Launch Party: Behind the success of Geoff Smart's bestselling "Leadocracy"August 13, 2012 By Interview by Brian Howard
As the 2012 general election looms, the book marketplace, already flooded with politically themed tomes, will become even moreso. Red and blue and donkeys and elephants and flag pins and profiles in courage… it’s enough to drive even the most fervent politico batty. With so much noise, it can be hard to get your signal picked up. Then we heard about Geoff Smart’s “Leadocracy.” The New York Times Bestseller, published by independent Austin, Texas-based Greenleaf Book Group, is about hiring great leaders into government (where, it’s reasoned, there is a dearth). We were curious to know how Smart and Greenleaf cut through the clutter to get their book noticed—and bought—in great numbers. We caught up with Smart, coauthor of another New York Times Bestseller “Who: The A Method for Hiring,” and Tanya Hall, Greenleaf’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, via email for a quick Q&A about the launch strategy behind the book.
Book Business: Can you tell me a little bit about why you acquired the book in the first place?
Tanya Hall: Geoff Smart is the co-author of the NY Times bestseller “Who: The A Method for Hiring,” and we use his hiring methodologies as best practices here at Greenleaf Book Group. He has a huge platform in the management and leadership space. When we learned he was doing a book about developing stronger leadership in the public sector, we knew it would be a great fit for our line.
Book Business: How was the release date chosen to maximize sales potential?
Tanya Hall: The book officially pubbed on July 4, allowing for some extra patriotic marketing/publicity tie-ins and a head start on all of the other political books that generally come out in the fall.
Geoff Smart: We started spreading the word about the book six months before the presidential election.
Book Business: What sort of marketing mix did you employ and how did you time it?
Tanya Hall: It was a mix of advertising, blogger outreach and the efforts of Cave Hendricks Communications on the PR/media outreach side. Timing-wise, there were a number of hits before pub date and more continue to come in.