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The Published Author Podcast - Episode 0005

GIVE YOUR BOOK LONGEVITY BY CREATING CLEAR GOALS AND VALUE

Leo Bottary is a seasoned author and an all-rounder when it comes to writing, publishing, and book marketing.

Based in California, Leo helps leaders build high performing teams and groups. His latest book, Peernovation, is less than six months old and has received dozens of five-star reviews.

Peernovation follows on from Leo’s earlier books—What Anyone Can Do, and The Power of Peers—about leveraging the power of peers in business and in life. 

Peernovation is designed for leaders who want to coach engaged, adaptable, and higher-performing teams. It includes Leo’s lessons from more than a decade of academic research, fieldwork, and personal experiences throughout North America and the United Kingdom.

Leo joins Published Author Podcast host Josh Steimle to discuss the writing of this book, and everything he has learned about writing and publishing. 

TOP TAKEAWAY: DON’T OVERTHINK YOUR BOOK, JUST GET STARTED

Recognizing that many people who want to write a book don’t do a lot of writing, he says: “Oftentimes people feel like the idea of writing a book is just so monumental, and they can't commit to it. If you feel passionate about what you want to write about, no matter how bad, just start writing it. Don't try to overthink it. Just get into it and you'll find your way.”

Leo approaches book writing in stages, starting first with an idea or theme. He says it’s akin to building a house. 

“It’s like I'm framing a house . . .kind of doing the architecture first before I start moving the furniture in.” With the outline in place, he crafts out the chapters and while doing so he ensures a narrative is in place that tells the overall story in the book. 

Much of Leo’s work is based on research and he had a lot of data to incorporate into his book. For this reason, his writing process can be intense. He notes that: “It's easy to get three quarters of the way through a book and then start losing a little steam, and not feeling that level of rigor about at all.”

He handled this by taking breaks and then going back to his book to ensure that he incorporated lessons from his first two books and really paid attention to each chapter, ensuring that it delivered its content in a powerful way. 

Leo also believes that for books like Peernovation that serve as workshop handbooks or how-to books like Peernovation, it’s important to keep the focus firmly on the reader: “Not everyone sits and sits down and reads a book cover to cover. Nor do they read the chapters in order,” notes Leo. “They could read three chapters, and then pick it up two months later. So the way you write it has to accommodate for that.”

THE HYBRID PUBLISHING MODEL

Leo has pursued mostly self-publishing with his books. And for the most recent book, Peernovation, the publishing model was closer to a hybrid model, through Archway, the self-publishing arm of Simon and Schuster. 

Leo was satisfied with their service menu, selected what he wanted, and notes that he had a lot of flexibility with the book’s editing, title, cover design, release date, and marketing.

He’s a strong advocate of working with a professional editor who would ensure the book was in APA style and met true publishing standards. 

BOOK PROMOTION DURING A PANDEMIC

Leo has an extensive network, and an email list in the thousands, so he’s well-positioned to promote Peernovation during COVID-19.

He’ll do a virtual media tour which includes radio and podcasts. He has his own podcast on C-Suite Radio. “There are a number of three things across several platforms that I'm doing to just keep the book out there, extend the reach.”

Sharing knowledge and empowering people are huge motivators for Leo. To this end, he is pricing his paperback at $12.99 and the ebook at only $3.99. “I'd like for team leaders to see it as incredibly affordable, and say: ‘Great, I'm going to get a book for every one of my team members,” he adds.

At the end of the Peernovation, Leo has also included a PDF at the end of Peernovation that people can get access for free, and his website offers free resources, too.  

Leo says the ideal scenario for his book is that years from now peer innovation will be something that a lot of companies will bring into their organization. 

“It isn't really about trying to make money from the book, or trying to make a killing in the consulting business or anything like that,” says Leo. “It's really about believing in something, and making sure that I want to get it into people's hands so that they can benefit from themselves.”

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Josh Steimle

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Josh Steimle’s book: Chief Marketing Officers At Work

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Josh Steimle

Welcome to the published author podcast where we help entrepreneurs learn how to write a book and to leverage it to grow their business and make an impact. Today, our guest is Leo Bottary. He assists companies to build high-performing teams in the workplace. And he assists with business leaders maximize their peer group experiences. His latest book is Peernovation: What Peer Advisory Groups Can Teach Us About High-Performing Teams. Leo, welcome to the show.

Leo Bottary

Hey, thank you so much. Great to be here.

Josh Steimle

Thank you. So give us a little bit of background on yourself. Where'd you grow up? What was your upbringing life? Like? How did you get from where you started to where you are today?

