At the behest of Bryan Person, I attended a social media meetup last night in Boston in promotion of the book “The Strategy Paradox” by Michael Raynor of Deloitte Consulting. Organized by Eli Singer out of Toronto, it offered a whole new way to promote a book. It wasn’t a typical book event where the author stands up and spouts on about (or worse, reads from) the book. Rather the focus was on social interaction among the attendees and with the author.
Everyone in attendance got a book and was encouraged to talk with each other. The interaction was partly about the book and partly about meeting new people or reconnecting with old friends. But for the 30 or so people who came, there’s little doubt that everyone had a thought or two about the book itself.
The author, Michael Raynor, did get up to speak about an hour into the event, but it was for only about 5 minutes. And rather than having everyone subjected to the Q&A (which at most such events often ends up being more about the questions than the answers — for some reason far too many attendees like to hear themselves talk), the focus was on having people approach the author for more discussion afterward.
Hopefully others will try similar events to promote their books to bloggers and podcasters. It was a very pleasant environment to learn more about this book.
My primary suggestion for improvement would be that organizers should do a better job of educating attendees about the book in advance. I didn’t feel I was prepared enough to do an intelligent podcast interview, so I will wait until I have read the book and am able to do a meaningful Q&A by phone instead.
I suggested to the organizers at the end of the event that in the future they consider distributing a short book summary — something like a Cliff’s notes or a Executive Book Summary style report that would help prepare the bloggers and podcasters in attendance.
Overall, though, a very successful event and certainly one that opened my eyes to this book. I might have read it and reviewed it even without this event, but now I am much more likely to do so.
And as a bonus, I got to meet a lot of interesting people and learned a good deal.
UPDATE: Paul Gillin and Bryan Person have both posted their own views of the event. Paul says he’s going to keep it in mind when he starts promoting his own book shortly. He also made the interesting point that a significant number of attendees were self-employed. Bryan will also be covering this in an upcoming episode of his NewCommRoad podcast.