Important questions about a possible trade-specific publication


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Thread: Important questions about a possible trade-specific publication

  1. #1

    Important questions about a possible trade-specific publication

    I've begun to work on a specialty manual for the construction industry, which is specific to succeeding as a subcontractor. My focus is on the specialty and custom field, in which I have considerable experience. The motivation for this work is to educate an industry and attempt to undermine some of the ignorance-fueled actions that occur in the marketplace. There is a need for this work, I believe I can market this work, and based on my pace as of late, I believe I can produce something by year's end. I have questions:

    - If I produce this manuscript, what is the best path to market? I know of several similar publications, most of which are produced by McGraw-Hill, and something tells me a first-time writer might have a rough time of it with them. Having never written non-fiction with the intent to serve a specific market, I have no idea what I'm doing. I have all the information relevant to produce the work, but what to do with it after that is daunting. Any advice on this is hugely appreciated.

    - If I'm successful in getting the interest of a publisher or trade magazine, how is this specific market different than others? Do I want to pursue a trade magazine as a series of articles, or try to put together a book? What about the "Dummies" series - I imagine that's a hard nut to crack, but there is nothing in their series like what I'm trying to do, and I could pitch it pretty aggressively. Again - I have no experience with this sort of thing, and it's a long way off - but I want to know what you guys think and any insight you can offer.

    After banging my head against the wall on fiction writing for a while, once I started this thing, it has just poured out. It's going to be pretty good, I think. Thanks in advance guys/gals.

    If I've posted this in an errant spot, forgive me, wasn't sure if it fit here or in publishing. Cheers.
    It all starts with a name and flows from there. A ridiculous moniker springs to mind and it launches like a multi-lubed slippery-sloop down chutes made of buttery-floops. Down, down, down. We watch, spellbound. Rapturous. Glockenspiel. We do our due diligence with penitence and penicillin. Do what’s due, then dew drops on your moon-pops.


  2. #2
    Who is your target?

  3. #3
    Subcontractors in the construction industry, with a primary focus on specialty and complex work. I'm finding it geared toward start-ups but there will be much useful information for established firms as well. It's sort of a compendium of construction strategy for subcontractors, intended to be antithetical to construction management textbooks, which are more geared toward general contractors. I'm guessing you will tell me my answer is not concise enough?

    If I had to tighten that answer up - It is geared toward subcontractors, or anyone wanting to pursue subcontracting work.
    It all starts with a name and flows from there. A ridiculous moniker springs to mind and it launches like a multi-lubed slippery-sloop down chutes made of buttery-floops. Down, down, down. We watch, spellbound. Rapturous. Glockenspiel. We do our due diligence with penitence and penicillin. Do what’s due, then dew drops on your moon-pops.


  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Pluralized View Post
    I'm guessing you will tell me my answer is not concise enough?
    Not at all... I was thinking about marketing and how one might go about it. The 1st question was who are you directing your marketing towards....

    p.s.- I am a subcontractor.

  5. #5
    PM time!
    It all starts with a name and flows from there. A ridiculous moniker springs to mind and it launches like a multi-lubed slippery-sloop down chutes made of buttery-floops. Down, down, down. We watch, spellbound. Rapturous. Glockenspiel. We do our due diligence with penitence and penicillin. Do what’s due, then dew drops on your moon-pops.


  6. #6
    Two lines you can follow:

    Contact or visit your industry association(s) and see which publishers they have on their shelves and waiting tables; and

    Contact or visit your industry training institution(s) and see which publishers they reference or have in their library.

    In either case, you might also find qualified peer reviewers to look over your work and help with any needed refinements.
    "I don't know ... I'm making it up as I go ..." - Dr I Jones

    Nature abhors perfection - cats abhor a vacuum!

    "Faith can move mountains - she's a big girl!" (unknown/graffiti)

    If I act like I own the place, it's because I did.





  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Cran View Post
    Two lines you can follow:

    Contact or visit your industry association(s) and see which publishers they have on their shelves and waiting tables; and

    Contact or visit your industry training institution(s) and see which publishers they reference or have in their library.

    In either case, you might also find qualified peer reviewers to look over your work and help with any needed refinements.
    Thank you Cran, this is good advice. I'm due in the AGC (Associated General Contractors of America) office this upcoming week and will see what they have on the shelf.

    Excellent points all around.
    It all starts with a name and flows from there. A ridiculous moniker springs to mind and it launches like a multi-lubed slippery-sloop down chutes made of buttery-floops. Down, down, down. We watch, spellbound. Rapturous. Glockenspiel. We do our due diligence with penitence and penicillin. Do what’s due, then dew drops on your moon-pops.


  8. #8
    It's interesting, because as a marketer, i was thinking the same things. if your target market is industry professionals, you might consider direct marketing an eBook instead of trying to go through the grueling and often depressing publishing path.
    Because you are offering such specific and useful information, you might think about creating a website where the book can be purchased. you can then market it using articles, blogs, social media, directed advertising and of course your own networking and sales efforts.
    The big advantage of doing this is that not only do you gather a growing list of customers, but you can also create a community around your work by using the website. you can continue to offer new information, create a forum, etc. etc.
    There is so much power available to the entrepreneur today in terms of doing things yourself. And by publishing a non-fiction educational work like this, you may also find that it can open doors to getting your fiction published later on.
    Hope that helps or gives you some things to think about.

  9. #9
    How much SEO stuff do you know? By SEO I am referring to both search engine optimization and Amazon optimization. Speaking, or perhaps better, shooting from the hip, my thought would be to start with a Kindle publication. That gets the book finished, published and a forum for public reviews and feedback. Optimize for your keywords in Google and Amazon - expect no results for a while from Google, but you should rank high in Amazon because of your specialized niche. Armed with the published ebook, I would then go individually (via email) to industry professionals asking for their review for your cover. Once you have some industry leaders positively review it, take the book to all of the trade schools, send copies to appropriate professors at junior colleges throughout the country with an eye toward it being picked up as a text book.

  10. #10
    Jason, thanks very much for your detailed response! I know next to nothing about SEO, really, beyond the common-sense stuff.

    Good news is, I have some industry leaders on speed-dial, so to speak, and a couple of them are published authors of trade manuals as well. One guy, an old timer with four decades in the industry, has expressed willingness to read and review, and I think I've got another gent who'll probably do it with some prodding. The thing I'm not sure about is whether the material will be solid enough to act as a text book. My intention out of the gate was to publish more of a trade manual, a reference for new subcontractors looking for advice and guidance, which I wish I'd had just starting out. Sort of like a basic how-to for those smaller subcontractors just starting out and daunted by the seemingly impenetrable wall of confusion that surrounds commercial construction in the US.

    Thanks again, I really appreciate your help and advice. Will post up results once I get everything finished up and edited.
    It all starts with a name and flows from there. A ridiculous moniker springs to mind and it launches like a multi-lubed slippery-sloop down chutes made of buttery-floops. Down, down, down. We watch, spellbound. Rapturous. Glockenspiel. We do our due diligence with penitence and penicillin. Do what’s due, then dew drops on your moon-pops.


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