Leo Bottary

Well, I'll try to be succinct about this at least. But I grew up in the Boston area actually grew up in a little peninsula called Houghs Neck, which is part of Quinsy. Quinsy borders Boston to the south. And if you look over Quincy Bay, you can actually see downtown Boston, where I was a huge Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and Patriots fans, even when the Patriots couldn't buy a football game back when I was growing up. But, you know, it was all about Boston sports. And I think other things there that were of great influence where, you know, there were just a lot of them, you know, cultural options there, there were wonderful museums is incredible. You look at the Boston Symphony Orchestra, you've got, you know, wonderful theater scene, there. And of course, back in the day, you had 77 institutions of higher education, either two or four-year schools, all in the greater Boston area. So I think there was an aspirational part of that, and feeling like I wanted to further my education, and, you know, do that. So, you know, that was, I think, a big part of my upbringing and influences around that were, you know, pretty profound, I think, in a lot of ways. But, you know, at the end of the day, I wanted to kind of move beyond the peninsula, if you will, and went to college, and Florida, lived in Florida for a while lived in Colorado for a while here, and now I'm in spent over a decade in Southern California. And, you know, I think doing what we all try to do in our lives, is just try to broaden our perspective and meet new people travel, you know, do everything that helps us do that. And that's kind of how I kind of found my way into what I did for, you know, 25 to 30 years, which was corporate communications, which, effectively because I did that work for Vistage, a company that assembles and facilitates peer advisory groups for, you know, CEOs and other business leaders for a number of years. It now brought me into the work I do today for peer groups and organization of work teams, and it's, I'm having the most fun I've ever had. So it's good stuff.

Josh Steimle

Great. Well, we kind of traded places, I grew up in California. Now I'm living in the Boston area, you grew up in the Boston area. Now you're in Southern California, and I love Boston. But as far as the weather goes, I really like that California with that California winter weather. That's great stuff.

Leo Bottary

You know, if if what living different places really taught me was to try to stay away from comparisons as best you can. Every place has its own real great stuff. And its own little trade offs, you know, but I think when we can appreciate where we live for what it is, I think Boston's a magnificent city, obviously, I go back there every year. Unfortunately, I missed my annual visit to Fenway Park this year, which I was a little bummed about. But the but it's um, it's a really cool place to live. And yet I love it here as well, because the weather is just pretty much 72 and sunny a lot. So it's nice.

Josh Steimle

Yeah, well, it's a beautiful time of the year here right now with the fall colors, all the trees are red, and yellow, and orange. And it's just amazing. We don't get fall leaves like that in Southern California. So I'm loving it here. So. So tell us a little bit more about the business you have right now and who you work with.

Leo Bottary

So for the past four years, so what happened was I'm gonna back up just a little bit, because when I was with Vistage, I was there for about six plus years handling corporate communications and brand stuff. In late 2012. I actually lent led a brand refresh for the company, and did a lot of focus groups with CEOs and other key executives and would ask them, what do you do to learn and grow and bring new ideas in your company? And what they would tell me as well, you know, I hire coaches, we hire consultants, we go to executive development programs at Harvard, Stanford, I read books, and nobody, at least in an unassisted way, was bringing up that Oh, being part of a peer group as part of my consideration set. So when the rebranding piece was done with Vistage, I basically said to the CEO and to the board, we're trying to sell a Mercedes to someone who doesn't even know what a car is. And you know, the bottom line so I thought, let's see if we can We weren't the only ones to do it by any means. There's certainly some other good work out there. But we wanted to develop a narrative that didn't just serve as a hardcover brochure for Vistage, but look at the entire category looked at visited eo YPO different peer groups around the world, we looked at Bill George's work, you know, he's, you know, close to you at Harvard Business School does a lot of work around, you know, the power of peers and studying periods and starting your own groups. So looking at that, and coming up with what we did was created the narrative around it called The Power of Peers, which was the first book, which talked about basically made the case for how and why peer groups work so well, why you should consider really using one.

Josh Steimle

So that that first book was inspired by your work at Vistage, was it kind of a Vistage book? Or was this your own book that you're writing based on your experiences with Vistage,

Leo Bottary

I would say both, in that I was co authored with the CEO of Vistage at the time, but it wasn't about Vistage, per se, we really stepped back look the entire category. And I think that was the big difference with it. And where we really saw the value where other people really could get benefit for it and wouldn't regard it as a Vistage book, you know, per se. But then what happened after that was I had a bunch of distinct chairs, who basically said to me, and Vistage chairs, these are the people who lead these peer groups, said, All right, what are you going to do with this? Now you've got this book, you've got, you know, these five factors that are so critical to what makes for high performing groups? What are you going to do with it, so I essentially created a group self-assessment. And later it also, I use it as an aspirational exercise for brand new groups as well. And since developing that workshop, I've done it now for about 150 CEO, peer groups, mostly Vistage. But I've also done it with teams and cross functional work teams as well. And really saw the value of what peer groups have to teach us about what we can bring to our teams and how we can make them that much better. And not to mention, I think a lot of companies should have groups and teams, and their companies, not just teams. So it's been it's been really, really fun. And it's what led to writing the latest book Peernovation. And basically taking all the data and all the other additional experiences from that, putting it into a book where people could not only see it as something that advances the content for people who lead groups that they can continue to use, but also to see the relevance for high performing teams to bring this into their companies and bring it into their organizations. And I think it's really simple but really powerful.

