I am working with an excellent company called Girl Friday Productions (GRP) to assist me in self publishing my book, The Flight of a Wild Duck. I decided not to get an agent and find a publisher but take responsibility for the publishing it myself. The advent of services like Kindle Direct Publishing have distributed the publishing world. Companies like GFP can help an author with all aspects of the publishing process from the editing, products and marketing of a book. While publishers typically did all these tasks at their own expense and even provided an advance, the publisher would share substantially in the income of the book. While using self publishing, an author can keep as much as 70% of the sales of a book versus the 10-15% if a traditional publisher is utilized. On the other had, using companies like GFP work for a fee that varies based on the length of the book and services need. I would guess the range is around $25,000 to $50,000. My reasons had to do with my objectives. The volume of sales is not my primary objective. I am writing my book to have impact on those the read it. I am also writing it for myself as I have learn so much in the process.
GFP’s marketing process has to do with identifying the target audience and developing various plans for reaching the audience. One of the techniques is to create personas of the target audience. For instance, since my book contains a lot about the history of the computer industry and in particular, the role that the companies were I worked, played, my book should appeal to those interested in the history of the computer industry. But my book also reflects on my life story and my struggles as well as my successes and should appeal to those that are interested in life stories.
In a recent meeting with the key marketing person, I learned that their research showed my audience was mostly male, 87% versus 13% female. I found that upsetting. But then I realized that throughout my career, I never really gave much consideration to the someone’s sex and certainly did nothing special in recruits females in my organization. Nor did I make any special effort to recruit people for minorities. Now, I wonder what this means. I don’t think my behavior was unusual for the time. But in a world like, Intel, there were very few female executives for sure. I remember when I was considering joining the Intel Board, I counted the number of members that were Jewish (there were a lot) which was evidently, something very important to me, but I failed to even consider that there were no women represented on the board. There were also no men of color.
Growing up, my own world was largely dominated by women. My mother, her mother and her mothers mother, we the major influences in my life. I always had and still do, very strong friendships with women. I know that I have mentored many women through my career. So I am a bit shocked that I never even thought about the issues women had/have in the technology industry while writing my book.
My book should be relevant for both men and women that have careers in high tech. Also, my struggles an in particular, my inability to fit into the school system, has been a topic for many conversations with female friends who are concerned about their children.
Hopefully, my book offers somethings to both men and women. I will work with my female friends to understand how I can position my book in a way that will also appeal to female readers. If any of you have ideas, please provide them in the comments.
The rest of the job
I am in the middle of editing my book. It is a very intense process and I will write more about it, once I complete working with my editor in about a month or so.