Tweeting Blackbeard Uses Design + Story to Create a Memorable Ebook

Posted October 7th @ 6:14 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Tweeting Blackbeard: 10 Swashbucking Business Tips from the World's Great Pirate shows how design plus story can create a memorable ebookDoug Eymer’s Tweeting Blackbeard: 10 Swashingbucking Business Tips from the World’s Greatest Pirate shows how design and story combine to create a memorable ebook.

Good ebook content, by itself, is not enough these days.

No matter how good your ideas or business tips may be, if the title doesn’t immediately arouse curiosity, your ideas may never be read.

Design + Story = Memorable Ebook

To cut through the clutter, you need a combination of design and story to encourage downloads and social media referrals. Here are some of the elements that immediately attracted me to Tweeting Blackbeard:

  1. Why Blackbeard? The genius of using Blackbeard as a lead character in a story containing business tips is that Blackbeard, or Edward Teach, is recognizable enough as a pirate meme, but the details aren’t as well known. As a result, he’s enough of a a “mystery celebrity” to arouse interest, but he’s not a cliche. So, I’m willing to download (no registration) and read more.
  2. Cover design. The simplicity of the cover, the birds, and the balance of blue and white, promise an easy, informal reading experience. This is reinforced by the irony of the “piratey” typeface used for the title–at odds with so much of today’s social media branding.
  3. Artwork and page layouts. The inside pages continue the juxtaposition of design restraint–in terms of plenty of white space on each page–and seriously helpful ideas based on Blackbeard’s story told in a lighthearted way, illustrated with nautical artwork. The text and graphic elements play off each other, without sacrificing readability. The business tips clearly emerge as the story continues.
  4. Format. Contributing to Tweeting Blackbeard’s “readability is its horizontal, or landscape, format. This makes it perfect for desktop monitors and iPads. 
  5. Length. Contributing to its pleasing, share-worthy, reading experience is its length: long enough to spin a yarn about Blackbeard, provide open pages with appropriate artwork, but short enough to for enjoyable reading in a single sitting.

Visual differentiation

Perhaps my biggest takeaway is the way that Tweeting Blackbeard is clearly a departure from the typical serif-versus-sans serif ebook or white paper treatment, yet it is equally a departure from today’s use of hand-drawn sketches or doodles for nonfiction books.

As you’re undoubtedly noticed from the many books with hand-drawn graphics that I’ve featured recently, I really love the simplicity and character of books with hand-drawn graphics like The Sketchnote Handbook, Show and Tell, The Doodle Revolution, The One Thing, and Essentialism, etc.

The above books are an important part of today’s publication design world–and a healthy alternative to “too much computers in our lives.”

Tweeting Blackbeard, however, shows that it’s also possible to create a strong impression by using design plus story in yet another way to “package” serious business lessons.

Does Tweeting Blackbeard resonate with you?

Do you share my enthusiasm for Doug Eymer’s Tweeting Blackbeard? What did you think of the cover? Did you download it? What about the inside pages? What were your impressions? Did you share it on social media? Would this type of approach work for you? Share your impressions below, as comments.

Content Marketing Resource Center Tips For Authors and Small Businesses

Posted October 6th @ 6:28 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Learn how to add a content marketing resource center to your blog or websiteClick here to learn how a content marketing resource center can help visitors quickly locate the content they’re looking for.

If you’ve been blogging, podcasting, or publishing newsletters,  reviews, or tips for more than three years, a content marketing resource center can save visitors time searching for ideas.

Attend tomorrow’s free call and learn the 8 best practices for content marketing resource centers centers!

Tomorrow’s free monthly coaching session builds upon the ideas introduced in my recent Content Marketing Institute article, Drive Retail Sales with B2C Content Marketing: 8 Tips + a Checklist.

I’ll review the 8 best practices and show how you can use them to extend the shelf-life of existing content, regardless of its format or when you added it.

You’ll get a new perspective of improving access to your site’s existing content, and tips for highlighting the content you’ve already added.

You’ll also receive a free Resource Center Checklist to help you plan a new resource center and evaluate your existing one!

Get a free Resource Center Checklist by attending tomorrow's free callTo attend this free call

To learn more about adding a content marketing resource center, or upgrading an existing one, attend Published and Profitable’s free book coaching call, Tuesday, October 7, at4 PM Eastern. All  Published and Profitable friends and members are invited. To attend, dial 605-475-6150 and enter PIN 513391. There will also be an opportunity to address other questions about building your brand by writing a nonfiction book and answer other questions.  See you there!

How to Create a Content Marketing Resource Center

Posted October 3rd @ 6:10 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Learn 8 ways to create a content marketing resource center in my latest Content Marketing Institute blog postA content marketing resource center is for you if you’ve been blogging, podcasting, or publishing newsletters for more than 3 years.

Content marketing resource centers breath new life into your existing content, making it easier for visitors to locate existing content that may have originally appeared in a variety of formats and locations.

