Starting with this post, once a month, I’ll be interviewing an established author, with the intent of posing questions that will help our readers learn from those who have gone before them. As Jim Stovall pointed out in his book, The Millionaire Map, ”Never accept a map from someone who hasn’t been where you want to go.”
I had the opportunity to ask Mitchell a few questions recently as part of our new Featured Author blog post series. However, since Mitchell is in the unique position of being both a publisher and an author, I chose to ask a few questions about his unusual publishing brand.
For those of you who are considering writing a book in 2014, you may find that generating a tweetbook creates some of the brand visibility that you’re looking for while helping to establish your expertise in a given area. This is especially useful for entrepreneurs and executives, but can be done by anyone!
How did THiNKaha come about?
I started Happy About as a publisher in 2005 to help experts demonstrate their expertise through the use of books. The overall goal was to create the type of firm that I’d want to use myself. Quick to market, inexpensive to produce, transparent in how business is done, trust that the best interest of each and every author is first and foremost. We did that. In 2009, we started the THiNKaha imprint and in 2013 we renamed the company THiNKaha.
What sets THiNKaha apart from other publishing options out there?
THiNKaha has a number of imprints where we can publish titles ranging from 100k word hardcover textbooks to 3k word eBooks. We always let our authors feel important, because they are. We are transparent in how we do business and try our best to be the partner that helps each and every author demonstrate their thought leadership through our books. Our THiNKaha series is unique as a series as these books are comprised of 140 twitter-sized quotes. Quick to write and demonstrate your thought leadership and more importantly, quick for your prospects/customers to read.
Where does the name come from?
The executive editor, Rajesh Setty, and I spent a day with branding expert Karen Kang and we talked about the book series we wanted to create, the customers we wanted to attract, and the value we wanted to share with the marketplace. At the end of the day, we had a number of phrases and expressions of who we are and the value proposition we wanted the name to represent. After a night of thinking it through, I combined the names “Think” and “aha” since it reflected our desire to help authors create “aha” moments.
What’s the process for creating a tweetbook?
It’s fairly simple. We have 6 questions we ask prospective authors to fill out first. After that, we have a conversation with the author on whether it’s a good fit for us as a publisher. If it is, we sign the contract and start working with the author to help them create a great book. The 6 questions are available at http://thinkaha.com/6questions. The collaborative process is done with Basecamp and we share tools that help the writing, content edit, and copy edit of each book.
Who does a tweetbook work best for?
Anyone who wants to establish their thought leadership quickly. It’s an amazing way to write (or crowdsource) a book today that is quick to write and quick to read. The real cool part is our THiNKaha app. Authors can now publish directly to the app, which is even quicker than publishing to the physical book. In addition to speed, the application allows the reader to quickly share each “aha” on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. The amazing part is the ability for the thought leader to have their networks activate and amplify their messages. Read more about the process here.
Is ThiNKaha considered a self-publishing option or a traditional publishing option?
THiNKaha is a collaborative publisher that brings the best of both worlds of self-publishing and traditional publishing. We have the speed to market and control that self-publishing delivers with the quality product that a traditional publisher brings.
Where do you distribute the book after publication?
We distribute our books through a number of channels and are continually looking to expand our reach. Channels differ based on the book’s format. We currently produce our books in paperback, eBook (PDF & ePub) and podbook formats. A current list of the places we distribute can be found on our website.
Do you help with the marketing and promotion as well?
We do block and tackle marketing. While we ensure that the book is distributed to the appropriate channels, and issue a press release to the appropriate sites, we also notify our network of affiliate partners, interested buyers and previous customers. However, the key person that cares about the success of a book is the author who should be using their book as a tool for driving more business. It is the new business card that should open up doors and drive more business. 80-90% of the success of a book is the marketing that comes after the book is published. How could a publisher do as good of a job as the author? What we’re doing is just to help you get started and to position you for success.
If you had one piece of advice for someone thinking about writing a book, what would it be?
Just do it. The quicker you can get a good book on the market, the quicker it will start working for you. I recently conducted a 30-minute interview with copyblogger writer Beth Hayden with tricks and tips for writing. Check it out.