Alignment by Rod Sloane

alignment rod sloane

Rod is a speaker on marketing and sales alignment. It’s an area of emerging importance in larger organisations. He wanted a book that positioned his expertise clearly in that area. His previous book ‘No Bull Marketing’ was aimed at small business so wasn’t a tool he could use to promote his corporate offering. Before we got together, Rod had made the unusual and brave decision of actually writing a book and then jettisoning it when he realised it wasn’t going to do the job. So when we started on the project together we really id begin again with a blank page with no attempt to shoehorn the previous material into it and use just because it was there.

The point we started from was clear: what was the purpose of the book. Everything must come from that. If it doesn’t and you’ just want a book’ – that’s vanity publishing. It’ll briefly feed your ego but won’t promote your expertise or make any sales.

The sole purpose of this new book was to promote Rod as THE speaker on the topic, to open door to the decision makers and to tip the decision of who to book for training and conference speaking opportunities in his favour.

Alignment Rod Sloane

So how did we do it? I normally ask clients to bring along a selection of books they admire from their own collection. It helps us gauge what works and what doesn’t, what the client likes, as well as trends in various genres. Rod didn’t bring four or five books. He brought fifty. We played a simple game wit them. I asked him to assume he had never read any of the books. I asked him to assume he had never heard of any of the authors of the books. I asked him to assume that each book represented a speaker who was pitching to speak at an event he was organising (where the actually topic wasn’t relevant). Then I asked him to decide just by picking up and putting down each book, which ones he would be interested in booking. Clearly we were judging each book on the look and feel they gave off in just two to three seconds.

We got through the fifty books very, very quickly. Rod did what almost everyone does in these situations. He looked at the cover. He turned the book over and looked at the back cover. Then he flicked through the pages from back to front. He then put the book down making comments such as, “too boring”, “old hat”, “style over substance”, “sloppy”, “tedious”. What he was doing, is what most people do: judge. We make judgements all the time, subconsciously and intuitively. He was making the (false) assumption that the book in his hands directly represented the performance and quality of the author and their possible talk. Actually, it’s usually quite an accurate indicator, but that’s not the point here. It’s the assumption that’s important here. Rod assumed that cramped info and difficult to understand diagrams in the book meant hard to understand Powerpoint slides in a presentation. He assumed that a book full of waffle represented a speaker full of waffle. Out of the fifty books we were left with two that he would book for his imaginary event. Of those two we chose one that had an approach suitable for our needs. We then dissected that book to discover why it had worked and built as many of those learnings into our new book.

Rod uses the book as a marketing tool. He sends it to some of his top prospects. The idea works – the right people are impressed. The easy to digest nature, the imagery and the small size have all been appreciated by the top executives that Rod is aiming his material at. It’s resulted in some high level bookings that he would not have been able to get had the book not been there to open the door.

Call us today on +44(0)1865 779944 to discuss how we can turn your expertise into a brand or create a book with selling power.

Turn your Blog into a book:
www.blogtobook.co.uk 

Book Ayd to speak at your event.
For more interesting info see:

www.sunmakers.co.uk
www.aydinstone.com


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They Thought It Was All Over… they were right! by Jo Simpson et al

Busines SOS Paul Avins

Jo had written a book with two colleagues about the mindset of the England football team during the 2006 World Cup which had lead them to failure. They had gone down the route of someone else who was assisting them with self publishing. The result was less than spectacular. There were many problems with the book, not least the design of the cover. The typography inside was poor as was the quality of the printing.

Jo really wanted the book to be of a high enough quality to do the book justice, after all the effort they had put in, and have it ready for the deadline it was written for: the 2010 World Cup.

I took the manuscript and began again with a new layout and idea for the cover which used the 2006 England World Cup shirt. We teamed up with Mindy Gibbons-Klein from Ecademy Press to publish and get the book out there.

Call us today on +44(0)1865 779944 to discuss how we can turn your expertise into a brand or create a book with selling power.

