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Self-Publishing: The Power of Having Subscribers

post # 448 — October 15, 2007 — a Strategy and the Fat Smoker post

Last Wednesday, I sent out an email to everyone who had opted in to be placed on my subscription list to receive notification about my new articles.

To my surprise and delight, enough people clicked on the Amazon pre-order button to make the new book number 577 overall in sales among all books on Thursday. Of course, the ranking has declined since then — this was an early, temporary peak. Nevertheless, I hope there will be “buzz” benefits beyond the initial pre-orders

My first reaction was gratitude for the loyalty of those who follow my work.

My next reaction was astonishment about how powerful it really is to have built up the (voluntary opt-in) database. It truly was more valuable and powerful than I had realized!


Oh, and by the way, here’s the email I sent:


I wanted to give you advance notice of the release of my new book, Strategy and the Fat Smoker. It will be published on January 2, 2008 (and is currently available for pre-order at Amazon.com.

The book is formed from 19 of the articles I have written in the past two years, organized and structured to provide (I hope) a consistent argument with a logical flow.

I’ve also included a link to a special ebook executive summary of the first chapter, (which I will be publishing along with my new podcast series) to accompany the launch of the book. Please feel free to pass it along to anyone you know who may be interested in its content, or in my book.

Here’s some of the advance praise I have received for Strategy and the Fat Smoker:

Strategy and the Fat Smoker is a masterpiece – a rare blend of wisdom, experience, and humility. Every manager, and anyone who works in a professional services firm, ought to read this lovely book.

– Robert I. Sutton, Stanford Professor and co-author of The Knowing-Doing Gap

David Maister has built a career on giving unerringly wise advice to those of us in the business of advising and leading. He offers the reader the motivation, tools and wisdom to achieve more than we might ever have thought possible. This is essential reading for anyone determined to succeed.

– Paul A. Laudicina, Managing Officer and Chairman of the Board, A.T. Kearney

David Maister reminds us remorselessly that knowing what your company needs to do is relatively obvious: the test for us all is actually making it happen. Through anecdote, metaphor and case history, he shows us how to turn empty aspiration into hard reality.

– Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP

David has a knack of explaining what is really going on around us in our business life in a way which brings clarity and insight to the issues. His long experience in the professional services sector shines through. His observations on decision making in my own industry, law, make painful but essential reading. David doesn’t let anyone off the hook in his evaluation of where professional service firms often go wrong. He forces us to confront the real issues of lack of resolve, leadership, values and trust which so often hold firms back. This is a book which all those with an interest in how professional service firms should be managed and led should read.”

– David Morley, Managing Partner, Allen & Overy

Best Wishes,David


Does anyone else have lessons and experiences to share about the benefits of building a subscriber list?

1 Comment

Bill Peper said:

There is true power in building a mailing list of those interested in your product/work/cause. The real test is whether the relationship between the sender and recipient will inspire the recipient to open, read, and react to the message. Will the e-mail be deleted, scanned quickly for a can’t-miss-deal, or read with attention?

The success of your e-mail request is due to the value of the information you share with us daily and the good will you have accumulated with your fans. How many top-flight authors make as much helpful information available free?

Having “harvested” generously from the free materials on your website and profitted greatly from your previous books, I can’t wait to read Strategy ad the Fat Smoker.

posted on October 15, 2007