What does it really take to land on a best-seller list?
Monday, November 20, 2017
Interview with author Skip Prichard
The Book of Mistakes
1. As the CEO of OCLC, the largest library organization of its kind, what mission are you on?
OCLC’s mission is one that it shares with its member libraries – to advance knowledge sharing and accessibility around the world. We support this shared mission by facilitating library collaboration – providing shared services, fielding future-focused research and convening critical conversations, allowing libraries to move further and faster by working together.
2. What is your new book, The Book of Mistakes, about?
The Book of Mistakes: 9 Secrets to Creating a Successful Future is the fictional tale of David, a young man who lives a disheartening and stressful life. Everything changes when a mysterious young woman enters David’s life and he goes on to meet nine people who have discovered core truths for living a successful and rewarding life. The advice and wisdom in this book is from a successful and wide-ranging leadership career, from decades of studying leadership psychology, and formed from over 1,000 interviews with CEO’s, world leaders, sports legends, and bestselling authors. It’s designed to help you overcome the common mistakes that hold people back from becoming successful change agents and leaders. We often learn best from others’ mistakes rather than their successes.
3. What mistakes do most leaders and entrepreneurs make?
All nine of the mistakes can be pitfalls for leaders and entrepreneurs, slowing progress and preventing achievement of all that’s possible. Each one of the mistakes can be personal to the entrepreneur or can be one that the entire team is struggling with. For instance, one of the mistakes is surrounding yourself with the wrong people. That can be deadly to a startup. Each individual in our lives can either fuel our engine or drain our battery. Another one is to allow temporary setbacks to become a permanent failure. Most entrepreneurs have resilience and push through what stops others. That’s not usually the problem for the dreamers. It is, however, often a problem for others on the team who may be more easily discouraged. How to recognize it and not ignore it, but work through it is important. I’ve also written a Leadership Guide to The Book of Mistakes with exercises to help teams understand each other and perform at a higher level. It is available on my website for those who pre-order the book.
4. What do you advise they do to avoid such pitfalls?
I also will be offering a fun assessment / test for each team member to take and compare with others. Once we know our own proclivities, it helps us understand the team. What to do must be customized to the situation, the individual, and the team.
5. What challenges did you overcome when writing this book?
Early encouragement led to early discouragement by someone I respected. Is this worthy of sending to an agent? Is this the book I want to start with? I had to overcome the curse of knowledge because of my experience in book publishing. Then there’s the negative title, which is usually not a good idea. Finally, I’ve had to learn to ask for help. As a type-A, driven leader, I’m not always the best to admit when I need that assistance. Marketing a book is completely different than writing one. I knew I needed to ask many people to help me get the word out.
6. If someone can only read one book this month, why should it be yours?
My hope is that this book is entertaining, pulling you in to the story like a great fiction read and yet leaving you with advice and actions to better your life. One of my early readers was a mega-successful leader and he called me halfway through the book to tell me he was making immediate changes in his business because of it. I was floored. But that’s what I’m hoping for. It wasn’t my prescription, but it was change prompted by principles in the book.
7. What advice do you have for struggling writers?
If writing is your dream, then no one can stop you from it because it’s in you. Some people are wired for expression and writing is necessary to release the creative pressure building up within. If you’re struggling, don’t do suffer alone. Find someone who has been on this journey and seek counsel.
8. Where do you feel book publishing is heading?
That’s a loaded and expansive question and not one that I can answer easily in this space. I’ve remained bullish about all things publishing. New technologies will continue to expand opportunities while new targeted marketing techniques will improve an author’s ability to reach a particular niche.
Skip Prichard is an accomplished global CEO, growth-oriented business leader, and keynote speaker. He is known for his track record of successfully repositioning companies and dramatically improving results while improving the corporate culture. Listed as a Top 100 Leadership Speaker by Inc. Magazine, he is a regular keynote speaker on topics ranging from leadership and personal development to corporate turnarounds and culture change. Harvard Business Review labeled him as a “standout example” of a social CEO and labeled him a “relentless giver.” His Leadership Insights blog has received numerous awards and he has interviewed hundreds of leaders from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to journalist Dan Rather to baseball great John Smoltz. His views have been featured in print and broadcast media including the BBC, the New York Times, CNN, NPR, the Daily Beast, Harvard Business Review, Information Today, the Bookseller, Publishers Weekly,Christian Retailing, and the Library Journal. He lives in Ohio and Tennessee with his wife, Anita, and daughter, Joy.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs