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And the winner is...

It’s been a tough week. By midnight on Monday 15 proposals had landed on my virtual doormat from the 10-day Business Book Proposal Challenge participants. That’s not as many as some previous challenges, so it should have been easier to choose a winner, right?


I managed to narrow it down to a shortlist of 4, which was hard enough, but selecting just one was agonizing.

In the end, though, the winner by a nose was Jacqui Harper with Executive Presentations: Develop Executive Presence to speak with confidence and skill.

Why? Four reasons:

1.     It’s a great market niche: books on presentation skills typically focus on more basic skills, but this is for senior leaders and CEOs who need to feel absolutely confident that they’re making the right impression in their most challenging, business-critical presentations.

2.     To appeal to that market, you need to have cast-iron credentials. Jacqui is known as ‘The Presentation Doctor’ at INSEAD where she lectures, and has a background as a BBC journalist. It’s a winning combination of professional skills.

3.     She has created a distinctive approach to the subject: a five-step model that she’s evolved and refined through years of training top executives. That’s a more compelling message for me as a publisher and for the reader than a generic discussion on what makes a good presentation, and it translates well into talks and workshops, both great opportunities to sell books.

4.     Her marketing plan was credible and comprehensive: without fanfare she set out her impressive network and platform and detailed plans for leveraging them to promote the book. As a publisher you’re looking for a proactive marketing partner, and Jacqui positioned herself as exactly that.

As a publisher, I’m looking for a strong idea, a clear market (and I need to know not only that the target readers exist, but that they recognize the problem the book is solving and they’re in the market for a solution), a good reason why you’re the right person to write the book, and confidence that you’re going to help me sell it effectively.

I’m beyond proud of the fact that all the proposals submitted to me met those criteria – and I know many of them will go on to be published either by me or another publisher (I’ll be contacting publishers and agents on their behalf very soon).

If you want to take part in the next challenge, it kicks off on 5 June and you can sign up here: https://alisonjones.leadpages.co/proposal-challenge/ 

Here’s how one of this month’s challengers described the experience:

A challenging 10 days of delving deeper and deeper into what my readers want, what I have to say and how I can bring the two together. This challenge gave me so much clarity and the knowledge that my book will now flow more easily. Further enhanced by Alison's generous feedback every step as well as fantastic support from a group. It was like a mini-mastermind on speed!

This entry was posted on 07 April 2017 at 19:24 and is filed under Other | publishing. You can leave a response here.

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