Monday, March 29, 2010

How Brad Stevens Got His Dream Job

It's going to be hard to think about much besides basketball in Indianapolis this week. We already knew we'd be immersed in the Final Four hullaballoo by virtue of the fact that March Madness, as it often does, ends here. But little did we suspect we'd be cheering for the home team--the Butler Bulldogs--as well.

It's an irresistible story: A small school (4,500 students) led by a young coach (33-year-old Brad Stevens) defies the odds and makes it to the NCAA Final Four—just miles from their own campus. The national media has already begun to tire of its own parallels to the movie Hoosiers (part of which, of course, was filmed in Butler's home arena). But perhaps the most fascinating element is the coach himself.

Brad Stevens played high school basketball in Zionsville, where he is still the all-time leading scorer. (My brother-in-law Andrew Hand played on the high school team with him, but I haven't yet managed to parlay that into an introduction.) Brad went on to play basketball in college at DePauw while majoring in business. Upon graduation, he joined Eli Lilly in a marketing capacity. But his heart was still on the basketball court, and he volunteered as a high school coach and also in administrative roles with the Butler team.

Within seven years, he had been hired by Butler and moved up the ranks to head coach. And now, just a few years later, he's led the team to its first-ever Final Four.

I can't help but think of the book I edited, Your Dream Job Game Plan, in which sports agent Molly Fletcher puts forth the five tools you need to get your own dream job:

  • Passionate style
  • Fearlessness
  • A game plan
  • Flawless execution
  • Managing choices

I haven't met Brad, but it's obvious that he used all five of these tools to reach—and excel in—his dream job. Imagine how scary it must have been to give up a secure and lucrative business career for a shot at coaching. He had a passion for basketball, he managed his career choices, he had a plan, and he executed his plan flawlessly. And now all of Indiana is cheering him on as his team faces Michigan State (ironically, Molly's alma mater) in the first game of the Final Four.

Reached for comment this afternoon, Molly had this to say:

Brad Stevens is a “5-tool-plus-some coach." Getting to the final four--as Brad Stevens has done--requires passion, game plans, fearlessness, execution (married with a little luck sometimes). Brad gets it. He is a heck of a x and o coach--but an equally good motivator--and has gelled his guys together to find himself home in Indianapolis living out a dream. But, as a former Spartan, I must add, so has Izzo. Go Green!

Brad and his team are already winners in our eyes, regardless of what happens on Saturday.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Wiley Posts Summer Internships

Looks like Wiley in Indianapolis will once again be offering several editorial internships this summer:

The IT posting mentions a stipend but the others don't (that doesn't mean that they won't pay something; you'll have to ask to find out for sure). Each posting says that the internship is "structured" and lasts 10 weeks. (I'm an ISTJ on the Myers-Briggs scale, so structured is really good in my mind.)

I've said it dozens of times on this blog, but I'll say it again: An internship is an excellent way to get valuable experience, paid or not. It also can sometimes get your foot in the door for something permanent once you graduate.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Integrating Twitter into Your Blog

I'm probably the last person to figure this out. But it's still so cool that I have to share it.

For the past year or so, I have been so enthralled with Twitter that I have neglected this blog. I found it easier to tweet helpful bits of advice there than to write up a few paragraphs about it here. But I know there are people who read the blog but don't follow me on Twitter, so I worry that they are missing out on a lot.

I was poking around on Twitter yesterday trying to verify some stats for an upcoming book. Then I noticed a link at the bottom of the home page that says Goodies. And well, far be it from me to pass up goodies of any sort. The Twitter goodies are buttons and widgets you can put on your site. I clicked on Widgets and found a button that specified that I wanted it on my website (I can't seem to find it today, though!). I was able to pick a widget and customize the colors. Then there was a Blogger button that put it right into my blog. I went into my customization settings and moved it below the AdSense ad (because heaven knows I make a killing off of that! ).

So now, voila! Blog readers can see my most recent tweets. One thing I learned, though, is that things I retweet with the Retweet button do not show up in my widget. So I'm back to doing manual RTs for a while. It takes more time but it also facilitates networking because people can see that I am retweeting them.

And I am deliriously happy with myself!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Want to Be a Marketing Assistant/Coordinator?

Coincidentally, I ran across two different postings today for marketing assistants at publishing companies. The first is at EMC Publishing, our parent company in St. Paul, Minnesota:

Educational publisher seeks Marketing Communications Coordinator. This person will be responsible for working with the Marketing Communications Manager to coordinate the implementation of the EMC Publishing marketing plan through the design, copywriting, production, mailing, and tracking of all marketing projects through multiple channels. Assist the Marketing Communications Manager with special projects as assigned. Duties include:

  • Develop, execute, and evaluate direct mail marketing materials (including catalogs, brochures, flyers, and letters) for new and backlist titles that generate sales leads and product orders, and support the sales representatives.
  • Collaborate with all internal teams involved in the product development process to determine the conceptual and copy direction of branding and advertising initiatives.
  • Develop online web content for including new product copy, promotional pages, and event announcements
  • Write and conceptualize emarketing campaigns including emails, web site landing pages, and social media platforms.
  • Proofread and fact-check product information in all EMC marketing materials.

