You might have heard I’m a fan of books. Actually, I’m a fan of sharing knowledge. For me, the real benefit of books isn’t in the read but in the ideas they generate. Why? Because as marketers we are our ideas. We get paid (and, sometimes, pressured) to think up new ideas and implement them every single day.
But when we take our ideas and freely share them, like we do through online conversations, we’re afforded not only bigger and better ideas, but new sources with which to collaborate…that drive those ideas into existence.
In hosting the Book Club, I read and review a lot of books. And naturally, scores of authors, publishers and publicists make a point of explaining why and how their books are unique from anything else in the marketplace. But when I got wind of The Age of Conversation–a precedent-setting collaborative book by 103 authors hailing from every U.S. time zone, Canada, Australia, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, India and Oman–I didn’t have to be told why or how it was unique.
Why? Because the very idea of the book is unique. The idea being: collectively we are smarter, savvier and more valuable to readers than we are independently (proud disclosure: I am one of the book’s 103 authors). What’s more? Collectively we’re a heck of a lot faster, too…and got a book to market in under 20 weeks!
Here’s the idea’s evolution:
According to Drew McLellan, “The book itself is fascinating. What happens when you give 100 authors a book title and 400 words? So many different angles. So many points of view. And perhaps that is the overall message of the book. The Age of Conversation allows for many dialogues as opposed to the one-sided monologue of yesterday’s marketing efforts.
Was it a lot of work? Yes. It was. But working with Gavin meant it was going to be brilliant. He’s got a marketer’s head and a poet’s heart. That combination was perfect for this project. I look forward to creating more projects with him down the road.”
Gavin Heaton added, “It started as an off-hand comment and has suddenly become a publishing first. 100+ authors from all over the world, most of whom have no connection other than sharing a belief in the power of solid marketing and a social media bent. We both loved the idea of contributing the proceeds from sale to a charity and Variety seemed an ideal recipient. Our hope? That each and every author can leverage their good work in this book to grow their business, raise their own visibility and come back for the next collaborative brainchild we come up with.”
I do also need to share this: the week that Drew and Gavin decided to take on this behemoth effort also marked the week I lost my magnificent momma. She never forgot to teach me how important it is to share our smarts, to encourage community and, above all, to listen to others. The night before we held the ceremony to celebrate her life, Drew sent an email asking if it would be OK to dedicate the book to her memory. It was the first time I had smiled in what seemed forever–and I closed my eulogy on the words from the dedication.
So, as you consider your summer reading–whether you’re active in social media or just starting to think about joining this grand, global conversation–please give thought to investing your time in The Age of Conversation. I advocate it’s time well spent. You can download an eBook for $9.99, purchase a paperback for $16.95 or buy it hardcover for $29.99. Rest assured, all proceeds go to charity.
A BIG thanks to Drew and Gavin for a BIG idea–and a round of applause to ALL 103 authors who made this idea a reality. The author list follows, be prepared…it’s a long list (told you it was a big idea .
The Age of Conversation: Authors
Roger von Oech
Tony D. Clark
Kimberly Dawn Wells
John La Grou
Dr. Graham Hill
S. Neil Vineberg