The Origins of The Road to Recognition {Interview}

Posted April 24th @ 11:43 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Last night, I interviewed Barry Feldman, co-author (with Seth Price) of The Road to Recognition: The A-Z Guide to Personal Branding for Accelerating Your Professional Success in the Age of Digital Media.

The interview was a celebration of tomorrow’s release (April 25th) of the Kindle version of The Road to to Recognition. Other versions will follow on May 9th.

If you’re looking for an inside look at what’s involved in self-publishing a nonfiction book, you’ll be fascinated by the amount of detail that Barry reveals.

Click the image to access the recording of the interview.

How can we make this book better and different?

Although most authors and co-authors focus on the writing and leave the marketing for later, Barry described a different scenario.

What emerged during our interview was the authors’ goal of differentiating The Road to Recognition from competing marketing books.

The need to differentiate drove decisions involving:

Rarely has one of my guests been as open about the role of decisions and the amount of planning that goes into a book as Barry Feldman did was last night.

After you’ve heard the recording of my interview with Barry, and had a chance to read the Kindle version The Road to Recognition, let me know what you think, in the comments. And, let me know if you have any questions you’d like me to ask co-author Seth Price when I interview him in the near future.

Design’s Role in Book Marketing Success

Posted April 17th @ 12:03 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Learn more about Barry Feldman and Seth Price's The Road to Recognition: The A-to-Z Guide to Personal Branding for Accelerating Your Professional Success in the Age of Digital MediaDesign plays a major role in book marketing success, as Barry Feldman’s and Seth Price’s The Road to Recognition shows.

Design’s role in book marketing success extends far beyond book cover design.

Although authors often think of design strictly in terms of book covers, design can make a major contribution to your book’s success long before (and after) your book’s release date. Here’s why:

First, a significant amount of time often goes by between the time a book contract is signed and its publication date.

Second, pre-publication orders are counted and shipped on the book’s publication date. This creates a momentum that continues to gather speed.

The role of design was one of the key topics Barry Feldman and I discussed when I interviewed him on the eve of his The Road to Recognition’s launch. Here’s where you can access a recording of the interview.

There are 5 ways design paved the way for The Road to Recognition’s successful launch.

1.  Design can make your book easier to write

Design provides a structure for planning and writing.

It provides a framework that simplifies planning your book. It replaces the uncertainty of questions like, “How are we going to organize the chapters?” and “What should we put in this chapter?” with specific questions like “What are the 26 main ideas we’re going to discuss?”

The sooner you identify an appropriate structure for your book, the sooner you can get down to writing the first draft of your book.

The Road to Recognition is an “alphabet book.” It addresses 26 topics, one for each letter of the alphabet. This approach eliminates time-consuming indecision and which often sabotages a book’s success before the first page has been written.

  • Too many subject area experts never publish a book because they haven’t chosen a structure for it.
  • These otherwise-qualified experts have lots of ideas, but no way to organize them. As a result, their experience and expertise goes unrewarded.

The “alphabet approach” puts the power of limitations to work! Whether you choose an “alphabet” structure like Barry and Seth did, a 42 Rules structure, or a 140-ideas expressed in 140 characters approach, you’ll find that limiting your options can force you identify a point of view.

The choice of structure also moved The Road to Recognition forward by providing the book’s graphic team with the information they needed to create the icons, or design vocabulary, needed to provide a unique graphic for each chapter. The graphic above displays 10 of the 26 graphics. Note their similarities as well as their differences. Some of the backgrounds are white, some gray, some yellow, and some black. Yet, there are more similarities than differences.

During the interview Barry discussed how and when they settled on the “alphabet” approach and selected the 26 terms they used for The Road to Recognition’s structure.

2. Design can make your book easier to read

There are three ways design contributes to readability, the ease with which readers can proceed through the text.

1. White space. The starting point involves providing plenty of white space on each page, particularly at the page margins and surrounding text and graphics.

–  White space provides a resting spot for your reader’s eyes while highlighting the text.
–  White space between lines and paragraph also increases text readability by making it easier for readers to quickly recognize word shapes and separate paragraphs.

2. Chunking. A second readability technique involves chunking, or replacing long paragraphs and text passages with lists and short paragraphs.

You can also call attention to new ideas by inserting subheads set in a contrasting typeface

Both techniques help you avoid the dreaded textbook-like “wall of gray” frequently encountered in published books.

