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Scott Bales On His Publishing Journey To Innovation Warfare

Written by Scott Bales

After the success of my last book, Mobile Ready, also with Publishizer, I was keen to take things to the next level. I learnt a ton through the process of producing and distributing Mobile Ready, even resulted in my advising several authors over the couple of years. For my latest book, Innovation Wars, my target audience is the corporate innovation world, where incumbent organizations are struggling to compete against the start-ups and disruptors of industries. Almost every industry has been touched by a disruptor in the last ten years.

I've spent the last five years working with various corporates, helping them through the process to inject more innovative culture and setting up programs that allow them to tap the potential of their workforce, partners and the ecosystem around them. Through the engagement of my clients, I started recognising a common set of trends and patterns in what would make a successful transition to becoming ‘innovative’, and more importantly, what are the pitfalls resulting the demise of an innovation program.

So over the last three years I've been collating a bunch of research, frameworks and models, that have become the basis for Innovation Wars. Similarly, to the decision I had with Mobile Ready, I had options to work with a traditional publisher to bring the book to market. But the entrepreneur in me - the innovator in me - wanted to be in the driver’s seat for the book’s production. That includes the editorial process, the research process, the partners that are involved, the cover design, and the likes. So I decided to test the boundaries of the publishing industry again. Mobile Ready was fantastic in the way we were able to raise the highest amount of a crowdfunded book in Asia at the time. With Innovation Wars, we're trying a hybrid approach. With Mobile Ready, I loved owning the production process, but struggled with the distribution side. So working with my various advisors and mentors, we decided to do a crowdfunded book, so I take the financial risk of the book’s creation. But look to work with a publisher on a deal for distribution, which is a challenge in itself, because it's a model that's never been done before.

So in the book’s pre-order campaign we're trying to, again, sell over a thousand copies of the book, and raise a target of over $50,000US. That would allow me to produce the book to a standard 95% acceptable to a publisher. Then parallel, we have a process to engage with publishers to negotiate a deal that would take over at the end of the production process. We're negotiating with a couple. We haven't found the model that works quite just yet. But they'll accept the big effort that I've actually put in to producing the book. The pitch has been quite simple, I’ll take the financial risk of producing the book, and validate the market need, all they have to do is help take it to market. It’s been the start of some fascinating discussions, as many publishers see the model as a way to boost the profitability of books, and reducing the risk.

Right now, my hope is that when everyone jumps on board and helps a backing on Innovation Wars for two reasons; 1) You’re interested in the world of Innovation, or 2) supporting innovation and change within the publishing industry.

I have to admit; it's been a challenge. It's an interesting way to push the boundaries in a very traditional industry. I'm very hopeful that my partnership with Publishizer again will become hugely successful, and change the landscape for authors and publishers alike. This model we're pushing benefits authors in a way, that they can actually crowdfund their own books, and take the financial risk of the books production. Then hand over a book to a publisher that’s market tested, 95% produced, and just needs to bring the book to market. I'm just hoping that we can get it over the line. So pre-order a copy now.

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