My latest article on the Content Marketing Institute blog, Drive Retail Sales with B2C Content Marketing: 8 Tips + a Checklist, describes the 8 essentials of a successful resource center.

Resource center best practices

The article also showcases resource center best practices from two of the largest retailers in the country, Crutchfield and B&H PhotoVideo.

Their resource centers make it easy for visitors to make the right buying decisions, whether they’re first-time buyers or experienced professionals.

Helpful B2C Resource Center Checklist

In addition to describing the key characteristics of a successful resource center, I’ve also included a downloadable B2C Resource Center Checklist which you can use to use as a planning guide to creating a new resource center.

If you already have a resource center, you can use it to evaluate your present efforts and to prioritize areas of possible improvement.

Learn more content marketing resource centers

To learn more about adding a content marketing resource center, or upgrading an existing one, attend the next Published and Profitable End-of-month call, Tuesday, October 7, at4 PM Eastern. Before opening the call to comments and questions, I’ll be discussing the key benefits of resource centers and the steps involved in setting one up. All  Published and Profitable friends and members are invited. To attend, dial 605-475-6150 and enter PIN 513391.

10 Reasons Why Mike Rohde’s Sketchnote Workbook Is Even Better Than His First Book

Posted September 18th @ 11:01 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Mike Rohde’s The Sketchnote Workbook shows, once again, why authors should immediately follow-up their first book with a workbook.

The success of Mike Rohde’s first book, The Sketchnote Handbook, was pretty much a sure thing long before its publication, because of Mike Rohde’s excellent author marketing and monthly updates while he was writing it.

By approaching sketchnoting from two different perspectives–introducing the topic and covering the basics in The Sketchnote Handbook, then focusing on applying the basics in The Sketchnote Workbook–offers significant benefits for both readers and author.

Reader benefits

Here are the top reasons Sketchnote Handbook readers will benefit from The Sketchnote Workbook:

  1. Focus. The Sketchnote Workbook gets right down to business. By assuming that the most many readers will have already read the Handbook frees Mike Rohde from the need to duplicate the basic principles of sketchnoting. Chapter l, Sketchnoting Quickstart Overview, provides a 12-page summary for those new to sketchnoting. The rest of the book is new material that builds on the basics.
  2. In-depth tips and examples. The Sketchnote Workbook‘s strength is its in-depth coverage of the 7 most popular areas where sketchnotes are often used. These include: idea generation, idea mapping, planning, documentation, travel experiences, food experiences, and movie, TV, & media. The final chapter describes Advanced Sketchnoting Tips & Techniques.
  3. More voices. Mike has add scope as well as depth to sketchnoting by inviting ideas and examples from sketchnoters around the world who specialize in different topics. He allows them to describe how they create projects in different areas, then provides helpful commentary and summaries relevant to each topic. The contributions and perspectives add additional interest.
  4. Exercises and worksheets. Throughout The Sketchnote Workbook, Mike’s emphasis is on getting started as quickly as possible and consistently moving forward. For example, to help readers take get started creating a custom icon library, he includes numerous worksheets that readers can work on right in the book, or use recreate in their own sketchbooks. He also shows examples of how sketches gain strength through revision and refinement.
  5. More details and tips. The project-specific chapters are valuable because they show how sketchnoting can be used for different purposes. But, there’s something else going on in these chapters. By seeing the examples take shape, and reading how and why the different contributors did what they did, and why, greatly reinforces the basic principles and clarifies the fundamentals.  Many new ideas, like the four basic sketchnoting layouts, are also smoothly introduced in the project-specific chapters.
  6. More summaries. In addition to frequent tips, most chapters conclude with a Recaps that summarize the important ideas in each chapter.
  7. Free videos. Best of all, readers benefit from access to 2+ hours of bonus videos. You can view the videos before, during, or after you read the book, reinforcing the ideas and lessons in the book.

Together, Mike’s The Sketchnote Handbook and The Sketchnote Workbook assure that you will be able to make the most of the valuable idea management tool. The way he organized the books, there’s no duplication of content.

Author benefits of a 2-book strategy

Readers are the primary beneficiaries of a 2-book strategy, which divides a topic into introductory and advanced techniques. Here are the primary benefits that authors gain from the strategy.

  • “News” value of a new book. As Mike has proven with his frequent email and blog Updates, upcoming books permit the author to build anticipation for their upcoming book while drawing attention to their original book. The fact that an author is working on a follow-up book adds to his credibility while drawing interest to the original book.
  • Bigger author brand presence. Two books greatly multiply an author’s online presence. The existence of two books on a topic reinforce the author’s expert status and provide visual proof that they are serious about the topic.
  • Merchandising possibilities. The presence of a second book offers authors enhanced merchandising possibilities–especially when the covers of the two books are as designed to present a strong visual statement, as shown in the above illustration.