3. Changing page layouts A third way to use make a book easier to read involves using different page layouts and typography to indicate the section of the chapter they’re currently reading.

This helps readers enjoy a feeling of “fresh start” and feeling of progress as they proceed through each chapter

Each chapter in The Road to Recognition includes three different layout and formatting options which change to indicate the types of information in each section.

Introduction. Each of the 26  chapters, or topics, begins with a two-page “minimalist” opening spread.

The left-hand page contains a stylized graphic of the character associated with the chapter, paired with a concise summary of the topic’s relevance.

Influencer quote or perspective. The next two page spread contains a high-visibility marketer’s photograph and their perspective on the topic.

Overview. The next 2-page spread provides an overview of the topics’s key characteristics and relevance, followed by 2, 4, or 6 pages of helpful advice about working with the topic.

3. Design can add visual interest to your book

The Road to Recognition uses design to provide readers with a pleasant sense of serendipity, or “surprise,” as they proceed through the 26 topics.

There’s also a pleasant sense of predictability to each page. You can open The Road to Recognition at any point, and quickly find yourself engaged by both the words and the layout.

Although the page structures remain consistent, and the topics are serious, there is a sense of “design playfulness” at work.

  • Alphabet drawings. As you saw in the illustration of 10 of the 26 letters associated with each topic, each character fits the same amount of space and shares characteristics with other letters, yet the backgrounds differ, and color is used in different ways to differentiate the letters.
  • Table of contents. Note the horizontal, rather than vertical, relationship between the “Contents” headline and the individual topics. Note the yellow highlighting of the topics. Finally, note the right alignment of the page numbers. This prevents 3-digit page numbers from overshadowing 2-digit numbers.
  • Expert perspectives. Another design element that adds serendipity involves the formatting of the 2-page Expert Perspective pages. The backgrounds change and the type size varies, depending on the edited length of the quotes. is the key element

4. Design can create a brand for your book

Long before the publication of The Road to Recognition, the authors were creating The Road to Recognition website which reflected the book’s key visual branding elements, such as:

  • Bold contrast between the yellow, black, and white first encountered on the front cover, but reinforced on almost every page.
  • Clean design, lots of white space
  • Contrasting type sizes frequently used in close proximity to each other

Influencer marketing

Early creation of the website permitted pre-launch marketing projects that make it easy for others to promote the The Road to Recognition. This included customized Sharable Images that Influencers can download include in their newsletter or social media. Visit The Road to Recognition site, click on Media link, then scroll down to view.

Another key early book marketing project was creating an attractive downloadable infographic that tells The Road to Recognition’s story.

The infographic has already run in influential blogs like The Huffington Post and Jay Baer’s Convince and Convert.

5. Design can build anticipation for your book

Why so much effort to build a book’s brand before publication?

One answers might be that creating and producing quality content and design takes time. As a result, marketing resources must be ready before a book’s publication date.

Another answer is that ready-to-share resources make it easy to involve other marketers in your book launch program. The more your message is spread by the influencers in your field, the more successful your book launch will be.

The most important, reason, however, is that
familiarity builds comfort and trust.

Your biggest competitor is the buyer’s concern that your product or service won’t satisfy their needs.

To the extent that your pre-launch marketing materials pre-sell the quality and value of your book, you are replacing uncertainty with certainty, proving that the topics you cover in your book are a) endorsed by other marketing experts, and b) are relevant to addressing your markets challenges and goals.

Learn more about the role of design in marketing your book!

The recorded interview with Barry Feldman, co-author (with Seth Price), of The Road to Recognition: The A-to-Z Guide to Personal Branding and Accelerating Your Personal Success Career in the Age of Digital Media is for you if you want to know more about:

  1. Personal branding. You recognize the need to build your personal brand, but don’t know where to start. You’re looking for a road map that covers the 26 most important topics you need to explore.
  2. Book marketing.  You’ve written a book to build your personal brand, or are writing a book, but don’t know how to bring it to the attention who could most benefit from it.
  3. Positioning your book in a crowded market. Not only do today’s authors have to bring their book to the attention of their target market, they have to differentiate their book book from competing books. Design can be the “secret sauce” that separates your book from the competition.
  4. Latest information. Barry Feldman is a seasoned copywriter who has worked with the leading high tech clients and marketing agencies. His writing appears in top marketing blogs like the Content Marketing Institute, the Marketing Profs, Hubspot, the Social Media Examiner, and Copyblogger.

