December 5, 2005
News & Opinion: Getting Noticed
I get packages at my house almost every day with new books coming out from publishers. We get even more mail at the office.
The typical package has a book with a letter. Bigger titles might get a folder with additional information and lesser titles mean just a book. I rarely look at any of the material that comes with the books. I want to experience the book as it was produced; as you would find it on the shelf at the bookstore.
I got a copy of 10 Rules for Strategic Leaders: From Idea to Execution back in September. It was a Harvard Business School Press title. It had a pretty boring title and cover art that didn't get me alot closer to understanding what the book was about. I read the first couple of pages and it was clearly a book about innovation. With some other really good innovation titles coming out for the fall, I decided it was not worth spending much more time.
As happens quite often, I ended up talking co-author Chris Trimble. He wanted to talk about business books and what sorts of things he could do to make his book a success. I asked him what the book was about and told me it was about executing innovation. I would have never known that by the title, cover art, or the first couple of pages.
So, two things:
- Listen to the interview. They have some really good things to say about challenges of innovation at big companies.
- Publishers (big and small): People judge books by their covers all the time. Make sure they communicate what the book is about.