In Episiode 39 of LBMA’s This Week in Location Based Marketing - +Rob Woodbridge asks: “Why did you write a Dummies book instead of writing one that builds your own brand?”
Rob, this is an excellent question. I have a lot of reasons for writing a Dummies book.
FIRST AND FOREMOST
Let’s be very clear. I co-wrote this book because I want to work with brands on their marketing strategies. The book is a primer and by no means the be-all and end all. It gives highly actionable ways to get started, but can be enhanced greatly by having a working relationship with allen & gerritsen and yours-truly. This includes my clients (some of whom have yet to get into the space) and new prospects.
I think the world needs a primer on how to think about location with social and mobile and it needed to be something that was not going to intimidate them. When I chose to work on this project, it was because I thought that I could do that and I wanted to force myself to strike the right balance of what’s now and what’s next. The Dummies brand is just plain KNOWN for that sort of thing. +Shiv Singh did an amazing job in Social Media Maketing For Dummies, Twitter and Twitter Marketing for Dummies were both great. I have used them myself in the past to get involved in something and found them to be awesome first looks. For example: I learned UNIX with UNIX For Dummies and became super proficient.
Before this project, I was not a published author and I had little idea what it meant to get published. Wiley reached out to my co-author +Aaron Strout and asked him to do the project. He came to me to see if I would be interested. I had been kicking around the idea of writing a book with a Boston-based advertising legend at the time so I thought perhaps this was serendipitous and a sign that I should get some experience before tacklings the other idea. I was THRILLED at the idea of working with Aaron who has been a friend for quite some time and a person who constantly pushes the envelope on new media marketing, particularly location.
This was a good idea. Our editors handled us like first-time bloggers-turned-authors and helped us come up with the best possible product. It was excellent to be part of a qualified and extremely helpful team.
I also gave a lot of thought to distribution. Wiley is good at PR and distribution and unearthing ideas to promote the book. While promoting the book, I am actually doing what you suggest – promoting both mine and the allen & gerritsen brands because at the end of the day, I want to do the paragraph under first and foremost (above).
We actually wrote it
Some people ask if we wrote the book and are surprised to learn that Aaron and I actually did. Some books by experts are ghost written. This was not the case with LBM4D. While there were other contributors, I think it’s fair to say that Aaron and I contributed equally to the effort. Were there other contributors? Yes. Absolutely, but 96% of the book is actually written and edited by Aaron or myself. We could not see doing it any other way.
How did you do it
Technically, we started using a version control system for coding called subversion, but quickly abandoned it (to my chagrin) because it wasn’t fitting our flow. We used a combination of Dropbox and Google docs to collaborate.
We divided up the work. We would take responsibility for chapters, we would write them and the other would read them. We would then submit them to our editors for questions, comments and ridicule (we take them all) and then we would either edit our own or one another’s chapters depending on workload and deadlines. We Skyped a LOT. We made sure we were on the same page about everything we put down. It should feel like one voice although it would be a a fun game to try and pick out my chapters versus Aaron’s. There are tells in each chapter.
So there you have it. A little more than 2 cents and Im sorry it took so long to answer your question, but it required some actual thought to get you a good answer.