Josh Steimle

And I really want to dig into Peernovation and spend most of our time there. But real quick before we go there. So this book was launched while you were working at Vistage, and what was the goal? How were you measuring success? In terms of this book? Was it a tool you were going to give to everybody who has invested? Was it a recruitment marketing tool? How were you deciding, hey, this worked or it didn't work?

Leo Bottary

I think there were a number of things in your course, this is the original book, The Power of Peers is back in March of 2016. Clearly, it was something that we felt was not only instructive and helpful for Vistage chairs, who lead groups and also brand new chairs who were just starting to lead groups that we felt that that was helpful. It was also good four chairs who were recruiting new members, if you want to know what the peer group experience is all about, here's a book and have a look at it and get a sense of really what you get yourself into here. Now Vistage would deliver its own brand of, you know, peer advantage, if you will, is kind of what we talked about in the book. But by and large, it would really serve as a primer for people who were unfamiliar with what a peer advisory group would be like. Now, we certainly wanted to use it and be able to use it directly. But at the same time, of course, we wanted to extend the reach of that book, you know, as well, in terms of other people who lead peer groups, wherever, you know, it was the kind of thing where maybe a Vistage group is right for you. Or maybe it wasn't, but we'd like you to become part of a group somewhere. And that was really the the larger mission for it.

Josh Steimle

Got it. And then in between that book, your first one in this latest one Peernovation. You had another book in the middle there, right?

Leo Bottary

Yeah, it was called What Anyone Can Do. And what happened after The Power of Peers was written as I was approached by a great guy, his name is Randy Cantrell. And we had a podcast. And we started this podcast where we had we did what was called the year of the pair. And so by definition, right, we're gonna do our 50 episodes, we're gonna have all these amazing guests. They're going to talk to us about themselves, their careers, their companies, and the importance of really their peers and the people who influenced them. It was pretty clear, of course, that with everyone, we met with interviews, authors, academics, CEOs, you know, all kinds of leaders in media and everywhere else, that nobody became successful all by themselves. Right? They clearly had a lot of help along the way. And so I basically looked at all of the information, all these incredible learnings we were getting from these people. And I combined it with thought about a line that I had read in a book, years earlier by Joe Henderson. And Joe Henderson is a former editor for Runner's World. And, you know, he basically wrote this book called the Long Run Solution where he talked about successful runners and successful people in general, and said, you know, you look at people who are really successful, it isn't that they can leap tall buildings in a single bound and do superhuman things that none of us can do. They do the things that anyone can do. But they just but most of us never will, right? So the idea of What Anyone Can Do is to say, you know, what, if you surround yourself with the right people, and you make your intentions public with them, you are likely to do the things that anyone can do far more often. So that's really kind of where that concept went. And in many respects, that finds its way into Peernovation as well. Because the whole premise of Peernovation really is the power of we begins with me. And then everyone recognizes the role they have in a team that it isn't just to fill a spot, it's to make a difference. And how do I own that? How do I, you know, be part of part of the kind of team where we accept that as our personal responsibility to one another. So it's kind of all finds its very interesting path where it's easy to connect the dots going backwards, as you all know, sometimes, you know, but we're just kind of exploring and discovering and keeping our eyes and ears open. And that's kind of what led to the book. That's out now.

Josh Steimle

So when it comes to Peernovation, did the idea for that start when you were still a vestige? Or was this something you came up with? After? What was the inspiration to start that book?

Leo Bottary

Or the inspiration to start that book was certainly after I left first? Gen. It was largely because I started to see the parallels between what would work for high performing groups and high performing teams. The name itself came, I first used it in a blog post back in 2012. But, you know, clearly, again, you know, as the content was kind of developing around now, and I was trying to look at what are the outcomes of pure advantage, which is basically what happens when we're more selective strategic unstructured, about the people we surround ourselves with, you know, pure innovation became kind of the natural, you know, answer to that being this combination of peers, people like me, and innovation, creativity realized. And that's essentially where the name comes from.

Josh Steimle

Got it. So when did you start working on that book?

Leo Bottary

I would say, about a year and a half ago, when I first started really assembling in a real serious way, all the data from the peer advisory group workshops that I had done, and started to see the patterns there and really started to take some pretty diligent notes, and then be watchful and mindful of things as I continue to do workshops, that built on a lot of, you know, the early findings. And then, of course, you always continue to discover, you know, new things with every group. The thing about the workshop I do is it doesn't presume to tell anyone, here's what you should be doing, or here's what's right for you or not or anything. It's more of a framework that allows for them to discover that for themselves on that, and then execute on it.

Josh Steimle

So how did you do your research? I mean, you're doing these meetings, and you knew you're going to use some of this data for the books, but how did you structure collecting the research and making sure that it was going to meet your needs for the book?

