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Design A Book Cover In this Friday, blue couch interview episode we are joined with Anders Sorman-Nilsson. He has just launched ...
his new book and he goes through his experiences.
Tags:Book Cover Designs Tips - Part 2,Design A Book Cover,designing book covers,Get Published TV
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Dale: Hi! I’m Dale Beaumont and welcome to Get Published TV. This is the only dedicated show on the internet to help you to write, publish and market your own bestselling book. Now, I’m really excited about today’s episode because I’ve got a good friend with me, someone who’s actually been featured in one of my books, this book here is called Secrets of Great Success Coaches Exposed! And this is his photo up here. His name is Anders Sorman-Nilsson and what I’m excited about -- I’m having him here -- he’s not only -- he’s featured in one of my books but more recently he has actually published his own book and this is it right here. It was published just a couple of weeks ago in fact so we can pretty much say, its hot off the press and I’m really looking forward talking to Anders and so for people that out there that want to get published, this guy has just done it in the last couple of months so I’m really excited to hear what he’s got o say. So Anders thanks for joining us.
Anders: Good to be here with you Dale. It’s good to see you again.
Dale: Now, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what is the theme of the book, what is this book about?
Anders: I guess in a nutshell is for anyone who’s interested in innovation, change management, generational trends and really how to cope and upgrade the thinking in these very wacky times that we’re living in. How it really makes sense of the world or what's going on in the economies and the flocks with -- elected a president who’s very not named -- reminds us of Iraq, Hussein, Osama, things are a little bit strange and wacky and are constantly changing in the world and the this book is really my attempt that making people understand what's going on in the world to get a feel for the dynamic of the trends that are shaping, our economic landscape and then be able to really position themselves optimally -- actually take advantage of some of the positive trends that I’m driving, the business landscape at the moment.
Dale: Great! So the book is called Think Funky and the subtitle is Upgrade Your Thinking. And this book is one of the -- if I can use the term, sexiest books that I have ever held in my hand. And I wish you'd be able to reach through the camera right now and feel this book but tell us about the color, we obviously know it’s a hard cover but tell us about the cover, the materials used and tell us about the pages and also -- and I might flick through it as well while we’re doing this because this is a book that you would not see often as far as the attention to detail is concern. So tell us about the book and then why you chose to make some of these decisions.
Anders: Okay. I guess the first thing was I had to think to myself Dale, when I go into a bookstore, what are the kind of books that grab my attention and normally when I go into bookstores, sort of wondering to the design to the design section because that’s where the most beautiful books are most of the time and --
Dale: Maybe you got to tell people, you're Swedish of course.
Anders: I am Swedish.
Dale: Swedish people are famous for designs so that probably had a bit to do with it that I’m guessing --
Anders: Yeah, I mean, it is important to me and I think really books, like it’s really important for books these days to be beautiful, they're beautifully designed and to grab people’s attention and it is something that also I think position books in a premium fashion in bookstores. So we did go for a high end design of the book and also, we sourced the front cover material. In Holland, it’s a savannah cloth from Holland, it was the only one in the world that was -- that could be, the -- how do you exact PMS or pantone color that we we’re after for this particular book which is brand with my company called Thinque. So that was an important aspect to the book. So we sourced the material, they flew in a business class as I like to say from Holland to Australia and then beautifully hand bound in Australia using an old bookbinding process from the 1920’s. So we have a little video which shows the bookbinding and its all hand stitched and hand done on this old beautiful machine from the 1920’s. So that whole process for me was kind of important because -- really, I wanted this book to be almost like a manifesto of my thoughts. And when I think manifesto, I think old, I think, you know 19th century and I think of political manifestos etcetera so we really wanted -- while the book is very modern, it has a modern we also wanted it to have a feel and grounding in history. So the process of design and the process of manufacture were actually really important to us as well. And it’s something we feel very strongly about in terms of the value of the book not just the content but the entire thinking behind the production of it.
Dale: Now, other than the factor you're Swedish and you have a like a love of design there's obviously some sort of marketing intent behind why you choose to have such a high standard when it comes to the production design. So, would you talk this through that as well?
