Secrets of the Wealth Accelerators

Not only is this book packed with business growth secrets, but the story of its conception reveals perhaps the best strategy of all…

I met up with Paul Avins, Award Winning business coach and speaker and author of Business SOS (see here) to talk about a new book idea he had.

The idea was this: to create a book of new business growth strategies with chapters written by different authors. We chatted through the concept for a while and then Paul said, “Oh, and we want the book to launch at the Business Wealth Club Open Days.”

“Which Open Days?” I asked, “You don’t mean the ones on 6th and 7th of September? That gives us…” I looked at iCal on my MacBookPro, “5 weeks.”

“That’s right. We’ll need about 250 books for those events” said Paul.

I took in a sharp draw of breath. “Ok” I said, “How many authors do you have in mind for the book?”

“About, say, 30, each contributing 1500 words or so” said Paul.

“And how many have we got in so far?” I asked.

“None” said Paul.

So we we were going to contact 30 busy experts and ask them to write 1500 words, send a biography and a photo. I was to design the concept, the cover and layout the book. We were then going to publish it and print 250 copies… all within 5 weeks.

Stress is a major component to heart disease and stomach ulcers. A book from nothing to published in 5 weeks? Dear reader, I certainly don’t want to cause you undue stress and tension in this article so I’ll relieve you now and put your mind, heart and stomach at rest by revealing up-front: we did it. Not only that, the result was, even in my biased opinion, startlingly brilliant.

Let me back-track a little bit first. A multi-author book? I probably grimaced when he first suggested it. Multi-author books are often the worst kind of self-published books. Why? Because they’re usually cobbled together because the organiser doesn’t have enough material of their own, the contributions are often rambling, irrelevant, disparate, of varying quality and often, well, pointless.

First of all, Paul wasn’t short of material. He’s got at least 7 books all backed up to be finished up and edited ready for publication. So that wasn’t the reason. What was it then?

The key was this. The secret of wealth acceleration is collaboration. Collaboration and Joint Venturing on a scale hitherto unrealised by most businesses. By pulling together 30+ experts into one place, Paul would not only have introduced them and their material to his own audience, he would have introduced each of them to each other. That was the key to why they would want to be involved. It was a win-win from the start for everyone.

Paul has nurtured a great network of business experts so we weren’t short. They were contacted and given a deadline of a week to produce their chapter. They all did it. It just shows what can be done when you set a goal with a deadline. And these are busy people we’re talking about here, from all over the world. In fact, we got too many chapters in, so had to hold back of a few for volume two.

I was more than satisfied that the content was going to work. The short punchy chapters were all on the ball. They were all on topic and fitted into a number of topic headings. Paul thought there would be seven of those.

“Make it six” I said.

“Why?”

“You’ll see…”

I had two challenges to sort out. One of the other weaknesses of multi-author books are in how they portray the authors with respect to each other and to the organiser. Usually, no-one comes of well. I knew that each author had to be treated with equal respect. After all, we wanted them to be proud of the book too and to be able to use it to promote their own businesses. They couldn’t do that it it made them look subservient to Paul or each other. I was also conscious that Paul should be positioned as a key player too, not just someone with famous friends.

The solution was in the design of the chapters. We started each one with a strong biography and photo to position the expert’s credibility. Then Paul wrote a piece about the expert, how he had met and worked with them before. That way you knew there was a personal connection. Then the expert had four or six pages where I could clearly layout their content in a readable way, ending with a call to action or offer.

The other nice touch was to have Paul comment on each author’s material by having ‘post-it’ notes dotted around the book, drawing attention to certain paragraphs and giving an ‘interactive’ feel to the book. When you read it, it feels like a collaboration between the author, with Paul and with you. It feels like having a conversation, of being in the room with the experts. Paul also contributed his own chapter and introduction to the book.

The best bit about the book for me, and the bit I’m most proud of, is the way the design cements the concept of the book being ‘non-linear’. What do I mean by that? Let’s face it, few people will read this book from cover to cover, not initially anyway. Partly because the readership is going to be busy business owners and partly because not everyone will be interested in every strategy at the time they read the book. To put it another way: they’ll dip in and out, reading the bits they want to read in a random order. (I still prefer calling it ‘non-linear’ though).

So how do you enable this ‘non-linear’ reading in a book? I used two design strategies. The first is to design and layout the book more like a magazine than like a typical non-fiction book. People flick though a magazine and their eye catches things of interest. That’s why the headings are all nice and big and bold. The sections are clearly delineated and we have the tabs down the side to help with ‘flicking through’.

The second way is to use the contents page. That’s why I wanted six sections as a six-sided shape is a hexagon. I used the hexagon to create a neat non-linear, sort of mindmap type contents page. You can look at the contents diagram and quickly see, in one glance, which topic area you may be more interested in and then easily jump to that page. You don’t have to scan your eyes down an endless, boring list over a number of pages. The contents diagram lets you know that it’s ok to pick and choose which bits to read in the book.