Leo Bottary

Well, first of all, great point that I probably didn't go into it with the idea that it was going to be a book at all. So I just structured the research almost in the same way. You have to imagine that the initial work that I did on The Power of Peers, even though you've got a book that might be whatever it was 180 pages or something like that. There were probably 2500 pages worth of notes, right. So there was a lot of data, there's a lot of transcripts from interviews and things like that. So it's a bit of going back to a lot of that and kind of re thinking all of that, especially as related to the workshops and what it might mean to high performing teams. And then, you know, again, as I started to think about the fact that there could be a book in the offing here, because I started to feel so strongly that the relevance to teams was so profound that, again, I would just basically take notes at the end of any given workshop, I would always still, you know, read other people's articles and things out there, I would look at the academic literature. You know, Etienne Wenger, for example, who basically is the the father of the term communities of practice is someone who has a great influence on a lot of this work. And, you know, at the end of the day, you, in addition to you, on one hand, you're trying to write about it, but you're also have to continue to be a student of it at the same time. And that's really kind of what keeps you sharp and pretty current.

Josh Steimle

So what is your writing process look like? How did you go about writing Peernovation? And how has that changed since you wrote your first book?

Leo Bottary

So I think the process is similar. And that I had an idea, at least for a working title in my mind, which gave me kind of a general theme for the book, then I'd start thinking about, I think about like building a house, like I'm framing a house, I'm kind of doing the architecture first before I start moving the furniture in, right? So I start with a basic outline, and truly try to craft out the chapters. And then underneath these chapters, just take notes to make sure that I have enough heft. And that the the narrative builds in a way and tells the story, the way that I wanted to, then I think about not just data, but stories that support each of those chapters, because obviously, story is really important. It really connects people. Heather Pemberton Levy, who was the editor for the first book has a great book herself. And it's really about kind of story first, is the name of it. And it really talks about, you know how to go about doing that. But in terms of the process of writing the book, some people are really great about like, okay, I spent X number of hours every day, there's a certain time I write, there's a certain amount of stuff I want to do. And I'm like, the opposite of that, you know, in terms of so what works for me, is, there be two days where or more or I don't want to get near it. And then there's another day where I'm just like, you, I can't be stopped, you know, I'll be sitting my laptop, and it'll be six in the morning. Next thing, I know, it's six at night, and I've just blown through all kinds of, you know, and, and really do a lot to lay everything down as best I can, and then really go back through it. I would say that one thing that I've found out is, every time I think I'm just laying it down, and not trying to over edit over control over do anything at that stage of the game, I often find when I go back through it, that first pass out it is better than I thought it was because and not for any reason other than it's just, it's just flowing from you in a way that you're just telling the story. And, and it's not trying to be overly overly contrived or anything like that. And I find that by and large, it can hold up better than you might think. So

Josh Steimle

A lot of writers talk about being in the state of flow, and it just flowing out of them. Have you always seen yourself as a writer? Or where did that side of you come from?

Leo Bottary

I've always had to write ever since my first job where I was writing speeches to the CEO of Stop and Shop companies, which back then was a $4 billion diversified retailer out of Boston, by the way. And they own stop and shop supermarket companies, but also Bradley's, which was pretty much like the Target of its day, along with a drugstore and a number of other retailers. But since writing speeches there, you know, if you're in corporate communications, PR, you're writing all kinds of articles. So I've written a million kind of magazine articles, blog posts, and all that. I think there's a difference between being writer and then making that transition to being an author where all of a sudden now, you know, the idea of doing a 800 to 2000 word article versus a 4050 60,000 word book is it just a different the geometry of that, if you will, that that kind of changes things, but

Josh Steimle

It's not like you can just sit down and crank out a 60,000 word book the way that you can do an article.

Leo Bottary

Right, right. I mean, so I've read a lot of articles as you know, for, you know, CEO world, and those are right around 800 to 1000 words and they just don't take me very long to do those are fairly easy to knock out and I really enjoy doing them and I like kind of diving deep into you know, a topic like that. But in the but the book has always been fun too, because it's a big puzzle, if you kind of think about it. And, you know, as I mentioned, when you initially lay down those chapters, that doesn't mean that by the end, that always holds up, you know, I might be shifting some things around or bringing new things to the table that I might not have considered before. And so you just kind of allow for that to and, and be forgiving about that and be okay with that.

Josh Steimle

Thank goodness that writing a book is not like building a house in that sense, with a house, it'd be a little bit hard to move all the rooms around once you've already got them in place. But with a book, it's great, because you can say, you know, I'm going to move this chapter later. And it's not that big a deal.

Leo Bottary

Except when you're the architect, you still can move it around the paper before you get into the building stage.

Josh Steimle

At least when you're an architect yet, but a book, you can move it around, up until that point that you send it for printing at least. So with, with Peernovation, was this self- published? Or did you work with a publisher on it?

