judge a book by its cover" but in our culture, we do. We have to remember that the cover is likely being seen on a mobile device so it has to really "pop" and it's message has to be obvious and clear. You should summarize the promise of your book in one sentence. What is the readers’ greatest problem? The title and description of the book makes the promise of the solution. In a very obvious and easy to understand way. A sound bite. The next obvious thing is the instant credibility a book offers the author. We live in a culture of celebrity and authors are celebrities. So having a book positions you at a great advantage in the marketplace.
2. How targeted can the information in the book be made relevant to the interests, lifestyles and needs of their audience?
Now we are in the content of the book. Our cover and promise attracted them. They trusted us and wanted more. Now we have to deliver to their exact needs. We arrange the content in a way that we build a relationship with the client, earning more trust. We delve deep enough to deliver on the problem we promised to solve but in a way which offers a promise of even deeper solution with an action at the end of the book. The obvious solution would be to have them visit your site and opt-in, have them call you or purchase your product or service.
3. What is your forte in this field and what kind of writing or literary work do you work on?
The books we create for our entrepreneurs, individuals, corporations, small business owners and non-profits are written in a similar way to a long sales letter but with value delivery throughout the content. We have formulated a process which takes the reader from A to Z and what we want is to invoke a specific action by the end of the book and to build up the authors relationships with the public.
4. What are you advice for someone interested in turning their academic thesis into a bestseller?
The last few clients we have worked with came to us with an academic work, a thesis, and they wanted to turn all of their research and study into a commercial book which would be marketable to a wider audience. We consult extensive interviews with the authors and see what their desired outcome is from the book. Once we have a book content marketing plan in place, we then know how to retro-fit or rearrange the content. We also record the interviews and transcribe more content to build bridges of communication between the academic content and a more casual and friendly version. All of it is then arranged and edited into a voice which speaks directly to the client's target market. When this is done in a strategic way with the end in mind, the result is a book which appeals to a commercial market. A book which positions the author as a thought leader in the field.
As far as advice, I would remind professionals that they most likely invested several years of their lives researching and collecting data. Their thesis is collecting dust in a drawer when it could be retrofit into a powerful commercial marketing tool which we could engineer into a bestseller. Combined with their experience in the field, there is no better or more powerful strategy than positioning themselves effectively for success. The more you are seen as an authority, expert or celebrity, the more people come looking for you. A book is really just attraction marketing at its very best placed into a package that introduces your prospects to who you are, what you do and why you do it. Because of the media and the search engine power behind books, it does it in a way that makes you the obvious and sought after solution.
5. What is the process? How long does it take and how much does something like this cost? Does a potential author have to have something written?
Whether authors come to us with an essay, a thesis, a collection of articles or nothing at all is irrelevant to our creative process. We can start from scratch or with a complete manuscript in place. The content will be rearranged, edited and rewritten in a way that will match the authors’ desired outcome for the readers of the book.
In our experience, most people do not see a book as a marketing tool. The books we create are just that. In marketing and advertising, your goal is to get the prospect to be drawn in, to feel a connection with you or your product and to take an action, which is usually to buy what you are selling. When all you offer is bound between the pages of a book, the prospect gets a complete package of you and your product or service. The history, the back story, a glimpse into your values and why you do what you do. Your book can show case studies which offer the prospect social proof and ease and so on. You build trust and the relationship and this activates the attraction. You become the natural solution. The best part is that because they see you in the celebrity light, the clients who come to you as a result of your book are pre-qualified, familiar with your process and happy to do business with you. That sure beats chasing clients down!
The time needed really depends upon the author and how fast they turn over existing content and schedule their interviews. Interviews can be done live or via Skype. Some professionals are very busy and we set aside Skype calls over the course of a couple weeks. Others want to work in a more personal way and will fly out our team to their location for a weekend to delve deep into it and be done. In either case, once we have content and interviews, from there it is about 6 weeks to completed book, including bestseller. The cost for this service starts at $18,000 and goes up depending on where you want your book to appear, how much publicity and press you want, and so forth.
We also offer bestseller engineering, book shepherding, confidential ghostwriting, cover and interior redesign, publishing, Amazon SEO, and so on. People are catching on that this is the best way to market themselves and so there are a lot of services who do what we do. But few have the experience and creativity to do it in the way we do, producing a quality and beautiful product which gets the author results. The ROI for a book is really in what the book does for you after it is written and we coach people through that aspect of it as well.
The coolest thing for us is to see our authors use the book to open doors to new opportunities. One of our authors just spoke at Harvard. Another accepted a 3 month position as a master trainer in Egypt. Yet another flew to the Dominican Republic to lead a workshop. It's great to see how the book makes unique offers and opportunities come to them. In short, we are making it possible for the leaders of tomorrow to be seen and heard today.
Our website is www.BestsellerAuthority.com. We have videos for getting sponsors to offset the cost or your book, numerous video testimonials from our bestselling authors and some free goodies to help you get started just for stopping by. Thank you for having me here today.
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