Ray Bard on the Business Book Biz
As mentioned earlier, I attended an Author Pow-Wow conference put on by 800-CEO-READ to help business book writers become more informed and more inspired to use their books as a catalyst to share ideas.
800-CEO-READ’s Todd Sattersten tapped his golden rolodex and invited sharp business book insiders to present at the conference. Every biz book insider at the Pow-Wow shared worthwhile information ranging from dealing with publishers to promotion/publicity to honoring the game of business writing.
This week on Brand Autopsy I’m sharing takeaways from some of the Author Pow-Wow sessions.
First up: Ray Bard, Bard Press impresario ...
Bard Press, an Austin, TX-based imprint, doesn’t publish many business books—maybe twenty-five total in its 20+ year existence. But, almost half of those twenty-five books have been national best-sellers. Every book Ray Bard publishes (including books by Jeffrey Gitomer and those Wizard of Ads books) is a labor of love with every detail from page layout to paper quality top-notch.
In his address, Bard stressed the importance of how authors must view themselves as the CEO of their book. In this sense, an author “CEO” outsources the publishing and distribution of their book to the publisher.
But the most interesting advice Ray shared is the importance of a book’s table of contents (TOC). Ray’s right. The TOC is an overlooked aspect of nearly every biz book. Just pick up a few biz books and look at the TOC in each of them. Ain’t much difference between them, right? Yet, the TOC is viewed as a critical factor when readers choose to buy/not to buy a business book. Ray challenged us to get creative and use the TOC as a marketing tool and not just a dry rundown of chapter titles/page numbers. Great point!