To learn more…

Here are some recommended sources of additional information:

  • Overview. Visit The Sketchnote Workbook’s landing page at Mike’s Website for more details and reader benefits.
  • Download Chapter 7. Get a better idea of Mike’s writing and sketching style, plus the front matter and index.
  • Mike at work. While Mike Rohde was creating The Sketchnote Workbook, he documented the process for himsself and for others wondering what writing a book is like.
  • Work-in-progress photographs.  Mike Rohde’s candid photographs of sketches, notes, and other behind-the-scenes examples of The Sketchnote Workbook in progress.
  • Sample Sketchnote Workbook video. This is 17 of the 32 videos in  Mike Rohde 2-hour and 41-minute video series that accompany The Sketchnote Workbook. In this episode, Mike talks about using sketchnotes to capture travel experiences.

Sketchnote Workbook summary

The Sketchnote Workbook a worthy and logical complement to his Sketchnote Handbook. It brings a new level of understanding to sketchnoting. It also provides an excellent example of the 2-book strategy I recommend to my clients. If you’ve read either of Mike Rohde’s Sketchnote books, share your impressions about sketchnoting for business and pleasure. And, if you’ve read both books, how do you compare them?

Lessons from David Meerman Scott’s New Rules of Selling

Posted August 31st @ 4:04 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

David Meerman Scott redefines the rules of selling in powerful SlideShare book previewClick the graphic to find out how David Meerman Scott has redefined the rules of selling in today’s Internet-driven world.

David’s SlideShare presentation provides a concise and visual introduction to his latest book, The New Rules of Sales and Service.

Invest 7 minutes (or less)

Even if you spend less than 7 minutes with the presentation, it will inspire you to reevaluate the relationship between your online marketing and sales of your products and services.

The New Rules of  Sales and Service provides the “missing link” between Internet marketing and sales success

Building on his previous bestselling books, including The New Rules of Marketing and PR (4th edition) and Real-Time Marketing and PR, his latest book provides the jump start businesses large and small need to re-evaluate the relationship between their marketing and their sales.

Get a head start on your competition

Although it’s publication is still two days away, pre-orders have already made The New Rules of Sales and Service an Amazon Top 100 book and a Top 20 bestseller in 3 important categories:

  • Books > Business & Money > Industries & Professions > Customer Service
  • Books > Business & Money > Marketing & Sales > Sales & Selling
  • Books > Business & Money > Marketing & Sales > Marketing

By viewing David’s New Rules of Selling SlideShare presentation now, you’ll gain a new perspective to evaluate, or re-evaluate, your firm’s tactics.

You’ll also discover ideas, suggestions, and tips, like:

  • The 5 New Rules of Selling
  • Lessons from those who successfully convert content into sales
  • How successful salespeople highlight their expertise online
  • Sales signals to watch out for
  • The need for “right now” marketing
  • Detailed tips for standing out on social networks

Relevant information for all

Spend a few minutes with David Meerman Scott”s New Rules of Selling and you’ll agree that it’s more than just a preview or a teaser. It provides a new context–or perspective–for integrating topics, like content marketing or big data, that are often addressed in isolation from each other. It also provides enough detail to compel you to Google your name or business name and evaluate the profiles that appear in the various search engine results. Share your experiences and impressions on SlideShare, David’s blog, or below.

How to Position Your Book to Sell More Copies in a Crowded Field

Posted August 30th @ 6:42 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Discover the 10 questions to ask which will help you position your nonfiction book in a crowded market in this Orbit Media guest postClick the graphic for 10 questions to help you sell more copies of your book by setting it apart from competing books.

Using Andy Crestodina’s Content Chemistry: An Illustrated Handbook for Content Marketing as a case study, I came up with 10 questions you can use to compare your proposed book to existing books in your field.

Positioning your book

I wanted to help you write the right book by focusing on your book’s competition as well as your readers and your ideas.

I’ve even included a Book Positioning Checklist to help you plan your book from a balanced perspective.

Increasing book  competition

There’s competition in every field. The more popular the topic, the more competition there’s likely to be.

And, more competition appears every day, thanks to ebooks, print-on-demand, and self-publishing.

To succeed, your book has to be clearly differentiated from its competition!

Relevant to all types of writing

Although written from the perspective of a nonfiction author writing in a highly competitive market, based on my interview with Andy Crestodina, the ideas discussed in my Orbit Media guest post also apply to a broader market.

Many of the positioning criteria and questions also apply to fiction books and to various  types of content marketing projects, such as:

  • Articles
  • List-building sign-up incentives
  • Podcasts
  • Speeches
  • Videos
  • White papers

The basic criteria also apply to planning content marketing events like:

  • Presentations
  • Speeches
  • Teleseminars
  • Workshops

After you’ve had a chance to view my post and Book Positioning Checklist, please share your impressions, concerns, and suggestions. Did I overlook a question I should have included. Do you have any questions? Comment below, or on my guest post. Or, contact me via email at Roger@Publishedandprofitable.com.