Marketing and Textbooks

I wrote last week about textbook writing and how awful it is sometimes. And then Friday I started the marketing module.

And it occurred to me: writing a textbook is totally a marketing based transaction. Or at least it should be considered to be one.

You’re a professor. You’re smart. You know a gazillion things about your subject matter (in the case of the book I was lamenting, marketing. Go figure, right?). A gazillion.

And if you’re a marketing professor, it stands to reason that you want people to study marketing. Certainly you could be one of those professors who got into education for the short hours, big vacations and job security of tenure and don’t really care about spreading knowledge. But assume you’re not. You love marketing and you want everyone to know more about it because it’s the coolest thing ever. It must be. You spent 10 years in school getting your PhD on the topic.

And now you’re writing your life’s work on the topic.

Wouldn’t you want it to be exciting? To excite younger minds on the topic and allow even those who will never take a marketing class a great chance to understand the topic? I know I would.

There are a few topics I’m passionate about. Some of them hit the blog from time to time. I want to write and speak about those topics for years and years to come, and I want to excite others and interest others in how great, say, preaching, can be when you really understand it. So whether the topic is managing a non-profit, public speaking, the life of a baby or redeeming the city, if I write I want it to be interesting to somebody. Actually, a lot of somebodies.

So here’s my value proposition on my future writing for anyone who’s going to read it:

  • If I teach a class, you’re going to get a book that you’ll use the rest of your life (unless the material becomes dated, but I’d try to avoid it)
  • When I write a book or an article it’s going to be fun to read, and I’m going to attempt to interest you in the topic, no matter how mundane it is to you
  • When I write a book I’m going to make sure that at least one person outside of the general discipline reads it before I go to print so I know it’s accessible
  • When I write a book it’s going to be available on kindle so you don’t have to find room in your backpack for it

And that’s another reason why I’m writing this blog. To get better at writing, and to communicate with the world out there and test what I’m thinking and learning in the open. So I can learn from you, my careful readers, before inflicting it on another 20 or 30 people later. So thanks for reading, and for those of you who give me feedback. And if anyone reading this is working on a book: let my wife read it first. She’ll have great ideas about how to make it interesting to just about anyone. And we’d be glad to help you put out a better product.

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