Cola or Champagne – service levels and what they mean
I work in an industry where a lot of people put their hands up and say ‘Oh I can do that for you’, or ‘me too’. I’m talking about coaching – in any format, and regardless of speciality, there seems to always be someone waiting to offer their card, promote their services, and be ‘that guy/gal’ at the networking event.
For a long time Coaches have been compared with real estate agents and car sales people for their sheer enthusiasm when it comes to ‘I can do that for you’ style of pitching for business. I asked my own coaching tutor who was a master practitioner at the time back in 2003: ‘If everyone wants to call themselves a coach, and there’s no legal or educational requirement that they be properly trained, then why are we (on the 2 year program I was on) working so hard to want to ‘be coaches’. She responded with a well considered answer:
“What you will do is bring coaching skills to the table when you do what ever else you will do, and you will be significantly better at THAT because of it.”
My ‘that’ has turned into publishing, which for more than a dozen years now has meant that my business is all about helping others to write, produce, publish and market their non-fiction books – to a very high level of content and overall production quality. And for me, it does not end with the finished product arriving on my authors’ doorsteps; we keep working together to ensure the marketing and the fine tuning of the distribution and leverage opportunities is maximised for the long term.
I know that a lot of people are populating the publishing industry – expecially in terms of self publishing or Indie trade, with promises to help people write a book. Others are then saying they can help print, design, format, edit, produce, or even get the book onto Amazon.
Yay! And please excuse my cynicism – but there are a lot of these helpful people out there. Sigh! The terrible tragedy is, that as a result of many people doing a ‘good enough’ job, there is a glut of ‘barely average’ quality books all vying for attention in an overcrowed market. In non-fiction books alone, under the category of Leadership, there are 100s of thousands of titles. And it grows every year… as do all categories.
The Book Business is BOOMING!
While this seems to be the age of ‘fast and furious’ in many ways, from the demands for instant gratification for Gen-y’ers, faster internet speeds, faster travel, fast-track education options and even speedy restaurant services, when it comes to some things, you just can’t rush them. In order to do the whole job, well, and achieve outstanding outcomes so that you really are standing out from the crowd in any busy market place, you must slow down and Get.It.RIGHT!
With books, you have to expect it’s going to take time to do a great job of writing, then publishing your work. While I have also managed (once) to start and publish a book in under two months (with multiple authors contributing which in some ways helped and others hindered the progress) this is certainly not ideal, due to the increased chances of mistakes being made – errors than can ultimately damage the reputation of the writer(s).
There are a number of new companies out there all promoting what they can do for authors to fast trak their publishing journey – I think of them as the Cola beverage options; yes they’ll quench a good thirst, but ultimately put a lot of dirty sugars and chemicals into your system which can slow you down. By comparison, a glass of fine wine or Champagne is to be enjoyed, with others helping to drink it, and if it’s of excellent quality it won’t give you a headache the next day.
I don’t like being the cause of other people’s headaches. And while a quick ‘thirst quenching’ option might be a good one in some instances, a slow and steady team effort that is remarkable for outstanding results is surely a better option for professionals who are sincerely focused on having excellent books to support their marketing efforts.
If you are serious about writing, producing an excellent non-fiction book to position you as an authority in your field, and you really do know how to own that position, then please don’t undersell yourself by doing an average job of sharing your wisdom. Your book deserves better and so do you.
Invest a little more, extra time too, and enjoy a Champagne journey towards becoming an Author-ity.