Write Choice Services, Inc.

August 2016

Writing vs. Marketing: Which Is More Challenging?

From the Pen of Dr. Tim Morrison, President and Writing Coach of Write Choice Services, Inc.

Every once-in-awhile, I come across the statement: writing is the easy part; marketing is hard. The first time I encountered the statement, I laughed. I was writing my first book. Considering the task of research, writing, responding to my editor’s comments, revising and repeating it all and finally realizing there would always be one more book or article or magazine or reference to research, I figured marketing would be a lot less painful, certainly easier than writing.

My manuscript underwent a final edit. My son agreed to do the cover design and I sent the work off to the publisher. As the publishing process proceeded, I received a letter from the publisher. The company asked me to provide a list of names and addresses of family members, friends, colleagues, associates. The publisher would send a first class letter to each name on the list. The letter would promote my forth coming book and offer each recipient the opportunity to purchase a copy of the book at a pre-publication price – a significant discount from the published price.

I jumped all over that offer.  I generated a list of seventy-five names: family, friends, members of congregations I had served as pastor, classmates. What an opportunity! As I recall, ten people from that list of seventy-five “close” connections purchased a copy.

The anticipated rate of return on a direct mail campaign (or its modern equivalent) is between 1 – 2%. The rate of return – response to the pre-publication book offer – came in at 13%. From a marketing perspective this was outstanding. From a personal perspective, it certainly was not what I anticipated. The list contained the names of people with whom I had a good, even strong, relationship.  I assumed that they would jump at the chance to have a book written by someone they knew (me)! I was wrong.

I learned three valuable lessons from that experience, which were confirmed in two subsequent books I wrote and were published by the same company (sometimes I am a slow learner):

1)      Being a relative, close friend, colleague, classmate is not sufficient reason for an individual to feel moved to buy one’s book;

2)      Many assumed that the publisher provided me with a limitless supply of free copies of my book so they awaited their free, autographed copy. This took a while for me to learn because people were initially reluctant to act upon their assumption but most eventually did. When they learned the reality the authors have to buy their own books albeit at a reduced price even when offered a discounted price, few purchased my book;

3)      There is so much more to marketing one’s book than a first class pre-publication price letter, distributing bookmarks which feature the book, having a web page presence, networking and word of mouth.

I became a believer in the simple yet paradoxical comment: writing is the easy part; marketing is hard. I share this with my clients. It is vital knowledge. I also provide recommendations to my clients to individuals I know who have solid backgrounds in marketing and publicity.

Write Choice Services focuses on walking along side our clients to coach them in the writing process and editing their manuscripts to produce a top quality product. We are not marketing specialists but we do know the challenge of writing and marketing.  Let us help you generate the best book you can so you can confidently approach a publisher and a marketing specialist. Contact us today.

Urs Milz and his wife Fanny Ritter Milz were each clients several years ago. I asked Urs to share his experience since then. His reflections follow as our guest columnist.

 

 

Since my book was published
by Urs Milz

I published my book in 2014. The primary purpose of this book was to convince IT managers that each IT project needs a coach. This dedicated role of an ITP coach dramatically increases the likelihood of success for IT projects.

By following the advice of a notable, “big thinker,” I attempt to make the vision behind the ITP coach approach very easy to understand:

“If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it yourself.”
 Albert Einstein

Up to this point my mission was relatively easy. With the great assistance of my writing coach, Tim Morrison, I was able to publish my book and share my insights.

Post publication I discovered all the marketing challenges. The book was great to share with all my colleagues. Also, as an entry point with job or project applications the book was very helpful. Unfortunately, I did not succeed in making the book accessible to a wider audience.

My marketing goal was to dedicate my professional expertise to Multinationals. I saw as my entry point the CIOs or VPs from IT departments of larger companies. Another target market I wanted to address directly were project management interested people, IT specialists and other coaches.

For me the old saying that ‘teamwork makes the dream work' still has the highest truth. Before publication I worked with a great team, and then I tried it on my own.

I have used too much money to finance my own marketing attempts. It would have been better to hire marketing professionals and to earn the money for this with my own profession. This was my biggest lesson after the publication of my book.

I learned so much by publishing my book and I intend to use that knowledge when I write my next book.

 

URS MILZ knows Multinationals’ IT business from top to bottom.  He “sees” the whole picture and works with his clients to optimize processes, communication and strategies. Be it programming, testing, quality or project management, Urs understands it. As an experienced Senior Consultant, business analyst, project leader and professional Coach, he consistently and confidently leads IT projects to success. Urs sees opportunities that businesses often miss. He then works with them to cultivate the opportunities. Urs has a solid history in successfully resolving disagreements. He builds confidence and group synergies to produce optimized solutions. Today Urs uses his professional expertise in IT project management to assist Multinationals in improving processes and work quality. His new, unique ITP Coach Process marks best practice of leadership and communication to success in today’s IT world.

Contact Urs via email at urs.milz@gmail.com

Learn more about the ITP Coach Approach with this book:

The Trillion Dollar IT Revolution
 An Ultimate Approach to Stop Massive IT Project Failures
.

 

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tim@writechoiceservices.com
678-464-6702
3605 Sandy Plains Road
Suite 240, Box 101
Marietta, GA 30066