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Derek Loudermilk’s approach to publishing like an adventurer

Author case study: Superconductors #book

When Derek Loudermilk began his publishing journey, his first thought was to self-publish his book on Amazon. When he heard about Publishizer through a friend, however, he decided to take an alternative approach and submit a proposal. Given his background as a an adventurous entrepreneur and world traveler, trying something cutting-edge and innovative was a natural fit.

Derek used a very personal approach to promote Superconductors , taking advantage of word of mouth and existing connections to spread the news. He also reached out to organizations who placed pre-orders in bulk. His commitment and dedication paid off immensely, yielding thousands of dollars in funds and hundreds of pre-orders. By the time he completed his campaign, multiple traditional publishers were expressing interest. And he hadn’t even written the book yet.

Kogan Page was Derek’s first and final choice. Now, Derek is looking forward to potentially publishing more books through Kogan Page and is grateful to Publishizer for giving him his opening into the world of publishing.

  • Email subscribers: 79
  • Phone calls: 400+
  • Social media following: 7,000+
  • Result: 102% funded totaling $7,275 with 255 preorders
  • Publisher: Kogan Page
“I’m really glad to have Publishizer and now a traditional publisher — I really don’t like to do stuff on my own, and now all I have to do is write a good book!” — Derek Loudermilk

Here’s what Derek Loudermilk had to say:

Q: As an experienced podcaster and speaker, what made you decide to branch out into book publishing?

One of my podcast guests made the case that a book is the best business card. You can raise your rates as a speaker/consultant/coach with the credibility a book gives. I already had all the content with hundreds of interviews and blog posts.

Q: Did your love of adventure inspire your decision to take the unconventional route to crowdfund?

I think meeting the Publishizer team in person and knowing Natalie Sisson (who ran her own campaign on the platform) helped me to jump in. But I usually just start things without thinking too much about it and then figure it out as I go. You have to treat your book like a startup.

Q: How did your background as an entrepreneur influence your publishing experience?

I knew that having books would be one pillar of my brand/business, so I jumped at the chance when I was shown an easy path. It helped that the Publishizer team was confident in the book idea.

Q: Did you have a plan for selling the book before you discovered Publishizer?

I was assuming I would self-publish and sell it using a friend’s Amazon marketing program.

Q: What was your pre-order goal and how did you go about reaching it?

The preorder goal was 250. (I probably would have met whatever goal had been set) The campaign was a full-on effort for a month, including lots of conversations (about 450) with potential buyers — individual and organizations. I was thinking about the long game and using the campaign as an excuse to do some strategic relationship building.

Q: What sort of results did you get from your pre-order campaign?

I stopped the campaign at the end of the month when we hit 255 preorders. I could have kept it open but I wanted to use the cash right away and choose a publisher.

Q: How did you market your book? What was the most effective tactic?

I guess I’m old fashioned, but I just told most people about it in person or on the phone. I had a few organizations do bulk orders and a few patrons buy books in bulk. Half the preorder sales were individuals, though.

Q: How much time did this process take you, all told?

I worked on the campaign probably 20 hours/week for the month it was going, and spent the month before preparing. It made for a really busy six to seven weeks, but it all happened pretty fast from book idea to campaign to publishing contract. It was worth it.

Q: What was the biggest challenge in the publishing process?

For me right now it’s getting the book to a high level, writing and editing the chapters. Also figuring out if I was okay with the publishing contract slowed things down for a few weeks while I asked people’s advice about it.

Q: What do you envision as the next step for you and your book?

I’d really like to see it hit the New York Times bestseller list — so that will take its own strategy, and I’d love to do a book tour when it launches.

Q: Are you happy you chose Publishizer?

Yes, the best part was the weekly calls leading up to and during the campaign. It was like having a coach to keep me on target.

Q: Any plans for more books in the future? If so, will it be through Publishizer?

I’m writing a book on my first year of fatherhood, while traveling the world with my family (my 7-month old will have been to eight countries). I’ll see if my current publisher wants it.

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