Anders: Yeah, I mean I think for me it was important -- there are many people asking me, they go, “Oh! Yeah, you know, why don’t you -- going to just get someone to ghost write it for you. Are you going to have it so you can just hand it out as a business card?” And I said, no to both questions. I said I’m going to write the entire book myself because it’s my thoughts -- only I can really command that IP and get down on paper because I wanted it to be a manifesto so to speak. So that was the first important thing and then secondly, we just wanted to add value to people. So people could almost have -- I think the idea behind the book was too much creativity and analogue GPS. This book really is design for people to be able to navigate at constantly changing business landscape. Now, how do you do that? We all have a GPS in our car. So created the models and the book etcetera almost like a GPS whereby you can navigate your way forward in the business landscape by knowing your position in relation to old landmarks of things that have happened such as Web 1.0 to its Web 2.0 cousin to the time we’re moving into now which is Web 3.0. So we thought, okay, how can we fuse and Analogue GPS with one of my other greatest and most fascination and most loved tools that I use all the time which is -- diary. So there's plenty of white pages in this book as well so people can take notes and do their own thought down, brain dumps and doodling which I believe is the beginning of innovation. And really fuse those with also something that’s beautifully designed. So its kind of a hybrid of those different versions of thinking.
Dale: Because you’ve already had it, such a high standard when it comes to all of your branding, your personally image, your website and I think its -- and are really important that you're consistent with all those things as well if you brought out a book that was printed on poor quality paper and had a very flimsy cover, it would just be a little bit of conflict compared to who you are and what you stand for. So it’s great that you’ve gone with that consistent field. It certainly stands out and so, you know, I’m really loving what I see right now. Tell me about how -- one of the challenges maybe with this book because it’s about upgrading your thinking, it’s about how we can survive in this changing times. Things are changing so quickly, did you ever -- but did you worry that the book would date very, very quickly, it sounds like you’ve taken that into consideration and you’ve used a lot of historical sort of facts so that way it’s not going to date.
Anders: Yeah, I mean, it’s a little bit of both. We’ve done a few things to keep it sort of a friend of mine for people and one of the things we’re going to do is we’re going to do is to keep a releasing a book every year, one that’s going to be a new addition but we’ll change the color and keep the theme of this book. Also, I guess a book that describes the period of 1990 to 2000, that’s what I call thinking 1.0 then the period of 2000 to 2010 as thinking 2.0 and then 2010 to 2020 to what I call thinking 3.0. So in a sense, it’s a futurist book as well. It really looks to this next period of 2010 to 2020 that we’re now moving into, what I call thinking 3.0. We’re at that paradigm shift in 2009 now where we’re really seeing a big shake out in terms of the economy and I think the successful companies, the successful individuals now will be people who really get this 3.0 thinking that is compatible with the Web 3.0 world that we’re moving into in 2010. So, in a sense, its futurist so in that sense, you know, while we’re using a lot of case studies and a lot of fresh material, a lot of it is based on trend reports in 2008 so its still very current but it is also making forward projections based upon historical data, present data and a lot case studies that we’ve been using that we’ve been using for the book. So I’m not worried that we’ll date. We’ve done a few things, if you look at the back cover here, you may notice that we’ve actually got a little banner on the back which actually means we can update the book very easily in terms of how we position it. And this back banner is something we thought about because we thought, “Hey, if something does change in the economy or something drastically comes out that is in tune with some of the predictions we have made in the book of what we think will happen in 2010 and 2011, once again we can put them on the back cover in our next distribution to bookstores and at conferences, etcetera. So actually, it has a little bit of flexibility. Not just the content but also really positioning the book in the forefront of people’s minds.
Dale: And I know one of the things you’ve spoken about on Get Published TV is having sections such as this or if you have a book which has a -- doesn’t have a sliding piece of paper on the back, you can use the inside back cover to have customized messages if you're pre-selling to major corporations. So you're doing a presentation and then they’d buy 500 copies, then this is a great thing that you can quickly just change and make customized version for that organization so that’s a good tip. Let’s talk about a couple of other things that would benefit people watching. You wrote the whole book yourself, having gone through that experience, do you have a couple of tips or hints for how you got your ideas and this is quite futuristic in the fact. So it wasn’t that you were just rehashing all the information, you have to really dig deep inside your self and I imagine it was a challenging experience but you have got through it, so what are some tips that you can give other people about writing?
Anders: I think, I mean, the way my brain works is that it sort of synthesizes information. I might be out speaking in Bangkok or somewhere, I might see a food stall and I see that there using an iPhone and I’m going, “Hey! What does this signify?” And then I might be in another country in another day and I might see a really cool ad on the ground where there's like a -- you know, one of those markings for a dead body, that’s actually an ad for a TV series and I go, “Hey! What does this actually mean?” And then I might come back to Australia and then see another trend or another example of something that actually isn’t very much in tune with both the iPhone and this guerilla style of marketing. And I sort of go, “Hey! What's the vibe here? What does this mean?” And when I go out and research I always sort of bear that in mind, how do I actually connect the dots. So I try to be quite diverse in my research and in just the way I live life. The way I do it is to take notes on my iPhone and my most -- and just take down everything that I see and observe and then try and make sense of it. Put it to my subconscious to sort this all out. What does it mean?
Dale: Do you have any diary with you now?
