The Change Up #1: Six Months and Three Books
Steve finished The Profession.
Seth Godin contacted Steve about the The Domino Project.
Steve wrote Do The Work.
Steve wrote The Warrior Ethos.
The Domino Project published Do The Work.
Steve and Shawn created Black Irish books and packaged and printed a special run of Warrior Ethos for friends in the military, and released the book for print on demand via Amazon.com.
Crown published The Profession.
All around and in between—planning, doing, revising. (And wondering if traditional publishing is right—that readers aren’t interested in more than one book from one author in a short period.)
Going back six months, I wouldn’t change the number of projects being released.
I would change the outreach.
Do the Work was released April 20. Within two months, The Warrior Ethos and The Profession were out, too.
If I could do it over, I would send all three books to those in Steve’s “crossover” readership at one time.
By sending them out as they were released, we hit many of the same people up for help within a few months.
I approached each book on a per book basis. In the instances where we had crossovers—readers interested in all of the books—friends/supporters were hit up a few times within a short period of time for help. By the time The Profession came out, we’d been knocking on doors for a while.
Sending someone three books at once is different from sending three books, three separate times, over the period of a few months. Sending at once is a way of saying: “I respect your time. I understand you are busy. This is what I have going on. You’ve been an amazing supporter in the past. Thank you.” And then you leave it up to them to decide if they’ll help with one or none of the books. And because you’ve sent everything at once, it isn’t as awkward when you follow-up. (You haven’t been contacting them once a week for three months…)
The three-hit is annoying. For a while, it felt like every time I got on the phone or wrote an e-mail, I was asking for something in return. And certainly my end requires asking over and over to make things happen, but when I’m feeling awkward myself, I know something needs adjusting. And then there’s the time for the post office and the cost of postage, too.
Next Week: The Change Up #2, Going Postal.