Leo Bottary

So this was with Archway Publishing, out of Simon and Schuster, which is self-published. But it's so interesting and that the process was very, very similar to what I experienced with the first two books, when worked with a publisher was actually Bibliomotion out of Boston was the first publisher we worked with, back in 2016. It was a smaller publisher at the time, had set itself up to deal with and work with people largely writing business trade books, and may not be a household name, but have had good content and who they could help provide resources that they might not get from a larger publisher. So I enjoyed working with them, they were later bought by Taylor and Francis. So I continue to work with them. And in working with What Anyone Can Do, and I enjoyed them a lot, and all but I was actually just interested in trying something a little different. For this third book I had looked into Archway publishing was model and found that while I could get the combination of the flexibility in terms of release date, and other such things, that I wasn't going to get from a traditional publisher, and yet get a lot of resources and a lot of support. And, you know, I will tell you that, like anything, you know, you can look at something and they give you all these promises that this is how it's going to work, and it's going to be amazing, and it's going to be great, they actually delivered on that, for me, I have no complaints at all, if anything, I was really excited about working with them. So if you're interested in getting something that in my view is kind of almost a hybrid model, you know, working with them, you know, I found that to be really, really great for me.

Josh Steimle

Do they refer to themselves as a hybrid publisher?

Leo Bottary

I don't know that they I think it's basically the self publishing arm of Simon and Schuster, is what they are. But again, you get a lot of resources with regard to content review, and editing and marketing and all of that. And, and but yet, like I said, You know, I have a lot of flexibility with regard to, you know, title, and cover and release date, and all kinds of things that sometimes aren't always in your control as much as you'd like with a traditional publisher. So I was, you know, pleased with the model.

Josh Steimle

So how does it work? Do they own the book? Or do you retain ownership of it?

Leo Bottary

Yeah, I retain ownership of the book. And, you know, in the revenue model is better in terms of, you know, what I'm able to capture in terms of book sales per book, versus a traditional publisher, there is an upfront cost to the several packages you can buy ahead of time. Some are very minimal, some are a little more, I think, of the four packages that were available, I felt that that for me, at least that that kind of the third level package, not the top level, but right near that was the best for me. And, and again, I've been really, really happy with what they did and happy with the physical look of the book. It's right here, as you used to show you anyway, and this is the softcover this hardcover, and an ebook is out available as well.

Josh Steimle

So they do give you the option to do a hardcover through them. Yes, unlike Amazon KDP, which you can only do softcover, of course. So, so it sounds like it's kind of a step up. I mean, you've got Amazon KDP, which anybody can publish there, but you can only do softcover and it's Amazon quality. And then you've got Ingram Spark where you can do hardcover, but it sounds like this is a step up from that because they offer these other services that you can get editing and other things through them as well.

Leo Bottary

Yeah, and and it kind of gives you the this, I felt it was a combination of flexibility and support that was just the right balance for me. Especially having gone through this process a couple times. I think that was helpful as well.

Josh Steimle

Great. So when was the book released? Exactly?

Leo Bottary

October 16. So it's,

Josh Steimle

I didn't realize it was that recently. Just a little bit of behind the scenes. I just met Leo yesterday, he was introduced to me through a friend. And so we're coming on this podcast really quick. So I didn't have time to do the research that I normally would do on a guest coming on. But he came through a trusted connection. So I was like, Yeah, let's do this. So I'm learning about his book first. And here rather than normally, I'd go out and I buy the book, and I'd at least skim it and do some research.

Leo Bottary

We'll get you one, we'll get you one after the show for sure.

Josh Steimle

All right. So in terms of cover design, then you had a lot of creative Liberty there. What was your thought process going through the cover design and designing the typography and just laying out the book being responsible for that?

Leo Bottary

Yeah, well, interestingly enough, part of the package that I had was that I had four cover designs that were presented to me, based on input that I would provide around that. I did have a logo for a Peer Novation that, you know, my company is actually Peernovation, LLC. And I did use the the logo on the front, you know, as I mentioned, you've seen this here is the kind of the cover element on the book here. With the subhead, what peer advisory groups can teach us about building high performing teams, the subhead to me was really critical, because there's a lot of books, they're about teams. And I wanted to be super clear about the fact that this kind of walks through a very specific door when it comes to this whole concept of teams. So like I said, fortunately, I had a lot of flexibility regarding, you know, title subhead. And then on the design element, I gave a suggestion of what I thought I wanted, but then I said, you guys have at it, and let me know what you would actually come up with. And they came up with a lot of really cool designs. So I was really happy with what they came back to me with. And then I just made a selection. And we were off to the races from there.

Josh Steimle

So for authors who have published a little bit less recently, I'd ask, well, what's the reception been like? Of course, we're talking nine, seven days after it was released, so it just barely came out. But how are you promoting the book? What are you planning on doing for marketing? or what have you been doing to market it ahead of time?

Leo Bottary

Yeah, so. So a fair bit is, there is a press release, that's going to be going out on it, I will be doing a media tour, I am getting involved in a lot of podcasts, I'm doing a lot of work directly with a lot of the people in my network, which has gotten more and more extensive over the years in terms of directly going to the audiences that I know to whom this would be most relevant. And, in doing that, so and then helping extend the reach there, not only in the US, but in other areas where you know, working and that would be, you know, contacts I have in, in, in China and the UK, you know, Netherlands, Portugal, places like that, in addition to what I do throughout the United States and Canada. So, you know, you know, obviously working through, there's a lot of instance chairs out there who have been through the workshop who appreciate the content who are very interested in how not only they can continue to use the findings that continue to build on the value proposition of the first book, but also how they can provide this to their members as a way of showing them how they can take a lot of these principles that they've already stuck their hands in the clay and if you think about it, but really be able to tangibly show them how to bring them into their companies.

