Francesco Marconi: "Live Like Fiction: 30 Days to Become the Author of Your [...]" | Talks at Google
Right. So good morning everyone thank you for for, joining me and thank you google for hosting, this, presentation. Today. I want to tell you a little bit about what, happened when I decided, to Oprah's. Open, source my book in. How you can leverage, the same approach to publish. Your own book. So, as herman mentioned, my name is Francesco Marconi I'm a media, strategist, and recently, published live. Like fiction. 30. Days to become the author of your own life story. The. Book is essentially. An interactive, guide on how to find, purpose, creativity. And inspiration through. Storytelling. The. Organizing, principle, of this, book is. Called engage. Because. This book is about how, to engage with yourself, in how to engage with the things around you that inspire, you and. It's also the acronym, for each of the six parts, that comprise the book in those, six parts are, explore. Your meaning, narrow. Your goals, generate. A plan, anticipate. Roadblocks, gain, persistence. And elevate. Yourself. So. The book is comprised, of five. Six. Major, sections. With five. Mini chapters, each so. Total 30 min each chapters, one, for each day of the month so it's designed to be a month, long program, in. These chapters. Tell you an interesting story of, an, inspiring. People including, artists. Entrepreneurs, thinkers. Authors. In Annville, the. Strategy, behind their. Accomplishments. And. Finally. Each brief. Question. Concludes. With inked and interactive, exercise, so. The reader can. Apply. What they just just, learned or what they just. Reflected. On. So. One, of the questions that I get the. Most when I'm. Presenting. My book we're talking about it. It's not necessarily, about the contents, in the book because people, end up reading it but. It's more about the, process or the approach, that I took to. Publish. The. Book in. Fact someone recently told me that a book, is. Like the, new business, card so you need a book in. Order to. Transacting. In the business world so I want to tell you today, how you can write your own book using. This methodology, that I that. I fall for for. Live like fiction. Before. I do that I just wanted to guide you through how. Traditional traditional. Book. Publishing, works, any. Something, like this, the. Author writes a sample, or a sample. Chapter in a proposal, partners. With a literary agent. Who. Helps. The author broker, the deal with the with the publishing house and then finally, much lighter the, book is. Released to the audiences, and they read the book so. In. This traditional, approach the, reader is actually the last person, to come into contact with, what. He just created and, this, is a great approach if you are already a well-known person, in a big following so if. You are a former. President, famous. Chef an award-winning. Author this, is great for you but, if you are like, me and you are just a regular person. You. Have to build interest and you have to build an audience before, you even think of publishing. A book and that's, where a. A new. Approach comes handy, which, I call iterative. A iterative. Approach and so, for my book I decided to flip the model start, with the audience first, and. Collect. Feedback from, from, people that read. Sort of the. Genesis, of the, book and, take those, insights to, improve it. Before. Partnering. With a book publisher, to amplify. Distribution. And so, this is for. Those of you who are familiar with, fraud. Development, techniques, like design thinking, that's exactly, what what, I applied, here so, to I want, to share with you today how, iterative. Publish, can help turn your ideas, into a successful, book, and. The. Book or. The process, starts precisely, by. Creating. A proof of concept so, an. Idea, that you can test receive. Feedback and then improve. Based on that. So. The first step or the, first, thing. To consider when. You are developing your own book project, he start with purpose. Identifying. Things that are important, to use something, that gives meaning to your life or an. Ambition, or personal. Goal in, my case when. I was young I had a dream of one day living, in New York City, and, so much so that when I was 16, I decided. To buy a picture of New York City's of the New York City skyline which. You see on that picture, on.