Turn your Blog into a book:
www.blogtobook.co.uk 

Book Ayd to speak at your event.
For more interesting info see:

www.sunmakers.co.uk
www.aydinstone.com


Improv and Reading People by John Cremer

Reading People John Cremer

What was most remarkable about this project was that it was done so quickly. Within four weeks of our discussion and agreement, John had written the book, I’d designed and set it, we ordered a batch and he had them in his hands. That timescale is very quick, probably too quick, but it does show what can be done when decisions are made. It also highlights the beauty of self-publishing, that the deadlines are your own. The only delay to you having and using your product to further your success and make money with it – is you.

John Cremer is an improvisation expert and performer. He had recently turned his expertise into training workshops which had proved successful with chief executive groups. He created new material on a new topic of ‘Reading People’ where some personality attributes and motivational characteristics can be gleaned from and understanding of the physicality of the body. He came to me to ask for help to brand this new programme. Although it sounded complex it can be explained very simply. But the danger there was that we made it too simple that it got confused with other systems or with the study of body language.

The approach we took was to treat the material as ‘ancient wisdom’, which the essence of it was, and brand it classically to reflect that. The device used for the cover of the book comprises a glass ball with engraved metal surround. The idea was that it hinted at being some kind of device like an alethiometer or the Antikythera mechanism. The background of purple velvet reflected the type of material you would find lining a wooden box that housed such a device.

Improv John Cremer

The purpose of the book was to sell at the back of the room after John’s events as well as use as a promotion tool to gain a wider audience for the programme. It worked: John recouped the cost of design and production within a month from extra workshop sales as well as doing the same again from profit from sales of the book. The fact that Reading People became a usable brand for John meant that all his promotional materials carried the purple velvet and the gold; his website, business cards and exhibition banners and marketing flyers.

It was such a success that we did the same for his previous product, Improvisation. A decision had been made early on that unlike many professional speakers we decided to brand the programme Reading People, i.e. the expertise, and not John himself. The brand puts the expertise first with John’s name as almost a signature. This strengthened the product and made it straightforward to add a second offering. ‘Improv’ became the second book. Like the first it took the same classical approach. We created a new device, a gold embossed symbol of ‘the fool’ stepping out into the unknown. The velvet was retained but the hue shifted to blue.

This book was an even bigger success than the first. It helped strengthen John’s approach to improvisation as a relevant creative tool for big business: you need to be able to think of your feet, accept change, stay positive and be able to perform well in the most stressful of situations.

The books we created help John to prove that his expertise is not only of interest to business, but actually essential. The brands position him as the most unique, definitive and most able expert to deliver those messages.

Call us today on +44(0)1865 779944 to discuss how we can turn your expertise into a brand or create a book with selling power.

Turn your Blog into a book:
www.blogtobook.co.uk 

Book Ayd to speak at your event.
For more interesting info see:

www.sunmakers.co.uk
www.aydinstone.com


How to Beat Bedlam in the Boardroom and Boredom in the Bedroom by Jane Gunn

Bedlam Boardroom Jane Gunn

Jane Gunn is a lawyer and speaker on conflict resolution as ‘the Corporate Peacemaker’. her book was a comprehensive collection of her expertise on how to resolve conflict in the boardroom in business and at home with family and personal relationships. The concept of the book is that the two are inter-related; problems in the office affect relationships at home and vice-versa.

The title came early on. It’s long and a bit of a tongue twister for some. But as Jane was writing the early drafts of the book, the title seemed to resonate with those she was working with. It’s weaknesses of being long and odd made it stand out. It also gave an impression alluding to something salacious. This too became an advantage.

Jane was keen that the book had a solid feel. After all, the topic was serious and her reputation and experience was in law, quite a sensible and serious profession. As the brand for the book was going to be, from the start, used by her to promote her speaking, it had to straddle this respectable ‘weight’, with the novelty of the Bedroom/Boardroom metaphor and Jane’s personal brand. The result was to wrap the book in what looks like black leather. It give it a seriousness and alludes to the depth of legal expertise that the book draws on. The other colours on there are gold and pink. They certainly stand out and give a hint of the quirkiness and personality of the way the book is written.

