Successful publishing has always thrived on unique stories
One thing I learned early on in my publishing career was that sales success relies on having great and compelling stories to tell, and that without a great and compelling story to communicate to your prospects, the media and the booksellers, you might as well not publish.
Better still: if you’ve got a “game changer” you can share, and you can focus all your marketing and sales resources on it, you will be the golden boy/girl of your division or business unit. That’s because you provide the sales and marketing teams with “uniqueness”, which makes their lives easier, and their work gratifying.
Here is a story about uniqueness in todays fast changing digital publishing world.
Technology in the gym
Ipods, iPhones and smartphones are very popular in the gym. Most fitness enthusiasts take their device into the gym with them.
When you’re dazed and confused
Now, imagine your typical gym person: they are on their third or fourth visit to the gym in two weeks; they’ve had their induction from the gym supervisor, and they are still feeling a bit insecure about the equipment and the right and wrong exercises they ought to be performing. They’re feeling a bit lost and they want advice and tips about exercises, sequences, sets and repetitions. They look around but it’s intimidating: other fitness zealots are busy with their own workouts, and the trainer is doing an new induction, so he’s not available.
A exercise book on the bedside table
Our gym newbie has an exercise book at home, which sits beside the bed, which they’ve studied several times, before going to sleep. However, when our fitness newbie is in the gym the next day, they are overwhelmed by the extent of the equipment and the choice, and they don’t know where to start, what piece of equipment to use, how to use it properly, nor what exercise to do next.
Books in the gym – not cool!
Our exercise fanatic doesn’t want to take their book into the gym, because they don’t want to appear foolish or stupid – after all, this is muscle building, not a book club! So, books in the gym are not cool!
So the book stays at home, but our user is trying to remember the exercises he / she needs to perform and is thinking “I wish I could remember which “biceps” and “triceps” exercises there were in the book” and “what what did the trainer say was the best technique for the bench press exercise?”
When a desire becomes a reality
Well, that customer desire for more nomadic and personalised mobile instruction in the gym is now a reality.
In a series of apps we’ve developed with our Partners Moseley Road and personal fitness coach Craig Ramsay, we’ve done something pretty smart. We’re taking the content from the Muscle Anatomy series and we’ve re-engineered it for the small screen. But we’re not simply following the structure of the books. We’re splitting the content into different apps. That’s because we don’t think an app should duplicate a book. If it did, it would simply overwhelm the user with too much information on a small device. Instead we craft the app for a purpose. In the case of the muscle building anatomy title, that purpose is be a fast and simple “aide memoire” for use in the gym, providing what the user needs “in a blink”.
The game changer
But the best is still to come: the apps we’ve engineered from the muscle building anatomy title provide something the book does not: they allow the user to hone in on the specific muscles they would like to target, and provide specific exercises designed for that muscle group. So when our users are the gym and they want an exercise for their biceps and triceps, they can navigate straight from the “muscles” menu and locate the best exercises for those muscles in a blink. That’s something extra, that the book does not do, but which the app is perfectly suited for.
Do you have a unique publishing story for your sales and marketing teams?
If this is the kind of story you would like to be able to talk about on the cover of your books (“this book includes an app for you to take into the gym”), and it’s the sort of story your marketing and sales teams would like to be able to tell the media and booksellers, and you see it as a way to build strength in your brand, and differentiate from your competition, we’d love to hear about your experience, challenges and successes in the world of concurrent app / book publishing. Write a comment below or, if you’d rather, use the contact form