The Slides and hang, it above my my. Bed this is my my. Childhood, bedroom, and. Having. This picture, help, me visualize a, goal or an ambition, that I had and. Eventually, I was fortunate to turn that dream into a reality when, I got an, internship, here in. New, York City, but. When I finally, arrived, to, the city of my dreams I really. Didn't know anyone, I was, just fresh out of college I had no professional, experience, so my way of coping with. The situation, was to write my observations. Of how people, behaved how. They did small talk how they inspire, others, how, they, manage. People and so, I started, translating these interesting, observations. That occurred around me into. Strategies, that I could use in. My own life. And. So those notes literal, notes that I wrote became. The raw material, of what eventually became live. Like fiction, so. A few tips here as you're, getting started in, your book project, find. A personal, a story. That illustrates your. Your, journey and make, it surprising. And authentic. So. Once you have figure out that. Your. Purpose. The, second, step is, essentially. To test, to. Test those ideas. At. Scale, and so, you, a, good, way of doing, that is actually engineer. A viral, post it, might seem challenging but, if. You follow some some. Some. Ideas, here it's, not it's not that difficult so. Think. About it viral. This viral post. Or this. Summary. Of what your book wants you. Want to accomplish in your book as a teaser, for what. You want to develop. And. This is important, to have early. Validation. Because you. Will be able to collect feedback and, success. Metrics. For. Example how many people share. The article, or liked it or how many views you got so you can share those metrics, within eventual. Publisher, down the line so. As, I. Mentioned before I have, developed. A, playbook, of strategies, from. My observations. On how to have better communication skills, leadership. Influencing. People and. Decided. To take those notes that I that, I in written and put. Them on an online shared. Document, and then, what I did is that I sent it to 10 friends, and I asked them to provide, me feedback, and, most importantly. To highlight, the areas, of their. Article, or their blog post that, were, the most unique the most compelling, and so I, let the audience, although. It was a small audience of 10 people initially. Participate. In the creative process it's, almost like testing, your your, product, before it's, released, to the public so. I invited feedback, to, help me identify the, the, ingredients. In those notes, that. Worked in. And then use, those to improve. The overall narrative. Of the, pilot, or the post that would originate, the block the the book so. When I finally, finally. Published online. I used, medium, there, are many other platforms, I knew, that the version that I had just published was the. Best version, that I could create because. Of, a. Lot. Of the elements that people had. Enjoyed, and it highlighted, it as the most unique. The most surprising, and, eventually. The the, blog. Post became viral. So. What. Happens when you. Are at this stage and finally. You have your viral blog post which is almost a teaser for the book. You. Have an opportunity, to build a support, community, not only of those ten initial, people that you asked for feedback, but. Also people, who you. Don't know yet and have enjoyed reading your your, work. And. It's important, to connect with these readers, because down the line they, will play, a very crucial role in promoting your. Book, once it's out, for, for. Sale, and. In addition to that you may get lucky and. Get people you admire to. Give you feedback and, invalidation. So in my case journalist. Katie Couric, and author, Neil, Strauss, shared, their appreciation on, Twitter and that was very, important, to me and also when. I was discussing, it with potential, publishers, I used. This as. A. Validation, for, for. The potential, of the book so. The the thing to remember here is not. To be afraid to reach out to the people that you, don't know and that enjoy, your work because they will play a crucial role in the promotion, of the book down. The line the. Step the, fourth step that I want to share with you is how to amplify, your audience.
So Remember. You have this, initial, interest around the viral. Viral. Post you have to extend your 15, minutes of fame by. Publishing. Your ideas, through, different online publications. So. In my case I had that, successful. Blog post our medium in, I used the engagement matrix I actually, took, a screen, shot of, the, matrix. How many views on many shares and, I sent, it to a, few online magazines. And convinced. Them to republish. My. My, article, on on their site so eventually, some of these brands. Invited. Me to continue, as a contributor. Which. Gave me a fantastic. Opportunity, to get exposure to many. More people so, a few tips here as you are looking to expand, your audience through. Different. Online magazines. It's very important, to start with, a. Friendly, publisher. Maybe, it's a a. Friend, you met before or it's someone who works. At those magazines, you met at, an event and then once you secure the first the. First publishing. Partner. Then. It's much easier to get others because you already have a validation, of some of those brands, and so you have to repeat the process and. Keep. Generating. Interest, around, your work. Alright. So, this. Was the first stage of. Validating. Your concept, your book concept with the potential, audience and, then amplify. It through, through. Different collaborations. Now. What how do you turn that audience, in that interest into a book, veel. So. Since. My