Anders: I don’t have -- I do have a diary with me at the moment.
Dale: Okay, you want to just grab it and just --
Dale: -- share it to people because we want to --
Anders: I’ll grab it.
Dale: -- we’re hardly visual here and show you as much as we can and your iPhone over as well. These are just different tools, you got to come up with your own format that’s going to work for you. We have spoken about it in previous videos and different techniques. But lets just talk about the ones Anders uses, we got his iPhone here.
Anders: So, I guess on the iPhone, one of the things I always do is I grab lots of photos. So I go into camera if I see something like one of my clients the other day, I’m doing -- that actually got me on a retainer to do trend spotting for them so I write them a trend report every two months that is specified and tailored to their particular company. And so I was at hair dresser the other day, as you can tell, and as I’m there, this is actually one of the best places to do research because I read all these magazines that I don’t normally read, and I saw a really interesting article for someone that was organic products in the market where you wouldn’t normally think that people were doing organic products for but they change some of the chemicals and exchanged them for organic produce. And so I just take a photo and send it to my client and it also goes immediately to my notes section in the iPhone, but I add notes to the iPhone section when I get good ideas so that I really capture them all the time. It makes space for new ideas and then I go over these sort of once a week, once every two weeks to just check some of those ideas and where they might fit in a book as well. The other thing is, this is actually an electronic version now of my diary. I use what's called a livescribe pen which actually records every thing that you write. So you have it in a hard copy like this. And also every thing is actually captured to an online PDF as well. So if you ever loose your diary which I always feel that I’m going to do, then I actually have every thing backed up on my computer as well in PDF’s.
Dale: So this is something that few people have actually heard of before. It looks like a normal diary but it has hundreds and hundreds of tiny little dots on the piece of paper. Then you have a special pen that you write and what it does is it knows because of -- where the dots are positioned, everything that you're writing and it basically without even taking a scan or without even taking a photo it just automatically knows from those dots what you’ve written and it converts that into an electronic file that you can back up. So it’s a really amazing piece of technology. What's the name of it again?
Anders: Its called livescribe, the pen is called livescribe. The other thing I do with my clients now is that I usually get someone in the meeting or someone in key note from the audience, so it actually takes notes and it also records sound which means that all the notes that this person is taking during the conference, it syncs with the sound of my voice and the interaction in the room and once again becomes a new product for my clients, so once again, something that they really appreciate.
Dale: Love it. Now, lets just talk about a couple of other things, talk about the book launch because you recently launched your book last week or a week before.
Anders: Two weeks ago.
Dale: Two weeks ago. So tell us about how that worked for you? What are the couple of things that went well, maybe didn’t go so well and if you have any tips for other people that maybe looking to do their own book launch.
Anders: We did two things. So we launched it in Melbourne at designEX which is a design expo/conference.
Dale: That’s a really good thing to pick up on because what you may want to do instead of running your own independently, what if your book is about, let’s just say you had a book about UFO’s for example, then you find out when the nearest UFO convention is on and then that can be an opportunity to pay back on that particular event and launch it there. So, that’s exactly what you’ve done.
Anders: And very powerful in terms of having a deadline too.
Anders: When you know you got to deliver it. So that really helped out. So that was on may first, we launched that at designEX which was great because we’ve got a lot of positive media attention as well. We had a very per capita sale ratio at the event as well. I got to sign books just before Jamie Durie who of course is a famous Australian landscape architecture and designer, who also have his own TV show. So we’ve got good media through that. And then we actually ran our own private launch in Sydney. And we just thought, how do we create an experience that is not just a launch, come for a few drinks and buy the book but we’re really sort of went all out and had it at a home. I’m lucky to be living in a really funky sort of designer warehouse which is really great so the space was worked really well with this launch but we had some amazing sponsors who were there to put a lot of art work up on the walls. We had an amazing photographer there. We had a camera screw so we’ll be bringing out a video of the launch very soon. We had a DJ, we all had handmade food or homemade food for everyone.
Dale: It does -- getting sponsors because some people think of -- if I’m going to put up a launch, I just have to pay for everything yourself but obviously you had people donate their services, how were you able to get them to do that?
Anders: I guess we had about a 120 people at the launch, quite a few people actually and then a lot of my clients as well so, I think I had people donate their times as MC’s, as photographers, as artist, we had a design store donator, a lot of candles, so the place smelled really beautiful as well. We had some sponsoring for alcohol as well. And we also had the even coordination sponsored. So, really it was -- in the end, there was probably 15 to 20K event if we’re just looking at what the cost would have been, had we done all of that and paid cash for it. Rather it was significantly less than that and which actually put up our return investment significantly and it also made it possible for us to positively promote this other businesses to our database, into our clients.