Josh Steimle

You said you're doing a media tour during this period of COVID. And lockdowns, what is a media tour for a book look like?

Leo Bottary

It looks like a real Virtual Media tour. In fact, it's more of a virtual radio tour that I'm going to be working with a person with who was recommended to me by C suite radio. So I have a podcast on C suite radio. So obviously using the podcast, as the vehicle to talk about the book and the content and everything as well. But to be a guest on many of the shows that are there, which I think have some really good reach who will introduce me to some, you know, different audiences, but audiences who would find the content pretty relevant. So there's, there's just kind of a number of three things across several platforms that I'm doing to just keep the book out there, extend the reach. One of the things that I did and also between hardcover and then looking at the paperback and ebook is that I price the paperback at $12.99 and the ebook $3.99 and ? TThe reason for that was, first and foremost, I want to get this content into as many people's hands as possible. I'd like for team leaders to see it as incredibly affordable. Say, great, I'm going to get a book for every one of my team members. And we can do that or someone leading a peer advisory group says, awesome, I can get one of these for every one of my members. And we can look at this and work with it. At the end of the book, there's also a PDF that people can get access to for free off my website, that's a, basically a 30 page, you know, guidebook on how to bring this very specifically to teams in their company.

Josh Steimle

So I am, I hammer this home, in the courses that I offer, and through this podcast, that you don't make money off the books, generally speaking off of book sales. So can you tell us a little bit more about how you're using this book to promote yourself, promote your business, build your personal brand, how it fits into your overall marketing plan and business model?

Leo Bottary

Yeah, it fits into all of those things. So it is trying to drive the business, from groups to teams. And that's the, you know, big transition that we're making there. And, you know, really excited about that. And, yeah, I mean, it's, it's just really, you know, about making the connection for people in terms of what this looks like, for them and how it will work. And just to continue to be out there. Again, I think a lot of the direct connections with the network are going to be where this is going to start. The other thing that I'm really looking to do is there's a framework that is central to the book that basically is central to the workshop that I do, which is about a half day workshop with companies. The two other components I want to bring to it, though, is kind of the relationship piece of it, right? Because when we have teams having a framework is great. But the relationships obviously become really central to everything. And then third is how do we actually create habits, right? How do we not just do a workshop, we all look at one another say, Hey, this is what we want to do. This is great, and we go forward. But how do we make sure this is sustainable? And how do we build on that? And how do we keep getting better? So a lot of what I'm doing right now, is continuing to advance my work so that I can do something with teams that can help them take this work, but really make it perform well for them over, you know, a number of years as opposed to being a one and done kind of workshop thing.

Josh Steimle

So do you see the book being something that people pick it up? And that's how they learn about you? And then they say, hey, let's get this guy into do a workshop? Or do you see it more as a tool that you do these workshops? And then you give people the book and say this is the book that you need to use? is kind of the Bible for this workshop? Or is it both?

Leo Bottary

It's both? It's certainly both. Yeah. And that's a, you know, great point. And I'll also continue to write and continue to do other articles, again, on this to try to draw people in to the website to learn more about the book and try to, you know, tease the content in that way. There's a lot of aspects of this with when it comes to the what business problem, were we trying to solve for peace. And I think for some people, just connecting with them on different levels in that way through some of the various articles will draw them into the content, and, you know, go from there. So, you know, for everyone, it's going to be a bit different, you know, for sure, but that's kind of what we're doing.

Josh Steimle

What would be an ideal outcome from the book? I mean, what would be kind of the dream measurement of success? If you could just pick it off the shelf? And it happened? Would it be some, is it somebody hiring you to do the workshop? Is it a speaking opportunity? What's kind of the ideal scenario?

Leo Bottary

I think the ideal scenario, years from now is peer innovation to be something that a lot of companies would be bringing into their organization. And clearly, it can't just be me delivering that it will be other people, it will be ways to make it scalable online, it'd be a lot of things to just try to, again, democratize this whole thing, make it really accessible, show the value, prove the value of it. And again, a lot of it is and again, why I think it works so well is it's a real, you know, heuristic approach, right? It's this notion of giving people all the tools and all the framework so they can come to their own conclusion about what they want for themselves, and how it's going to fuel their growth, or lead to whatever objectives they want to reach for their organization.

Josh Steimle

I want to go back to something you mentioned about kind of your platform you're talking about. You've been in Vistage and you've worked with a lot of companies so you have a lot of connections. Have you been gathering email addresses and doing a newsletter? How have you created this group or platform such that when you issue this book, you can Contact all these people and say, hey, I've got this book.

