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Q & A: Scott Bales

Publishizer met up with Scott Bales to talk about the success of his book, Mobile Ready.

What led you to this project?

Over the past decade I've spent a large amount of my time working on the digital transformation of industries, with mobile being a key theme and enabler in the space. One of the major challenges I kept seeing was the focus of efforts on the wrong discussions, mainly the technology involve in mobile. Which hampered the ability of organisations and leaders to fully embrace its transformative nature of mobility.

I wrote Mobile Ready as a guide to business leaders as they embark on the transformation of their skills, and outlook on consumer markets. Shifting the conversation to more important topics my context, behavior and utility. Dramatically increasing the likelihood of success

You are one of the bestsellers for consumer behavior on Amazon! How did that feel?

Actually, it was a bit of a surprise. My active marketing efforts for the book weren't due to start yet. So getting up into the top ten so early was a surprise. But once there, it was a great sense of pride that the topic and thoughts I published were meaning for the audience. When one self-publishes a book, you have only an assumed idea of how the market might respond. So the response the book got was a strong validation for my point of view.

Why did you choose to self-publish?

I was talking to a few traditional publishers, but the deals just didn't attract me. It wasn't that they weren't offering value, its just my nature as a entrepreneur is to be in the driving seat. So by self-=publishing, I gained complete control (and accountability) for my books success. I could build the thought leadership platform I wanted, market the book the I chose, and invest in resources of my own decision.

What did you learn through this process?

First, the book is a startup. Treating any book like a startup means I think through it in terms of platform, content, message, brand, audience, etc. which are all key elements to launching a successful book. Second, my editor Matt Gartland was a great coach for improving the power and effectiveness of my writing, which has benefited myself across multiple parts of my business.

The bonus was by applying my mind to the publishing process; I've managed to make a name for myself as publishing innovator. When I started this process, I didn't think I was skilled in publishing; instead I applied what felt natural to drive success, drawing from my experience in building startups. As a result, I am now mentoring previous best-sellers as they develop their new books, and loving every moment of it.

Any upcoming plans?

I caught the writing bug. I had written my next book before writing Mobile Ready, its narrative on the change in society and digital natives take up more significant portions of citizenship, employment and consumption. But instead, my next book will be a co-authoring with learning and development guru Steve Budd. We are tackling the fusion of Customer Centric Design and Lean Startup Methods for organisations as they design the future of business. We are collating the case studies now and in negotiation for some great sponsors.

In parallel, I'm doing two creative-crowd projects as a follow-up to Mobile Ready, focusing on the same mobile shift but this time from the eyes of the consumer. It will be a visual commentary on how our lives have changed as we adopt mobile. There will be a documentary filmed on six of the world's continents and a visual coffee table book. For which I am rallying sponsors now.

The Shizzle

Musings on the future of traditional publishing

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