With the book done, nurturing the book was next. Nurturing involves creating value-added tools to enhance the book and to make decisions on how to market the book. Marketing the book is Step 20 in the publishing process.
In my first posting, I mentioned how I was forced to streamline my book. Originally, at the end of each chapter, I included themes from the history of baseball including the origin of baseball, how the Hall of Fame came to Cooperstown, the Negro Leagues, and the Woman’s Professional League. It would be a shame if readers of my book were denied seeing them. How can I solve this problem? The answer was the creation of a webpage. Fortunately, my wife Tara is a web designer. She created my webpage with a URL of www.sandlotstats.com. Everyone is encouraged to visit the webpage. The left-hand side of the webpage gives a list of topics on the website. Some of the topics include: About the Author, Teaching Tips, and a Chapter by Chapter summary of the book. Clicking on the topic, Interesting Facts will take you to 18 PDFs labeled Chapters 1-18. . Each PDF provides one of the 18 themes which were taken out of the book. At the top of the webpage you will see the word BLOG. My baseball blog allows me to discuss new baseball research not covered in the book and give my view on current baseball issues. Please read some of my postings. More than that, the blog allows my students to write their own postings. One student, who recently lost his father, wrote a touching posting describing how baseball was so important in their relationship. A woman softball player wrote how supportive her teammates were in helping her cope with her epilepsy.
What about marketing the book? I thought my only role in marketing would be an occasional book signing. Yes, I did a few book signings. As a professor and previous chairman of the math department (for 21 years), each semester I would have sales representatives from such major publishers as Wiley visit me in my office. They would inform me of their new books and encourage me to use one of their books in place of a book currently being used. Johns Hopkins University Press does not do this. I was told that I should be active in the marketing process. Here again my wife came to the rescue. Besides creating my webpage and publishing my blog postings, she put me on many of the social networks such as Facebook, LlinkedIn, and Pinterest. I jokingly said I was surprised she did not put me on match.com in an attempt to get rid of me. When I mentioned this to her she just said, “I thought of doing it.” The publisher told me I needed independent reviews of my book. Fortunately, I found out that once a new book is released reviewers come out of the woodwork. I got several reviews and thankfully they were all very good. You can read these reviews on my webpage. The publisher put my book on almost every on-line book-selling site. The publisher negotiated contracts with such book sellers as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, EBay, and many others. I would have had no knowledge of how to do this. The publisher also created Kindle and Nook versions. Since Sandlot Stats can be used as a textbook, I have spoken at several colleges and math conventions on teaching an introductory statistics course using my book. The website also gives tips on how to teach using my book.
Finally, I would like to contrast my writing a book to a celebrity writing a book. Like a celebrity, I also was asked to write a book. Whereas, I received no advance and had to write the entire book; a celebrity receives a large cash advance and is not responsible for the actual writing. A professional writer hired by the publisher writes the book. Even though this is unfair to a non-celebrity, I really enjoyed the four year trip. A book is a piece of an author that will live foreve