Leo Bottary

Yeah, so my personal email list of contacts that I literally feel comfortable enough, and sending individual emails to, which is exactly what I'm doing is right around 9000. And, again, it isn't so much how many but a two, both in terms of the likelihood, they might take an interest and do something with it. And also, who would share it, and extend the reach of that list. So that's a big part of it. I do not have a newsletter at the moment. And that is going to commence probably right after the first of the year. Where, after we've got some traction with the book, and we continue to share a lot of the content that can help people drill down into specific areas of it. You know, there'll be a newsletter that I'll have from there. And that will be accompanied, certainly, with continued, you know, weekly podcasts. So there we have it. For now, you know, I'm always looking for opportunities and, and new ideas. And, you know, it's it's so interesting, when I've done a lot of this work for so many other people for so many years that now all of a sudden, you know, here, I am kind of having to do it for myself in this company in this book. It's always a fun challenge. And so we're just kind of trying to take things, you know, it's not unlike how we might approach social media, right, where we want to, we'd rather be deep on fewer platforms that really hit our target audience, as opposed to spreading ourselves all over the place. So think I'm just trying to make some really good choices about where I can invest time, you know, that reaches the right people in the right way at this point.

Josh Steimle

Going back to your process a little bit more. So the publisher, again, it was Archways, is that correct?

Leo Bottary

Yes.

Josh Steimle

So with Archway, did you use an editor through them? Or did you hire an editor outside of Archway,

Leo Bottary

I could, I could choose either way, I ended up choosing one of their editors, it seemed to make the most sense, to be honest. And because you're hiring an editor that you know, is already aligned with a lot of their standards of what they want to do. And so and that worked out well serve as a content review, first of all, and then I had a line edit done later on.

Josh Steimle

And tell us more about that process. How did you work with the editor? What worked? What didn't work? Maybe what are some lessons, because a lot of the first-time authors listening to this podcast, are coming into this really new insane? Well, yeah, it'd be nice to hire an editor maybe. But what was your experience like? And what recommendations would you give to first time authors who are just exploring this process?

Leo Bottary

Well, first of all, as you well know, there's a lot of really experienced authors that always hire an editor every time and there's a reason they do that. And it's not unlike when I was doing a lot of work with academic papers, and you'd have to have something in APA format. Well, nobody who does that, you know, is an APA expert, usually. So in order to get that done, and really done, right, you want to have someone who is really steeped in the minutiae of all of that. So, and I think the same holds true with a book when you wanted to get it to true publishing standards, which typical is going to Chicago Style, you know, framework for that. Having someone at least to brings it to that publishing standard, I think is important in terms of the professionalism of the book and all that. Second, it's, you know, having someone who looks at the book, because, you know, we all get in our own heads with this. And even if we have other people read it, it's really helpful to have someone who pretty much doesn't know anything about the content, and who has to read it in a way where they have to be able to get it. And I think it's always really, really helpful in that regard. And, you know, they'll, they'll see things, they'll notice things they will. And I found that process really good. There was very little back and forth in my situation, as it turns out. And that may have been some, you know, had something to do with the fact that I've kind of been through this a couple of times, and, you know, how had the manuscript and maybe a little better shape than what I might have done, you know, in my first or second book, but I felt that the process was good, you know, and, you know, there were some things I would only say that when, whether it's archery or anyone else, do you have an editor go through your book, and they say, okay, we've proved it, we've put it to professional standards. We have our own little notes and things on it. You still have to go through it. Really, really carefully and make sure that it's where ultimately you want the book to be, it doesn't mean that every change they made is something you have to accept, you know, particularly if someone inadvertently alters the meaning of something that can be so nuanced that they don't necessarily see or understand the difference. So. So I would say, from a process standpoint, that way, there was a round where, you know, I got an initial edit, and there were certainly things that I had to send back in that regard.

Josh Steimle

Was there any point during the writing process where you wondered if this book was really going to happen, any point that you got bogged down at or just any challenge that you faced? And if so, how did you overcome that?

Leo Bottary

I would say not this one, but I would say the other two Sure, I would say you kind of it's easy to get three quarters of the way through 80% there and then start losing a little steam, and not feeling that level of, you know, you know, rigor about at all. And, and, and wanting to make sure that I'm putting the same level of energy into the latter chapters, as I did in the first chapters that you've kind of read through, usually more often, because you're kind of keep going back through it. But again, this time around, I think, I learned some good lessons from the first two books, and from that standpoint, and paid a lot better attention, and made sure that every single chapter was really delivering in a powerful way, you know, as you will know, one of the things, especially when you're into business, trade books, it's not every, it's not that everyone sits and sits down with it and reads it from, you know, cover to cover in one sitting, nor do they read the chapters in order, you know, they could be three chapters, and then pick it up two months later, you know, so the way you have to write it and actually accommodate for that at some level, you know, it was really important as well. And one of the differences, kind of going back to what we said about the difference between writing a 800 to 1000, word magazine article versus writing a book, you know, has to take those kinds of things into consideration.