For the cover we knew a few things: we didn’t want Paul’s image on the front (that could undermine the other authors use of the book too much). We did want movement, acceleration and speed. The image we chose works quite well (I coloured it purple to tie in with the Business Wealth Club colours). I created the title as a strong block. We want it to be punchy enough to become a brand. We thought hard about how to bill Paul on the front too. We knew we didn’t want multiple names on there, but it did need a name. We settled on ‘From the network of’ rather than billing Paul as editor, as he is a contributor too as well as overseer. It also helped re-enforce that these are his contacts, not a collection of unsolicited manuscripts that fell onto his desk. These are freshly commissioned articles, unique to this book.

We did it. A week to get the manuscripts in. Three weeks to design, layout and check. One week to print.

A handful of the book's authors

The book is about new economy strategies and contains 33 expert chapters. But the book ITSELF is a new economy strategy

As Paul says in his workshops and talks, “money follows speed” and for a book that has ‘accelerators’ in the title, you shouldn’t expect anything less.

You can get your copy of the book from Amazon here. Go on, have a look and see if you agree with me.

Learn more about writing and publishing your book:
www.thekudoseffect.com

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.
www.aydinstone.com

Here are the names of the authors featured in the book: Leigh Ashton, Paul Avins, Sue Avins, Bill Belew, Kath Bonner-Dunham, Steve Brooks, Nick Carlile, Marie-Claire Carlyle, Kim Castle & W. Vito Motone, Steve Catchick, Michelle Clarke, Ron Davies, MarcusDe Maria, Bernie De Souza, Gary Fox, Alan French, Dave Griffin, Nick Griffith, Andrew Griffiths, Dave Holland, Ron Holland, Gavin Holmes, Ayd Instone, Jeff Lermer, Joanna Martin, Daniel Priestley, Andrew Roberts, Peter Thomson, Simon Wallace-Jones, Daniel Wagner, Simon K Williams, Simon Zutshi

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Conversational Riffs by Neil Denny

Conversational Riffs Neil Denny

Neil Denny is a lawyer specialising in family law. He had created a tool called ‘Conversational Riffs’ as a pack of cards that he used to explain how to better resolve personal conflict.

“As a divorce lawyer, I had been speaking to Rotary Clubs and small breakfast networking event for a couple of years, thinking that what I was doing was promoting my law firm and the legal work that I did. But something happened. In the dark days of January 2009 it became apparent that my law department was overstaffed. Things would have to change. Something struck me right there. In this darkness was real opportunity. ‘Let me go.’ I said to my employers. I knew that I was really enjoying my speaking work and wanted to do more of it. Feedback told me that my signature talk, Conversational Riffs, really touched people; they were inspired by it. Believe me, when you have spent your working life so far as a divorce lawyer, there is not much scope for inspiring people, so when you hear that word, spoken over the work that you do, it kind of sticks in the mind.”

Conversational Riffs Neil Denny

He decided to turn the material into a book. In Neil’s words:
“I spent that summer writing and refining the 35,000 words or so that was required. I was able to recycle 4–5,000 words of material from a blog that I had been writing for the previous 18 months, and that was a great help. I nearly got stung by a publisher who wanted £25,000 from me to publish my book. They asked and I baulked. ‘Share the risk’ they called it. It might have shared some of their bloated overheads, but it multiplied my risk massively. Instead I met and worked with Ayd Instone under his Sunmakers label, a brilliant decision and one I recommend to many people.”

As Neil uses music, especially Jazz, as a metaphor in the book to explain how different instruments play different melodies but still work together, we turned the metaphor into a visual one by designing the book in the style of a Jazz/Blues record. We made it 7″ square, just like a record and used typography associated with Jazz and Blues.

The result was a great looking book that as soon as anyone saw it, they ‘got it’. It was launched in time for Neil’s first large conference talk. Having the book, the branded presentation on the screen with the graphics from the book and banner and business cards helped make Neil and the talk come together as a complete package.

Conversational Riffs Neil Denny

“The talk went well and as I stepped down from the podium, to warm applause, I realised that something had happened. I was no longer just a lawyer working on divorce cases. In my pocket were new business cards which read: ‘Neil Denny – Speaker • Trainer • Author’, I had created a new career, a new livelihood. And it felt good. It felt good to create, to share knowledge and ideas, and to entertain at the same time. I knew that the chance to make a difference, to inspire, was far greater in this arena than in the court room. I was born again, born into a second career and about to embark on an exciting journey that will lead me who knows where.”

Since then Neil’s speaking has really taken off. He now speaks at conferences all over the world. His second book was commissioned by a major publisher and is out soon.

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


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


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



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