Jane Gunn

When the title for the book is written out as a sentence it can be perceived as being ‘difficult to read’. This is of course a nonsense. It’s no harder to read than any other sentence. What’s different here is that the title is not short and punchy. This means that the brain can’t capture it in one glance and process it. You have to actually read it. So it’s not difficult to read – it just needs to be read. By stacking the words in the square block I managed to mitigate this. So now a glance at the book gave you the black leather, the gold and pink and a block ‘logo’ of text with Bedroom and Boardroom prevalent.

Inside the book, the layout is clear, clean and fresh. Flicking through, the potential reader sees that the book is easy to read and yet has a lot to read. The separate sections of personal stories, information and examples of bedroom and boardroom mishaps and solutions are clearly delineated with attractive use of boxes and shading. It proves that in most cases, a lot can be done with good typography and greyscale within a business book. There is often no call for colour unless images depend upon it.

With the production of the book we opted for a couple of extra features that helped add gravitas. They are small things but have really contributed to the success of the book. The cover is matt laminated. It feels cool and smooth to the touch. The logo block has a shiny coating (applied by a process known as UV). This means when you run your fingers over the cover you ‘feel’ the difference in finish as well as see it. The pink on the cover was applied as a ‘spot’ colour, i.e.. a pure ink rather than a colour mixed from the four colour process. This has a subtle advantage of making the pink brighter than it otherwise would have been.

The other treat that the book employs is that the cover has 100mm flaps folded inside. This not only allows more surface area for colour (we added a large portrait photo of Jane, and varnished that with UV too) but it also thickens the cover giving an impression that you are really holding a hard back book and not a paperback.

Call us today on +44(0)1865 779944 to discuss how we can turn your expertise into a brand or create a book with selling power.

Turn your Blog into a book:
www.blogtobook.co.uk 

Book Ayd to speak at your event.
For more interesting info see:

www.sunmakers.co.uk
www.aydinstone.com



Book myth: I will make money from selling my book

No you won’t. Mike Southon wrote the best selling business book in the UK, ‘The Beermat Entrepreneur’. He often says that he made little money from the millions of copies that were sold. If he didn’t make anything from sales of millions, you certainly won’t with a print run of a few thousand.

If you want to make a little bit of money don’t waste time courting big publishers. Self-publish it so you can sell copies yourself and keep all the money. If you do a good talk you might sell a dozen at the back of the room. You might be able to pre-sell a batch into a conference so every delegate has a copy. You might shift a few copies from your website. You’ll make some good pocket money that way. But if you add up the cost of producing the book. Not just the design and printing but the writing and the selling, the postage and packing, you’ll find that you’ll have made fresh all.

So why is Mike Southon still so excited about his book? It’s because of what the book did for him. It positioned him as an expert who could now make personal appearances for money: talks, workshops, conferences, consultancy and coaching. It opened doors for him to meet and work with a host of other successful people. It meant he became highly regarded as a columnist.

You won’t make money from you selling the book. You will make money from the book selling you.

Get the free e-book ‘How to Make Your Book Look Rubbish‘ here: www.sunmakers.co.uk

Call us today on +44(0)1865 779944 to discuss how we can turn your expertise into a brand or create a book with selling power.

Turn your Blog into a book:
www.blogtobook.co.uk 

Book Ayd to speak at your event.
For more interesting info see:

www.sunmakers.co.uk
www.aydinstone.com


Rubbish looking books are selfish

How to make your book look rubbish

Get the free e-book "How to Make Your Book Look Rubbish" here: http://www.sunmakers.co.uk

Most self-published books are rubbish. Or at least they look like rubbish. By rubbish I mean garbage, trash, litter, junk, waste. Let’s take it further: excrement.

