Thursday, 26 July 2012

On the Road Again

Yesterday, I boarded my first business flight in fourteen months as I started an exciting consulting assignment in the U.S.


It took seconds for me to click into travel mode--packing efficiently, setting multiple alarms for 4 a.m., navigating airport security--and feel confidence gained through years of experience. It was like watching a movie you had seen before: there is comfort in knowing the actors, scenes, and ending. 


I had forgotten about the perks that come with travel loyalty programs -- free breakfast, free magazines (Art News, Cottage Life - the next best thing to owning one, Flying - for may dad), boarding first, and the occasional upgrade. I know these trinkets are momentary amusements that come with the price of being away from home, but they are fun.



The business travel industry works hard to make customers feel special. This is how I felt when the driver who drove me to the airport said, "I picked you up a couple of times last year and guessed you had stopped travelling." I told him about my book and he seemed genuinely interested. This was the best perk of all. 

Phil

Friday, 20 July 2012

Change With Confidence

Here is a short video about Change With Confidence.

video



And here is my book proposal for publishers.


Change With Confidence Book Proposal Summary

For more details on this book proposal or to request sample chapters, please send a note to phil.buckley01@gmail.com.

Phil

Friday, 13 July 2012

If a picture is worth a 1,000 words, what about a video?

It makes sense that a consumer needs to be interested in a product before buying it. No interest, no sale. My challenge is to inspire interest in publishers to review my book proposal. No interest, no review, no sale.  


One barrier to interest is the commitment of time to read it before knowing whether or not it is worth reading. To overcome this challenge, I am creating a short video to introduce my book,  describe what it contains, and outline the benefits of reading it. 


Fortunately, Mel, my good friend and colleague,  is an excellent video director and editor. We spent Thursday morning filming (twenty-nine takes!) and selecting footage. Before shooting, the agenda was:

  • What is my book about?
  • Why buy my book (benefits)?
  • What are my credentials?
  • How is it unique?
  • What is the audience?
  • Call to action: read my book proposal

After many takes, the agenda was reduced to:

  • What is my book about?
  • What are my credentials?
  • Why buy my book (benefits)?

The more I talked on camera the less clear my message became. I wanted to explain my points in detail, which was counter to my objective. To be interesting, a good teaser video needs to be short, simple, and clear.


The footage is now in Mel's capable hands to edit and add section titles. I know she will make it look as good as it can be. The test will be how many publishers double-click on my proposal. The objective is always the bottom line.


Phil

Friday, 6 July 2012

The Power of Visualization

My first exposure to self help business books was in 1995 when I borrowed an audio cassette (it was 1995 after all) series called Self-Esteem and Peak Performance by Jack Canfield, of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame. He discussed many concepts that are now standard self help fare. 


I had forgotten about Jack until I received an email last week from Steve Harrison, a marketer who is partnering with him on a "how to get published and sell tonnes of books" program. I watched a few promotional videos and Jack is the same likable and knowledgeable guy. 


He shared a few tips that I remember from his earlier program. The one that stands out is visualization. This is a technique of forming a positive mental image of a goal being achieved. An Olympic swimmer might visualize touching the pool wall before his competitors or a home renovator visualize her fully furnished new kitchen. The theory states that when you can see your desired outcome you will both consciously and unconsciously take actions that will move you toward that goal. 


Since visualization has helped me in the past I thought I would try it with my book. I chose to visualize the cover because it's the most powerful image of the final product. After studying recent business book covers I decided on the following design principles:


  • Bold text that is easy to read
  • One graphic that is a metaphor for the title
  • Only a few colours

It felt strange creating a cover for a book that has not yet been published. It also felt good. Like all things creative, it was fun too. I hope the New York Times doesn't mind my unauthorized use of their brand on my unauthorized cover.


What have been the benefits of visualizing my book's cover? It has become a mental hub for all elements of my book, including content, format, tone, and benefits, which helps me discuss them as a cohesive whole. It also has made my book more real and complete, which is a very motivating. And it's been exciting, which suggest that there is more excitement to come! 


Phil