Some of us here at 800-CEO-READ just returned from this year's Author Pow Wow in Austin, TX. What's the Pow Wow? Every year since around 2005, we've gathered a room full of publishers, authors, marketers, speaking experts, designers, editors, agents, sales people, and a few people curious about becoming an author, to talk about what works, what doesn't, and how to make a more successful career as a business author. You can also visit the Pow Wow site to learn more about it.
We started out by talking about ideas, because if you don't have a good idea, the rest of the stuff you do will not go very well (if at all). Ray Bard, Erika Andersen, and John Moore shared their insight and experience, providing everyone in the room with a gauge to think about how they approached their own ideas. Here's a clip from John Moore, where he talks about cataloging his ideas, stockpiling them for future use - whether he knows how and if they'll be used, or not:
The rest of the day was spent talking publishing with Will Weisser, Susan Williams, Tim Sullivan and Tanya Hall, pointing out clear advantages of a traditional publishing team over self-publishing. Speaking and presentations were discussed by Nancy Duarte and Victoria Labalme, offering an interesting take on patterns of good presentations, and identifying key elements of what message you want an audience to receive. Then, building and managing project teams with Tim Sanders, whose presentation blew everyone's minds the previous year. This year, his focus was more grounded on specific practices that new and continuing authors can implement to build more success into their work.
The day closed out with a nearly hour long Q&A session with Seth Godin, who talked about his failures, what he learned from them, things he tried that were successful - from his early days as an author to the present, and where he saw the future of publishing heading. Lots of good questions raised here, and of course, some really interesting responses you don't often have the opportunity to hear from Seth.
All in all, it was a day jam packed with interesting and helpful information. Then we all headed out for dinner, where the conversations continued on. I enjoyed talking to author Chuck Wall about the idea of buying a super cheap flight with no seats (!), and Brad Aronson about helping employees achieve their potential. The room was a constant buzz. And David Edward won the raffle prize - a rare Seth Godin action figure!
The next day was all about sales, marketing, and publicity, featuring Tom Wilson, Will Weisser, Spike Jones, Rusty Shelton, and Barbara Cave Henricks. In some ways, these topics overlapped each other, with social media influencing sales, which in turn influences publicity, which in turn creates good marketing.
Overall, a lot of ground was covered, and we'll be posting more videos from the event in the near future, so stay tuned.
We're thankful for everyone that attended this year, especially our sponsors: Shelton Interactive, Greenleaf Book Group, and Cave Henricks Communications. All in all, it was another awesome Pow Wow - possibly the best one yet.
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.