Some self-published books might have some good content in. They might. But who cares? They look like pap. Let’s face it. If the author couldn’t be bothered to package the content properly, what level of care do we assume went into the information contained within. Would you look forward to enjoying a sandwich if it was wrapped in toilet paper? You’d assume, quite rightly that there was a risk that the food was less than palatable, perhaps even poisonous. We judge a book by it’s cover too. And quite rightly so.

If you’ve ever bought an Apple product you know they have spent an awful lot of time and effort on making the unboxing of it a wonderful experience. The author of that cruddy looking self-published book didn’t give two hoots about your reading experience. All they cared about was their own content. How selfish is that?

They used to make me laugh. Now they make me sick. Here’s why.

Producing a cruddy book is selfish and arrogant. It’s as if the pig ignorant author is so haughty that they believe you should perceive them as an expert based on such flimsy evidence. It’s like they just couldn’t be bothered. But they would probably expect you to pay them extortionate fees for their consultant service or whatever new-media snake oil they’re flogging. Now they’re offering you something that’s going to lower the tone of your bookshelf.

It’s also selfish to the rest of us who really want to use self-publishing to deliver our excellent books to our audiences. The self-obsessed cheapskates are ruining the marketplace for us. Sooner or later, when people who hear your book was self-published may assume it’s total tut before they’ve even seen it.

This is why your books and products must not look like they are self-published. It’s not hard. You wouldn’t go to a business meeting dressed in a previously used big bag, so why send your expertise out in one?

Get the free e-book ‘How to Make Your Book Look Rubbish‘ here: www.sunmakers.co.uk

Book Ayd to speak at your event.
For more interesting info see:

www.aydinstone.com

Image is everything

Everyone loves the Royal Family. Or at least they do now. We saw that wonderful wedding. What a lovely couple. The Queen has gone to Ireland. What a nice old lady she is. It was only a month or so ago when nobody gave a monkey’s. So what’s changed? The Royal Family hasn’t changed. We’ve changed. We’ve changed the way we think about them. We’ve shifted our old view of staid, old and irrelevant to something else. They suddenly seem exciting, vital, relevant, nice.

So how did they do it? Was it by delivering clever sound bites? Was it great oration, wonderful storytelling? Was it by giving great case studies, testimonials? Was it by giving the top tips on this or that or the answers to some carefully compiled FAQs? Was it a re-telling of a story of triumph over adversity? Did they climb a mountain or win an award or medal? Did they have a hit record or tell some great jokes? Were they top TV pundits or political insiders? Was it particular industry information that they gave us or insight into the future? Was it tips on psychology, fitness or weight loss support? Did they deliver cutting edge info on NLP? Did they teach us how to sell, how to increase profits, be more creative, use social media?

No. They did none of these things. They did nothing. Said nothing. They just looked good.

You’re probably used to crafting your speech, delivering your training or providing your consultancy. But when it comes to your book, you need to really think, really think about image. Image makes people feel. If they don’t feel good, or whatever the relevant emotion is for the right state of mind for them to take on and read your book, it will all have been for nothing.

You have to start thinking like this or you’re just in the vanity publishing game. If you really think it’s all about the words you’ve written just email it to your readers. Just take it down the local photocopy shop and print out a load of copies of your Word doc and stick a spiral comb down the side. If you think image isn’t important why do you want to waste time making it into a book?

People judging a book by its cover? Forget that. The cover IS the book. The stuff in between is just padding whose sole purpose is to separate the front cover from the back.

Get the free e-book ‘How to Make Your Book Look Rubbish‘ here: www.sunmakers.co.uk

Call us today on +44(0)1865 779944 to discuss how we can turn your expertise into a brand or create a book with selling power.

Turn your Blog into a book:
www.blogtobook.co.uk 

Book Ayd to speak at your event.
For more interesting info see:

www.sunmakers.co.uk
www.aydinstone.com



Business SOS by Paul Avins

Business SOS

Paul Avins is an Award Winning Business Coach and International Speaker. He was almost ready to go to print on his book ‘Business SOS’ which was needed for a large event. He showed me the draft but he knew there was something about it that wasn’t quite right but couldn’t put his finger on it. I could see that the content was excellent and yet the product looked less than world class. Everything Paul does has an attention to detail and a quality about it but the design of this book had those attributes missing. I said I would be able to turn it around in a week, and I did. We kept the front image of a life-ring but started again with every other aspect of the design.