After listening to the interview, and/or reading The Road to Recognition, share your comments and impressions below.

Related topic: For more information, see Branding Tips from the Road to Recognition.

Deadline for Content Marketing Awards Fast Approaching

Posted April 16th @ 2:43 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Have you submitted examples of your best content to the Content Marketing Institute’s Content Marketing Awards 2017?

One of the high points of Content Marketing World, the world’s largest content marketing event that takes place in Cleveland during the first week of each September, is announcing the winners of the Content Marketing Awards.

But, to be included, you have to act quickly; the submission deadline is fast approaching.

Submission deadline is April 21, 2017!

Better than ever this year!

This is my third year as a judge. Participating is one of the highlights of my year.

Each year, I’m been inspired by the quality of the entries, the strategy that goes into them, the creative ideas, copy, and visual images, plus the impeccable production values. From year to year, there’s been a noticeable improvement in the quality (and quantity) of the submissions.

You can get an idea of the diversity of the awards by viewing or downloading and printing a PDF listing the winners and finalists of the 2016 Content Marketing Awards.

You can also download lists of the winners of the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Content Marketing Awards.

The video to the left provides a brief glimpse of the background of the Content Marketing Awards and the excitement and emotions following the announcements of the winners.

More award categories than ever

There are 92 categories, including the best content marketing projects, agencies and marketers in the industry.

Help for those entering the first time

Here are 2 helpful articles that you can help you choose the examples for submitting:

Give your content the visibility it deserves!

You and your people have worked hard during 2016 creating fresh, compelling content. Inspire your people by proudly including them in the Content Marketing Institute Awards at Content Marketing World in Cleveland the first week in September. Whether they’re a winners or finalists, they be inspired to work even harder for your clients. But, remember, the deadline is April 21, 2017.

Branding Tips from the Road to Recognition {interview}

Posted April 14th @ 10:21 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Get started on your road to recognition and personal branding success by attending my pre-release interview next Tuesday, April 18th, at 4 PM EST.

Join me when I interview Barry Feldman, co-author (with Seth Price), of The Road to Recognition: The A-to-Z Guide to Personal Branding for Accelerating Your Professional Success in the Age of Digital Media.

The Road to Recognition provides an easy-to-read, up-to-date, step-by-step guide for entrepreneurs, business leaders, and others interested in building their personal brand using the latest content marketing and social media best practices.

I’m proud to have had an opportunity to review a pre-publication copy of The Road to Recognition.

It’s a book unlike any other marketing book I’ve recently encountered.

  • It’s structure is different.
  • It’s design is compelling.
  • It focuses on the 26 essentials of personal branding.
  • It includes contributions by 26 subject area experts who are considered the icons of contemporary marketing.

The Road to Recognition is now one of my Top 10 Recommended Books for Content Marketers!

Barry Feldman, the “Marketer’s Marketer”

You’re probably familiar with Barry Feldman.

Barry’s a high-profile speaker, podcaster, and contributor to top marketing blogs. He frequently writes for blogs published by the Content Marketing Institute, Entrepreneur, Hubspot, and the Social Media Examiner.

What you may not know is that for over 20 years, Barry Feldman has been providing creative direction and high-powered copywriting to thousands of the world’s top marketing technology brands, marketing service providers, and digital media agencies.

Who should attend my Barry Feldman interview?

Accelerate your personal branding success by reading Barry Feldman and Seth Price's Road to RecognitionThe Road to Recognition is for you if you consider yourself in one of the following categories:

  1. Entrepreneurs. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll learn how to give your business a distinct and powerful advantage by becoming recognized as a leader and authority in your field.
  2. Business leaders. If you’re an executive, you’ll learn how to catapult your career and your company’s success by applying the best practices of personal branding,
  3. Aspiring Professionals. Are you a student, or self-employed professional? The Road to Recognition is the critical course colleges don’t (yet) offer.
  4. Creatives. If your calling is to create, creating a name for yourself will heighten demand for your products and services.
  5. Marketers. You name may be the brand you’ve been struggling to develop, guiding you to new levels of achievement using the latest, proven techniques.
  6. Second careerist. Are you interested in changing careers? Learn how to accelerate your success with the power of personal branding and enjoy a more rewarding ride.
  7. Authors and aspiring authors. Barry Feldman and I will discuss lessons from The Road to Recognition that will help published authors recharge their book marketing. We’ll also share book marketing best practices for aspiring authors

What will you learn by attending?