Bachelor's degree required in Marketing, Advertising, Communications, or related degree. Must have at least two years of marketing communications experience with a demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and effectively primarily in written form. Must have knowledge of mailings, project management, and promotions. Must have very good knowledge of technology to include computers and software programs such as MS Office. Requires exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail to coordinate phases of projects with others under tight deadlines. Apply here.

The second marketing job is at Wiley in Indianapolis:

Provides general administrative support to marketing department, including processing bills and monitoring promotion expenses, special sales events [workshops, author tours, conventions, and book fairs], and advertising schedules. Assists in the implementation of marketing plans, including coordination of author promotion initiatives, preparation and distribution of sales tools, including sales sheets, product kits, and competitive information. Provides back-up copywriting [space ads and sales letters], proofreading, and basic design support.

Requirements: 1 year of marketing or publishing experience. Proficiency on MS applications. Ability to work in a fast-paced, deadline driven environment. Excellent communication skills required.
Apply here.

These two jobs are at slightly different levels and have different entry requirements. I found these two postings informative (not to mention encouraging, from an economic standpoint) and thought you might, too.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Twitter Job Search Guide Publicity Wins!

If you're following me on Twitter (and you should be!), you're probably sick to death of my tweets about The Twitter Job Search Guide. But I swear it's not calculated and shameless self-promotion. I truly adore this book and am so very excited that it's now available in stores.
The book is packed with novel and vital tips for maximizing Twitter for your career purposes. Pick it up, turn to any page, and I guarantee that you will learn something.
A week or so ago, the authors did an interview for the Associated Press that has received wide distribution and iterations of it are turning up all over (for example, here on the ABC News site). That has helped push the Amazon rank to a respectable spot for a new book and is spawning new exposure every day.
The authors are spearheading an energetic and innovative PR campaign, beginning with a book launch party in New York on Monday. We've never really tried that for any of our other books, mainly because the subject of careers is not usually thought of as glam. But throw in the hottest social networking trend and suddenly, things get interesting.
But here's where it takes a turn for the surreal. Original gossip girl Liz Smith just happens to live in an apartment above the restaurant where the launch party is taking place. And today, she gave it a very nice preview in her online column. This is where I got a little woozy. Finally, finally, we've got a book going viral. I am so excited to see what happens next!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Libraries and the Job Hunt

I'm back from Charlotte and have much more that I want to say about what I learned at the Baker & Taylor vendor summit. As you know, B&T is a major library wholesaler. So as I worked the vendor fair yesterday, many of the people stopping by the table were librarians or people who sell to librarians. I cannot count how many people said "Oh, resumes and job search are hot right now. A lot of libraries have job search centers in them." Of course, we've been reading that in the media. But it's good to hear it validated over and over again.

After the fair, Tom (our rep) and I had time to kill before our flight. So we drove to downtown Charlotte and hit the streets. Serendipitously, we walked right to the main branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Library (love the reading-related quotes from Samuel Johnson and others on the pillars outside). Immediately we saw a sign pointing us to the career center. It was a huge space with lots of resources and computer terminals, as well as a medium-sized collection of job search books (including a good representation of ours, thank goodness). It wasn't overrun with people, but it was being used.

We walked around a bit more and found another area with computers for public use. Standing behind 36 users and looking at their screens simultaneously drew a gasp from me. "Tom, they are all on Facebook," I said. "I think we've got a national epidemic on our hands. I can't wait to go tweet about this!"

I'm not sure what conclusions to draw; maybe only that Facebooking was a more popular activity than job hunting in Charlotte yesterday. Certainly, there is value in any sort of networking. But there are so many distractions online. Hopefully all those people already have jobs.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Baker & Taylor Vendor Summit Meeting

Hello from North Carolina, where library distributor Baker & Taylor has spent the day filling me (and hundreds of other publishers) with good food and great information. Our trade sales rep, Tom Doherty, invited me to come along to the summit to learn more about doing business with B&T, and to talk to librarians about our books at tomorrow's vendor fair.

Baker & Taylor is the #1 distributor to library and academic markets, retailers, and international accounts. They do business with 82% of all public libraries, 95% of academic libraries, and 15% of school libraries.

The first two hours were overall introductory remarks from the senior management team, where we learned about trends in the library business ("flat is the new up"), value-added services that B&T offers (such as collection development), and other branches and initiatives of the company. Among nonfiction topics, they cited Business & Economics (our category) as the second-largest-selling category. They even went so far as to point out that "Resumes and job search guides dominate, with emphasis on social network[ing]."

Later we learned about their new e-book reader software, Blio, which works on all hardware platforms and enables publishers to easily and cheaply add video, links, and other amazing interactive features to their e-books. I think it might be just what we have been looking for. So when I get back, I'll start working to get approval to get some of our titles converted and distributed on Blio.

It was very interesting to see how they have ramped up their marketing efforts to push our titles into the hands of libraries. This apparently new strategy seems aggressive and sharp, and it was interesting to hear the steps they took toward rebranding the company.

Then tonight was the vendor appreciation dinner, peppered with 10 best-selling authors, with David Baldacci topping the bill. His books really aren't my preferred genre, but he was highly entertaining and charming, telling stories of what happens when a best-selling author goes out in the world, mingling with Italian mayors, presidents, and more than a couple loonies. Top it all off with some Baked Alaska and you've got a really great day.

Looking forward to meeting our customers directly in the booth tomorrow. I scoped out the exhibition hall earlier and we will be among the who's who of trade and academic publishers. Should be entertaining.