Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Book Proposals, Resumes, and Marketing

I've got this shingle that says "Book Publisher." So people send me ideas and queries.

Here's the deal: I have not yet published a book I did not write. I'm what you might call a self publisher.

People who know me, or at least know of me, know that I focus on the small business market and "success" literature. I don't print comic books, novels, sewing books, cook books . . . or pretty much anything that's not related to small business consulting and personal success.

But, still, I have "publishing" on my shingle.

So I get unsolicited email, like this:

"I have written a book Would you be interested in reading and possibly publishing it?"

No book.

No title.

No summary.

No proposal.

Not one single thing that could possibly lead me to say Maybe (let alone Yes).

Oddly enough, I get pretty much the same thing as owner of a technology consulting company when it comes to people looking for a job.

Emails arrive (unsolicited) with no resume. Just wondering if you'd consider hiring me.


And I hope I don't do this to other business owners when it comes to marketing: Do you want us to be your I.T. service provider?


We engage people for a reason. We do business with someone because the two parties can exchange something of value, whether that's labor, product, knowledge, or money.

We don't engage for no reason whatsoever.

If you might ever want me to publish a book, send me a book proposal. It should outline what the book will be, why you're the person to write it, who the market is, who the competition is, and a very realistic time frame for completing the project.

If you want a job, send me a resume that's on target for the job. I don't hire SQL programmers to manage Exchange servers. Provide me with a cover letter connecting what you do to what we do. Throw in some references, and make it sound as if this is not a generic, desperate attempt to get any job available.

And if you're selling your consulting services, put together the same kind of package.


Offer to solve a prospect's problems or reduce their pain. Focus on what you do excellently rather than offering to do everything. Grab their interest and then connect what you do to what they need. Throw in some references, and make it sound as if this is not a generic, desperate attempt to get any job available.

In the end, the business world is all about marketing. People marketing themselves to employers. Businesses marketing their services to one another.

All too often, we let these interactions "just happen" rather than organizing and having a plan. Remember one of my mottoes for success: Slow Down, Get More Done. It is always more fruitful to take time to plan something before you jump in. Organized effort will be more fruitful than just responding to the moment.

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BTW, on the writing front, check out agents Michael Larsen and Elizabeth Pomada.They have some great resources for writers, including a complete outline of a book proposal!

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