I spent last weekend at a book publishing boot camp. It was hosted by Black Card Books and featured motivational speaker/author/publisher suave, moustache toting guy Gerry Robert.
A business coach suggested I go. “Want to work for writers”, he said. “go where writers are.” And so I signed up without the foggiest sense of a book trying to escape from my soul (spoiler – there isn’t one) I even paid (it’s a free weekend seminar) to get guaranteed seating in the front rows filled with determined wannabe authors.
One of the first things I leaned, while standing in line to get into the room on Friday night, was selling to boot camp attendees is not allowed. “Rude” “Unethical” Gerry says. “This is my seminar”. Fair point. The brochures stayed in my bag. So much for my plan. I started thinking really hard about the topic for a book. Part of paying for the weekend included one-on-one time with an author consultant. Turns out that was voluntary. Phew.
The entire premise for the boot camp is how to write a short, non fiction book to use as a marketing tool to promote yourself and grow your business. You are not going to write the next Giller Prize winner after this boot camp nor are you going to write a Malcolm Gladwell or Elizabeth Gilbert best seller. You’re going to write a 100 page self-help or how-to book to (mostly) give away for free. I recommend this excellent blog post for the nuts and bolts of the weekend. It’s a winning formula – Gerry said so – and still applies. Only a few changes in the 15 months since that post was written. The price to join the author program has increased. And Gerry made a second pitch on Sunday to recruit new speakers to the PABGR program. More little Gerrys to lead these three day boot camps. You pay to join the speaker program as well but in return you get a cut of all the people you upsell, who buy into the author program and you learn how to be a highly paid public speaker (not to be confused with a highly polished public speaker).
My verdict. It was a very useful weekend. I learned a ton about content marketing and since I’m a small business – that’s a win. I learned a lot about mindset and positive thinking and since I’m human – that’s also a win. And I know my wife needs to write a book and use it as a marketing tool for her consulting and coaching business Sharp Solutions. Win!
I’m finally heading off on vacation so the blog will be quiet for a few weeks.