Dale: And the things you would offer them in return, did you say, “I’ll put your logo on the invitation or I’ll mention you by name a the event?” What were the things that you offered?
Anders: We did a few of things. So once again, and the thank yous, to making the book possible, and launch possible, we gave them a lot of highlights and a lot of emphasis so that was one important thing. We also done follow-up emails saying, “If you're ever looking for an event coordinator, you should speak to Connie Tung from Fusion Global Events because she did an amazing job or the photographer who was there. So that’s one way in which we have done it. And of course there's always an internal gratitude debt as well and I think everyone did an amazing job at the launch. So once again, I have no hesitancy in terms of recommending the work that they will do which is a very high quality. We also had logos display, we had an overhead projector, displaying on one of the walls so there logos were constantly featured and I think people just got all those touch points, they walked in, they're aromatic senses were firing on all cylinders, there were visual displays everywhere and kinesthetic displays in this way. So they were a lot like we were really trying to engage all the touch points in all the different senses of the people that were and there were different sponsors kind of responsible for different activation or different stimuli there.
Dale: And tell us about the all important sales factor from the book launch. How were you able to monetize the event? Did you get a number of orders? How did that work?
Anders: We got good per capita. So, what we did is, the MC held of the book at the event said he’d slept with the book because it’s so sexy and not in that kind of way. But it had been on his bedside table a last few nights. He had read through it and loved it and so of course he held it up at the beginning which I think is great. We talked about the entire process of production design and I think they're really engaged, this people in the story and the transparency of how a book goes from just an idea into a physical format.
Dale: Do you had order forms there that people could fill out?
Anders: Yeah. So everyone at the launch actually got a little pack with a few little gifts and then order forms as well. They got bookmark, hopefully that bookmark goes with buying the book. So everyone got a beautifully designed -- a little, not a brochure but a folder with information and we asked them just to sign those up. We also had QR Codes or QM Codes that you may or may not be familiar with but it’s huge in Asia at the moment and it kind of looks like a barcode that’s on drugs. And it looks very squiggly and very different but basically you can take an iPhone picture or a Blackberry picture of it. It converts it into a hyperlink that then takes you through to an order page for the book online. So we had people actually taking pictures or posters of QR codes and filling in orders that way online.
Dale: That’s very cool.
Anders: And then as well via PayPal downstairs at the registration desk. So we had lots of different ways for people to put in their orders and we wanted to be a little bit innovative with that.
Dale: Great! And, we’re just selling single books, so did you have an opportunity for people to buy like, you know, 5 copies or more, etcetera?
Anders: There were several people who bought more than one copy so we didn’t have special incentives do it necessarily with this book. I think our ambition now is to make it an international bestseller so it’s been very important for us to keep the retail price intact. So just to count our orders towards that essential number of international bestselling status so we didn’t do any particular incentives, maybe we could’ve but --
Dale: Yeah. It’s all money experience. This is fabulous. So what's your plan with this book moving forward? You obviously got the goal that you put out there making it an international bestseller, what are the couple of the contributing factors that you're going to implement to get the book there?
Anders: Well, I’ve got Australian -- and Innovation Magazine now, in Australia, they're doing a review on the book and which is coming out any day now. In their next edition, we got DQ Magazine Design Quarterly, is also running a double spread on it. We’ve got this TV show of course Dale which is a great opportunity to get the book out there. And also we got some overseas opportunity. So we have to PR company in Sweden, and actually is looking forward to launching the book over there. So we’ve got several things like that happening. I’m also in talks with a few different conference organizers overseas that I’m hoping will stock at their next events where I will be speaking.
Dale: So tell us the website, people want to grab their copy, where can they go? What's the URL?
Anders: It is www.thinquefunky.com.
Dale: So that’s where you and also you are a speaker as well and you speak about a lot of different topics that are all obviously related to the book but if there are people out there in any part of the world that maybe looking at -- you know, speaker, tell us about what you’ll speak about and also your personal website as well when you mention your speaking topics, etcetera.
Anders: So the main topics that I speak on both in Australia and overseas are innovation, change management and generational trends so if you need a really infotaining and thought provoking in a powerful and motivational session for people that are really looking to future proof business trends, look no further than www.thinque.com.au and that’s thinque with the funny spelling again.
Dale: So we need to wrap this video of right now. It’s been a pleasure having Anders here and tell us about this wonderful book, you know again its just the amount of attention to detail and design. It’s just, you know, wish you were able to hold this in your hands because it’s really a special but you can always grab a copy. Go to the website as mentioned and please leave us your comments below. We’d love you to say it. A big thank you to Anders for giving up his time and sharing his experience and we’ll make sure that all of those messages will get forward onto him. And we look forward to seeing you again on another episode of Get Published TV. Thanks again for watching.