Barry Feldman and I will be devote part of the call to the changing world of personal brand building and part to The Road to Recognition’s journey from idea to publication next week. Topics will include:

  • The Road to Recognition’s origins, and how Barry Feldman and co-author Seth Price hooked-up to write the book.
  • When does the Road to Recognition timeline begin?
  • How were writing and editing responsibilities divided?
  • How did you choose the structure for the book? Was it difficult narrowing the topics to 26?
  • How did you originally intend to differentiate your book from competing books? What role did design play?
  • What publishing alternatives were considered? What influenced your final choice of publisher?
  • What are your expectations for The Road to Recognition?
  • Why did you set such an ambitious sales goal for the first weekend? How do you intend to achieve it?

Advantages of pre-ordering The Road to Recognition

A final reason to attend next Tuesday’s interview with Barry Feldman, co-author of The Road to Recognition is that you’ll learn why it pays to pre-order books before their release. (If you’re an aspiring author, you may find the following the best part of the call!)

Barry will explain how and how he and Seth Price are encouraging pre-orders from before The Road to Recognition’s release date of April 25…and the benefits you’ll enjoy by pre-ordering.

Next week’s interview with Barry Feldman takes place Tuesday, April 18th, at 4:00 PM EST. To attend, simply dial 605-475-6150 and enter PIN# 513391. The call is live. There will be an opportunity for you to ask questions. Or, submit questions before the call, as comments.

Content Marketing Strategy for Authors & Publishers {Webinar}

Posted March 22nd @ 4:54 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Authors and publishers looking for a content marketing strategy to plan, write, promote, and profit from a fiction or nonfiction book are invited to attend tomorrow’s Content Marketing Strategy for Book Marketing Success webinar.

The webinar is hosted by Brian Jud, the founder of Book Marketing Works and the Association of Publishers for Special Sales. The webinar takes place Thursday, March 23, at 6 PM Eastern.

Register to attend at

Blogging a book has gone mainstream!

In this webinar, I’ll be sharing 7 ways that authors and publishers can create a powerful powerful partnership between content marketing and writing. I’ll show you that it’s never too early to begin co-ordinating your writing and content marketing.

I’ll be describing how content marketing helps authors and publishers like you:

  • Build anticipation for your book, leading to a successful book launch
  • Research your ideal readers and find out what they want to know
  • Reduce stress by reducing uncertainty and simplifying a complex project by breaking it into a series of smaller tasks
  • Keep your writing on schedule by syncronizing it with your content marketing
  • Maintain your book’s visibility and create additional profit opportunities long after its publication

The goal is to create a synergy between content marketing and writing a book

During the webinar, I’ll share a 7-step process for using content marketing to promote your book’s success right from the start.

Regardless whether you’re writing your first, or your latest, book, regardless whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, it’s length, and how you intend to publish it, content marketing can play a key role in your book’s success. Content marketing puts you in the driver’s seat, helping you steer your book in the direction of maximum sales and profits.

Equal parts author and marketer

Content Marketing for Authors and Publishers reflects my experiences as a 40-book nonfiction business author, executive book coach, and Top Performing Blogger for the Content Marketing Institute and blogs like the Personal Branding Blog.

It reflects my experiences attending, moderating, and presenting at Content Marketing World and judging one being one of the judging the Content Marketing Awards.

Bonus: After you register for tomorrow’s webinar, download a free copy of my workbook: 99 Questions to Ask before You Start to Write and Publish a Brand-building Book.

The Lead Machine | Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing {Book Review}

Posted March 18th @ 2:14 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Review of Rich Brook's The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital MarketingIf you’re a small business owner looking for a practical 4-step guide to digital marketing, check out Rich Brook’s The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing: Everything Entrepreneurs Need to Know About SEO, Social Media, Email Marketing, and Generating Leads Online.

I’m impressed!

I review marketing books for the Content Marketing Institute, I’ve interviewed hundreds of nonfiction authors during the past decade, and I’ve written over 40 marketing and design books for business and marketing.