Josh Steimle

A lot of people have a hero book or another book that they look at as kind of a template, not that they would copy the book, but they say, I want my book to be like, good degrade, except it's going to be on this topic or something like this. Did you have any hero book, or any books that you looked at, as you're writing your book that you said, I want to make it kind of like this other book?

Leo Bottary

Yeah. And so I would say it's a hero book, I'm not, I wouldn't necessarily presumed to suggest I'm going to make it kind of like that. But I will say in terms of the, the way that the Leadership Challenge, written by Jim Kouzes, and Barry Posner, I think is a powerful book. It's a book that I think has gotten people to really think about leadership very differently. Of course, over time, now, it's in its sixth edition, it's in 22 languages. And, you know, if at some point in time, you know, even in a smaller way, I could extend the reach of the content so that I can get people thinking about their teams or thinking about accountability or thinking about, you know, alignment and learning and development, and others had benefits from how groups and teams can work together, if they can discover that for themselves. And I can do that at scale. Whether it's at the scale of Kouzes, and Posner or not, remains to be seen, of course, but but that's what I'd really like from it. I mean, there is really nothing in this, that's just for me about, you know, later. You know, I'm in my early 60s right now. I'll be 61, next month as a matter of fact. So it isn't really about trying to make money from the book, or trying to make a killing in the consulting business or anything like that. It's really about believing in something, and making sure that I want to get it into people's hands so that they can benefit from themselves.

Josh Steimle

It's really hard to see a project like a book through if you don't have that motivation, isn't it? I mean, I have so much respect for anybody who finishes a book, even if it's a bad book, because having done it, I know how much work goes into producing that. And I just can't imagine writing a book and not really caring deeply about it, because I'd give up.

Leo Bottary

Yeah, and that's where people lose steam, like we talked about and don't always carry that through. But I think if you have enough passion, you know about it makes all the difference in the world.

Josh Steimle

Are there any resources, books, websites, anything that have been particularly helpful to you as an author as a writer, whether it's books on how to ride or the craft of writing or anything like that?

Leo Bottary

No, and the only reason I say that other than story first, with Heather Remington levy wrote She worked with me pretty extensively in the first book. You know, I wouldn't wouldn't mind saying that. I mean, I think she really kind of held our hand. You know, with writing that first book, it was the first book that I had done, or Leon Shapiro had done. And I think she really gave us a masterclass in many respects on, you know, how to think about this, how to do it. And, you know, and I so connected, and I think her content, if you will, resonated with me in a way that I just pretty much adopted that and was far more probably, and this could be, you know, a fault as well, but far more of a student of the content than I was on how to present it differently, other than what I had learned, you know, from her and writing the first book, but yeah, it's kind of, at least how I will kind of went about it. I was a bit, you know, preoccupied with just getting the content, right. In fact, you know, I did these workshops for over four years, because I really worked hard at pressure, testing the content and making sure that this was something that no matter what situation I might find myself in, whether it was a group or a cross functional work team, for example, that there wasn't any breakdowns in the way that this content delivered.

Josh Steimle

After your work with levy on story, what's your philosophy today on the importance of story within business books? Is it something where you say story needs to be most of the book and the lessons are actually the smaller parter? Do you have any guiding philosophy on how to incorporate story into your books?

Leo Bottary

Well, I would say that story's really important. People, like, people like to have data, they like to have, you know, pieces of it, that are that external, be told, you know, kind of, here's what somebody thinks, and that's not, they want to be able to connect to a story, they want to feel like there are personal experiences there. So I think this idea of leading with story, you know, when it makes sense, and I think most of the chapters appear innovation to lead with story as a way to draw you into what's going on, so you can start building the case. And I do think that providing tangible takeaways, for people kind of summarizing, you know, what you kind of went through and then walking into what's next and why helps create, you know, a good thread for people again, you know, you never know kind of how people are going to read a book. But, but I think story is essential, I think, if you have a book, and there are no stories in it, you know, I'm not sure I could, you know, put a book together like that, because I think the stories are just so much fun. You know, and the stories are so real. The the stories in my book, like you can't make them up, you know, they, you know, they they are what they are, and I think, in their own way, offers some powerful lessons. So

Josh Steimle

well, thank you so much, Leah, for sharing this time with us today. any parting words of wisdom or any final advice, especially for first time authors out there?

Leo Bottary

You know, I would just say that, don't feel like this is something you can't do. I think oftentimes people feel like, well, the idea of writing a book is just so monumental and so big, and they can't commit to it, whatever, but they can feel, feel passionate about what you want to write about. And you know, how bad just start writing it. You know, don't try to overthink it. And just get into it and you'll find your way.

Josh Steimle

Great, thank you so much. where's the best place for people to find you?

Leo Bottary

Leo butare.com, or Pierre Novation. co. Either one will take you to my website and they can learn about me the work the books and how you know, they can make innovation work for them.

Josh Steimle

Great. And Leo butare is le o ba t tary.com. Thank you so much for being on with us today, Leo.

Leo Bottary

Okay. Thank you.

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