By Bea Wray, Practice Chair, Entrepreneurship
I don’t know what you were watching on TV last night – but I bet it wasn’t Leave It To Beaver on CBS. Back in the day, when television was limited to three or four channels, all of us watched the same shows at the same time every night, so it wasn’t hard to guess what your neighbors were tuning into. The same thing was true in book publishing: Five or six big publishing companies decided what books were going to be available, and curated our reading the same way the networks scheduled our T.V. habits. Same thing with recorded music; we got what “they” decided to give us.
But things have changed, big time. Now, if we want to watch TV, cable gives us hundreds of options, not to mention all the TED talks and YouTube videos available online, so the chances that our neighbors are watching the same thing at the same time we are, are practically nil. The same thing has happened in publishing, and even in music (or so my kids tell me). We’re free to dive deep into our niches, and share what we find with like-minded people. It’s genuinely transformed the landscape – which is why we call what we do transformational publishing.
What is transformational publishing? It’s not just about getting your book written and out into the world. It’s about creating a powerful tool that takes your expertise and shines a light on it. That’s not what traditional publishing is interested in; if you’re an expert in marketing for healthcare, for instance, a traditional publisher will push you to broaden the scope of your book to make it more general and more salable. But in transformational publishing we look beyond the success of a book as measured in its sales to the real impact it will have on your sales.
How does that work? Joey Brannon runs an executive coaching business, working with small business owners in the Tampa area. He wants to extend his reach both geographically and in terms of the kinds of clients he gets. He’s got a great seven-point coaching system, and he came to us because he wanted to write a book about it. Our advice? Worry less about getting those points across than about mirroring forward where you want to be in two or three years. That meant identifying the kinds of clients he wants to get, and choosing the examples he used in the book to mirror their challenges and how he helped them. That speaks powerfully to the people reading it – and they’ll pick up the phone to call him.
This is where the world is headed. If you’re looking to make a difference for yourself and for the rest of the people out there, you’re going to want to embrace the change (and if you’re feeling nostalgic, you can catch Wally and the Beave on YouTube!)