Something interesting happened that would be the key to the design of the book.

I noticed that Paul asked a lot of searching questions in the text of the book. The original typography inside had been cluttered and messy and the questions were lost in the text. I put forward the idea of inserting a space, a box for the reader to write the answer to the questions in. This isn’t to say that the book became a ‘workbook’ but it had the workbook elements in there. It also didn’t mean that we were forcing people to write in the book, some people will never do that. But by creating a discrete space for the answer, it allowed the reader to pause and reflect on the question (the space gave them an idea of the required length of their answer) whether they chose to write it down or not.

This turned out to be the key to the success of the book. Business owners loved the dip-in nature of the book and the proactive way it helped them analyze areas of their business.

Within six months Paul was able to connect the success of the book to a tangible increase in his business. See the video below. A year later he would revise that figure upwards by a factor of ten as the book became the foundation stone to position his Business Networking and Coaching Group as a Franchise Business and open five other Clubs around the UK.

I was commissioned to design Paul’s Turbo coaching materials and the brand for the exciting Business Wealth Club itself. The distinctive and powerful look we came up with for the Club helped to position it as a valuable and different networking and coaching experience that hundreds of business people have now joined and are reaping the benefits. We are now working on Paul’s next book, ‘Rev Up Your Business’ and the Business Wealth Club is set to go global with Clubs about to open all over the world.

 

Call us today on +44(0)1865 779944 to discuss how we can turn your expertise into a brand or create a book with selling power.

 

Turn your Blog into a book:
www.blogtobook.co.uk 

 

Book Ayd to speak at your event.
For more interesting info see:

 

www.sunmakers.co.uk
www.aydinstone.com

Business Wealth Club

Why people don’t write their business book

The main reason people spurn the idea of writing their own business book is the often erroneous belief that they can’t see a connection between their business and a book. They can’t see how it could serve their business by being about something people will want to read. I’ve helped quite a variety of business people write a book, from many different industries and specialist areas where you wouldn’t have immediately thought it would work, and yet it has.

The main reasons people don’t start their book are because they:

– Don’t have what they think is a good enough idea
– Don’t think they have enough material
– Think they have too much material and don’t know how to structure it
– Don’t think it’s important enough to allocate time to
– Just don’t like writing
– Think they’re no good at writing
– Think the process is too complicated or will take too long
– Fear of success, it could take them out of a comfort zone
– Laziness and lack of discipline
– Don’t know how to do it

All of these can be condensed into one straightforward and damming reason:

People don’t write and publish their own book because they don’t think they’re good enough.

By that I mean they think their business knowledge is not really very good and/or they are not very talented. This is the same reason people don’t do anything; the secret fear of not thinking they’re good enough.

If you really do believe your business is no good and that you are useless at it then we probably can’t help you. You need to go and read some other experts books and learn something. Go and visit a psychologist and get to the bottom of why you feel so useless.

But if there’s a glimmer of hope that you do have some expertise or knowledge that is of value to people then everyone of those reasons listed above can be overcome.

So why write a book? The more you think about it the obvious it becomes. If you have a book about your expertise it makes you look even more like you know what you’re talking about. It will mean you’re more likely to be thought of as the main expert on your topic. You’ll get more bookings, more clients, more PR and more opportunities as a result. You might even make money directly from selling the book too.

If you have information, be it data, an opinion or case studies, that help people understand your offering to help turn them into an informed buyer of your products or services, then creating a business book is for you.

Call us today on +44(0)1865 779944 to discuss how we can turn your expertise into a brand or create a book with selling power.

Turn your Blog into a book:
www.blogtobook.co.uk 

Book Ayd to speak at your event.
For more interesting info see:

www.sunmakers.co.uk
www.aydinstone.com