An Idea is Born: Care and Feeding of Ideas Through Creative Entrepreneurship

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An Idea is Born: Care and Feeding of Ideas Through Creative Entrepreneurship

By Shawn Doyle, CSP

I travel around the country as a professional speaker, trainer and consultant every week and often get into discussions with people about what I do for living. The next question is almost always “do you have any books published?” When I tell them that I have 14 books on the market they are often shocked. They then proceed to tell me that I am “lucky” and “fortunate” and they hear all the time about “how hard it is to get published”. I think many people misunderstand the idea behind publishing, and what the author /publisher relationship should be like. I am a creative entrepreneur and I do not view my relationship with my publisher as an “author and publisher” relationship but as a creative business partnership. In this article I would like to share with you a couple of key lessons that I’ve learned on my publishing journey that I believe can really help any person who is a creative entrepreneur.

What do you have to offer? When I originally approached Sound Wisdom books about publishing a book series I tried to think about what I had to offer them not necessarily what they had to offer me. I thought that I could offer the publisher 1) a professional speaker who speaks 120 days a year (my platform) and 2) has a large presence on social media particularly on LinkedIn3) a unique product line. Lesson: what do you have to offer the other person- what is in it for them?

What do you have that is unique? I thought long and hard about what I wanted to present to Sound Wisdom and decided I wanted to present a series called Jumpstart. Jumpstart is a collection of titles all designed to help people that are simple, easy-to-follow and contained 10 key elements for being successful in that particular subject matter. Jumpstart Your Motivation, Jumpstart Your Leadership, Jumpstart Your Creativity, Jumpstart Your Customer Service… well you get the idea. They were excited about the idea of a book series because a series has a tendency to gain a following with the reading public and is well-liked by buyers when successful numbers are shown for the entire line. Lesson: what is it about your products goods or services that makes you completely unique?

Do you have new ideas about marketing? Every time I meet with my publisher I bring new ideas to the table in terms of different ways of promoting and marketing my books. In our last meeting I shared an idea with them that was a concept they were not aware of, and we are currently figuring out how to execute that strategy. So by bringing new ideas to the table each time we meet they realized that I am not just a speaker and author but a creative entrepreneur who is constantly thinking of new ways to drive and generate business. Lesson: always keep fueling the fire by bringing new ideas to the table.

What is your strategy?- We recently met and laid out a strategy for the Jumpstart book series for the next three years. Be proactive and at least have a draft of a strategy plan with you in order to generate discussion. Lesson: thinking strategically can pay off handsomely.

Be prepared- Every time I meet with my publisher I come with an agenda for the meeting in order to make the meeting as efficient as possible. Secondly if I am presenting a new idea or concept I bring statistics, data and information with me so that were not talking about concepts or theories but data and facts. In a recent meeting I pitched a new book title, and brought with me demographic information, Amazon title rankings, and potential book titles. This led to yet another successful birth of a new idea. Lesson: be prepared and have your ducks in a row. If you want to talk about information at information are dependent out and available with you.

Do you think outside of the box?- as a partnership we have already started to think of my products not just as books but as videos audios webinars and training programs and even live events. Basically any product that would relate to inspiration and motivation would be fair game. It would be easy to define a publisher as one who publishes books but the further discussions we’ve had we realized that they don’t have to just publish books that they can be a distribution channel for educational inspirational and motivational products. That expanded view leads to more revenue and higher levels of success in changing marketplace. Lesson: forget the box there isn’t one.

The great news is all of these techniques work really well and I have a wonderful long-term partnership with my publisher. We are both succeeding. They view me as a business professional and I view and treat them the same way. Jumpstart Your Motivation is already off to a roaring start and the next jumpstart book, Jumpstart Your Leadership is generating a significant amount of interest even before it is published. So the bottom line is this stuff works. What started as a blank piece of paper sitting in my office is now going to be a great collection of branded products which could end up being the next major franchise in the publishing world.
So…what is your idea?

Shawn Doyle CSP is a Sound Wisdom author of the Jumpstart series and the President of New Light Learning and Development, a company that specializes in training programs on leadership and motivation.

Author: Shawn Doyle

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