Thank you for your gift of a book and kind note. These are both treasures.
I have thought about your question concerning what to do with the book that demanded a large investment on your part.
Here is a partial answer, I will think about this over the next month and drop you a note or two.
Books, as you know, are slow movers unless you are Oprah. This is good and bad. Good – a steady flow of interests over years as people discover yours. Bad – not the immediate recognition it deserves.
So, the fun part of this is the creation of marketing support and selling it. You have time to do both. Here are some things we do:
• Weblog – I continue to write sparingly on it but, it keeps the rankings up and does generate some engagement with people in the industry
• Newsletter – some of this is work but, it is not if you like to write. Each time it publishes, there is some feedback from your readers.
• Commercial website with a shopping cart – this helps establish presence and sell books.
• IPhone – have the Square credit card commerce service – if I meet someone and happen to mention construction. We find our way to talking about my books. I might sell one and take their credit card right then and there – $2.75 per swipe charge. I can be a sales person at times and it is fun.
• Electronically convert it – it is a lower margin but, higher / more widespread (worldwide) distribution. Both of mine are. The third which will be based on PhD research is my “opus”. It is a construction business system that is along the lines of “Good to Great”. It will be real charge to perfect it and publish it. I am “amped” (Late 2013)
Your publisher can help in several ways to market – most don’t since the ROI in book publishing is single digits – so many are just printers with a rolodex of contacts to send samples to – then they play catch with any orders that may result – (they don’t sell or market). That leaves you to the be the chief believer – salesperson and marketer – of the book.
What comes to mind for you – this is my sense – that you could have a lot of fun visiting book clubs, libraries, associations and bookstores across the U.S. (maybe elsewhere). As long as somebody buys a required number, you tell them you will show up. Jet Blue / SW Airlines / Hotwire / a hybrid car etc. make travel cheap and string a few close cities together and you may make a profit. Throw in a 2 hour breakfast meeting at Association Y and then a strategic planning session / future trends speech and you have made a couple of dollars.
University students need to hear about managing labor, field experience, negotiation skills among other expertise you have. Many of them will thank you at the end of the course. They will realize the wisdom and that you cared to tell them about “reality”.
Not glamorous but, this is the life we choose as authors, writers, advisors and educators.
As far as your statement about your last book, I don’t know if you are accurate. Never ask a NFL player his future plans after the Super Bowl or an author after his / her last book. A person’s perspective is sensitive to time and in the football player’s case, one that reflects his tired / hurt body after an 8 month season.
I know of no one who ever stopped writing. They write something until their “cold, dead fingers” are removed from pen / laptop.
To me, being significant is most important in this professional life. It is not shared by everyone but, then again I am a believer in what I believe.