The Lead Machine stands out because of its unique balance of information, opinions, organization, and clear, concise, conversational writing.

Unlike many marketing books, The Lead Machine was written for busy business owners by a busy business owner.

The Lead Machine provides a high-level, 4-step view of the digital marketing landscape, combined with enough detail to guide you through the steps involved in digital marketing. Its the perfect book to take with you on your commute, your next business trip, or to keep next to your bed.

It’s also an ideal training guide for your digital marketing team.

Meet Rich Brooks, The Lead Machine’s author

As the founder of Flyte New Media, located in Portland, Maine, Rich Brooks has been working with small and medium businesses for over 20 years.

His focus has always been on helping businesses generate more leads online.

He’s familiar with the entrepreneur’s need for simple, actionable digital marketing information delivered as concisely as possible.

As a result, he’s avoided many of the problems associated with many existing digital marketing books. Typical problems include:

  • Missing context. Digital marketing books designed for newcomers often fail to provide a balanced, step-by-step guide that covers all of the bases. They may help you establish an online presence, but typically don’t provide enough information about creating a process to convert online traffic into sales, and sales into referrals into repeat customers.
  • Information overkill. On the other hand, many digital marketing books are so niche-oriented, written from a specialist’s perspective, that they deliver more information than the typical small business owner needs to know.

Rich is the host of his popular weekly Agents of Change Podcast. He is also the founder of the Agents of Change Conference, held in Portland, ME, each September. This year, the conference takes place on Friday, September 15th. Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert, will be one of the featured speakers.

The Lead Machine and the Bare Essentials of digital marketing

The key to The Lead Machine’s ability to provide an actionable, balanced approach to digital marketing is the way Rich Brooks has organized the contents into 4 main sections, each containing multiple chapters. The four sections provide a structure for demystifying digital marketing and sharing the tools needed to develop your own digital marketing strategy.

  1. B stands for Build. The purpose of this section is to help you build or rebuild a more successful website. One that will covert traffic into action at a higher rate. Rich emphasizes that success requires a process. The process begins by understanding Who buys from you?, Why do they buy from you? , and Why do they choose you or your competition? Understanding how you want to represent your business online. The book actually comes with a free companion workbook based on the tools that flyte, Rich’s agency, uses when working with a new client.
  2. A is for Attract. The second section discusses the three ways to drive qualified traffic to your site: search, social, and digital ads. Rich shows how to run your own keyword research to brainstorm, test, and implement your best keywords. You’ll also learn how to use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner and Google Trends. Rich also introduces you to local search engine optimization and the right ways to attract inbound links. Social media is addressed as two separate tools, platforms and networks. The networking section contained advice about building an irresistible profile, engaging with your audience, and driving traffic to your site was particularly helpful.
  3. R is for Retain. No matter how strong your website is, chances are, most traffic will leave without making a purchase. That’s where email marketing comes in. You’ll learn how to get people to opt-into your email list, what techniques work the best, and which tools to use. You’ll see how to get your emails delivered, opened, and acted upon. Rich also shares his perspective on social media, i.e., getting your tribe to follow, fan, or friend you.
  4. E is for Evaluate. This section introduces a dose of real world practicality. It will help you identify what’s working, and what’s not working. As Rich expressed it, “There is no point in spending time, money, and resources on your digital marketing if you’re not tracking what’s working and what’s not working.” You’ll learn how to set up and use Google Analytics on your site, and how to harvest more information from the reports. You’ll also learn how the URL Builder will help you track exactly which email, Facebook post, or Tweet helped you obtain your latest customer.

The Lead Machine at a glance

Although each of the four Bare Essentials covers a lot of ground, The Lead Machine is an easy book to read.

This is because the chapters within each sections focus on specific topics.

Rich always begins by discussing the relevance (or benefits) of the tool or technique, followed by examples of how to use it. His “voice” comes through as he shares his experiences and lessons learned.

Each chapter is only as long as it has to be. Chapters range in length from 3 to 9 pages. This “content granularity” allows you to quickly gain a balanced perspective of the Bare Essentials of digital marketing, combined with familiarity with the tools and best practices involved at each step.

Have you read Rich Brook’s The Lead Machine?

After you’ve read The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing, please share your impressions as comments, below. I’m especially interested in your opinion if you’ve read other books written about digital marketing for small businesses. How do you feel The Lead Machine compares to other titles?