“Develop a vision for yourself and focus on that vision. Consider very carefully who your market is and develop a plan to meet that markets needs.”
Why did you become a book publisher? I started Red Bike Publishing initially to provide a study guide for a certification exam for security professionals. The niche has well over ten thousand eligible professionals, but only a hundred were certified at the time. I wanted to demonstrate to others that though they may already have the required experience and know how, I could lead them to hurdle the confidence obstacle. I wanted to take the mystery out of how to study for and take the examination and instill confidence that moved professionals to certify. Red Bike Publishing’s Unofficial Study Guide For: "ISP Certification-The Industrial Security Professional" launched even more books, including "DoD Security Clearance and Contracts Guide Boo"k, Insider’s Guide to Security Clearances, "Get Rich in a Niche" and more.
What do you like best about publishing? I enjoy getting books to people whose needs are not usually met as well as the notes of appreciation from those customers. We publish niche topics that are so small, other publishing companies may not address.
What do you publish? We have been focused on niche business topics. However, lately we've taken on new authors that have expanded our security niche into broader topics such as customer service and human rights interests.
What is the most effective form of marketing for your press? For the small niche topics, I write a lot of articles and do online marketing. Since the security niche is so small, specific and easily defined, this article writing puts us at the top of the search engine listings. However, the broader business topics require more aggressive face to face marketing buy our authors.
How do you define a successful title? We measure a successful title as one that is regularly selling, has little or no returns, good reviews and is making a profit. Book awards also help make that determination, but mostly we celebrate when we cover our printing expenses.
Tell us about one of your titles about which you are especially proud. "Red Bike Publishing’s Unofficial Study Guide For: ISP Certification-The Industrial Security Professional" is our first title. I am very proud of this book because it sold well and has helped many professionals study for and pass their security certification. I love getting positive feedback from these happy people.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving success? Marketing has to be one of the toughest. Find a few faces in a crowd of millions is very hard to do. Too broad of a marketing focus and you'll just waste your resources and efforts. To reach a small audience, you have to find them where they are or create a venue for them and invite them to that venue.I created LinkedIn groups, newsletters, blogs and other venues to find folks who are looking for our material.
What advice do you have for newcomers to book publishing? Develop a vision for yourself and focus on that vision. Consider very carefully who your market is and develop a plan to meet that markets needs.
How will you and your company be positioned in five years? We hope to have 10 - 15 more authors. There are a lot of niche areas that we would like to reach. Our challenge is to find not only niche experts, but those who would also be interested in writing a book.
When you're not fully immersed in publishing, what do you do for fun? I am rebuilding a 1969 VW Beetle. It's a lot of fun and a very creative process. I also keep fit by running Spartan Races, Warrior Dashes and other mud runs. They are lots of fun and very challenging.
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