We’re Writing a Book!

What’s a word that means a combination of excited, and thrilled, and pumped, with a tiny morsel of terror tossed in?  Trepidicement? Thrillfear? Whatever it is, that’s how we’re feeling today, because we’ve signed a deal with Wiley to co-author a book!

The title is Content Rules, and it carries such a long-ass subtitle that it still requires a trip to Amazon to get it right: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business. The book will be published in December, and you can already pre-order a copy.

The long, descriptive title is intentional, because we wanted to make crystal-clear what this book is about. “Content” is a vague, amorphous word—it means radically different things to, say, a technology guy than it does to a marketer.

For businesses, “content”  is championed as the cornerstone of new marketing. Marketers are being told to “publish their way” into the hearts and minds of their customers, and Inbound Marketing experts talk about “remarkable” content as a cornerstone of a marketing strategy. But still: there is no comprehensive field guide for how companies can develop and share that content.

In other words, plenty of books tell you to package your ideas as “content” to market your company. But no one is talking about the art of how to develop your ideas into great content.

How does a company make the leap from “marketing-speak” to become a publisher on the Web? How do you know what to say? How can you create stories and videos and blog posts that people will love? How can you cultivate fans and spark devotion? How can your ideas ignite your business? How do you know if it’s working?

From our book proposal to Wiley:

“The rules have changed: As David Meerman Scott and others so aptly articulate, the old school ways of acquiring new customers by pestering people repeatedly via advertising, telemarketing or direct mail are no longer working. At the same time, blogs and YouTube and Facebook and Twitter and other publishing platforms are giving everyone a ‘voice,’ including organizations and their customers.

“The most successful businesses must now speak directly with their customers or prospects through a comprehensive strategy that allows them to reach new customers as well as having a good customer service system  like Salesforce. They must find their voice and create bold and compelling content that people want to consume and which speaks to their needs or wants or desires.”

Yeah, yeah… so you know all that.

But how, right? How do you go about doing that? How can you create so-called bold stories and videos and blog posts that will inspire people? How do you develop ideas that will arouse passion for your products or services? How can you cultivate fans? How can your ideas ignite your business?

More from the proposal:

“The book is a ‘how to’ of both the art and science of developing marketing content that people care about, interwoven with the stories of companies that are successfully spreading their ideas onlineand using them to establish credibility, build a base of fans, and inspire customers to love them.”

Sounds awesome, yes? We think so. Mixed in with our trepidicement, by the way, is relief: Because after months of stealth interviewing and writing we can finally share some of the things we’ve been learning with you.

So here we are.

What do you think? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the book in the comments below.