book originated, online as as. As. A as, a blog it was important, for me to give it some more structure. In show, publishers, that it. Was much more than a viral post. And. So I what I did was to find an organizing, principle as, I mentioned at the beginning that. Organizing. Principle, is engaged, which is an acronym for each, section of the book, and. This acronym or this organizing, principle, is very important. Because. It. Helps you summarize, the key ideas, in your book in. My case they are related to storytelling. Inspiration. Creativity. Strategy. In. So engaged. Links. Up to that very well. Finding, an acronym, is is, is, crucial, because it. Makes your work more memorable, for your readers but. Also it differentiates, it, from any. Other books a publisher, might be. Evaluating. Once, you presented, to them. Alright. So step, six is. Is. Very important. Particularly. Nonfiction, books which is the case of live, like fiction. Is. To. Make them a more. Two-sided, experience, so not, only the reader is. Going. Through the stories. In the book but they are also taking action. My, approach to find inspiration to, turn. Some of the the. Stories in the book into, potential. Exercises. Was to actually run, offline. Workshops. And he's here a picture, there where. I'm running, a workshop at, a at a local, startup. Community. And so. What. I did was to. Turn the offline, interactions. That I had with people and. With participants. Of those, workshops. Into. Exercises. That I could include in. The book and this can be applied to many, other areas so. You know in my case it's a book about strategy. And storytelling, if you are writing about the book about. Computer, science or programming or. Or, marketing. You can find ways of having, your readers, apply, the. Lessons, you're sharing, with them, another. Important, point if. You noticed at the beginning the. Book has a very. Rich. Design. Element, and that's that's, crucial, because. Nowadays. A book is not just something. You read it's also an object that. People want to carry. With them so the design element, is as. Crucial, for, the success of the book as the content. Itself. All, right so you have you, have all of this interest, and you have. And. You have the matrix and you have an organizing, principle, yeah, and and. You package, your ideas, very, firmly, now. We can turn them turn. All of those success, metrics, into a book proposal. And, so a book. Proposal it's, like or. It, is a business plan where you had to provide an, overview of what you are working on the, audience, you are trying to reach. Who. Is your competition so, are there other books, out there that are similar to yours and, even, a go, to market strategy so, how are you once the book is is. In. The bookshelves and. In the stores how do you promote it in. You, know the best analogy. That I have for this and for my experience, is almost, like you have a small, start-up and you're, pitching it to investors, and in this case the investors, are the. Publishing, companies. Right. So. Finally. We have gone through this, this process of building an audience creating. A proposal. You were successful, at selling, that proposal, and identifying, a publishing, partner, how, do you promote the book and. How. Do you do it in a cost-efficient. Way and, this was but this was particularly, important. To me being cost efficient, and time efficient, because I have a full-time job so I. Took. Some of the the. Skills. That I have in in media strategy, in applied. Content. In, mark in, strategy. Principles. To the promotion of the book so. One, of the things that is. Crucial, is you're, launching the book is to keep your audience interested, your, initial, audience, remember, of the, people that follow you that liked your blog post and.
A. Great way to keep their, interest is to. Develop. A newsletter I found. That a very simple, way of writing, newsletters that get a lot of engagement is by. Setting. Automatic. Alerts on Google for, news articles. That highlight. Ideas. Related, to the concepts, that you explore in in in, your book so for example I had. A lot of alerts for things, related to storytelling. Inspiration. Strategy, and then, what you do is to. You, curate those articles, you summarize, them and you share share, them with your, following. Newsletters. Are also very important, because there. Are great tools for. Running. Small, promotions, like giveaways. In. And. Even asking for favors so for example asking for, your. Readers to share a link to. To Amazon, page with. Their friends, or to, leave a testimonial. On your site and so on. This. Is one of the the last one, of the few. Last things that I want to share with you which. Is trying, to do trying, to create, your book as a multi-format. Experience. So. It started as a. Written, word project. But. The reality is audiences. Want to engage with more visual formats. Specifically. Video, and. People want to be, entertained, and, learned along along, the way so I use the video automation, tool called ribbits, and essentially. What these very. Simple to use. Software. Allows you to do is to summarize. The. Chapters. In your book. Find. Related, images, and package them into very, engaging. Shareable. Social, videos so. Also. Related, to engaging. People, with. With. Different, formats, of your book just beyond. The print product, I, found, it very very. Powerful. To surprise, your readers and so what I did in in this, in. This case was. To develop. An augmented, reality app, where. Readers. Can drop inspiring. Thoughts, in. Their ideas. In in. The book. By. Pointing, their phones at. The book cover so it's essentially, a virtual, book. Club unlocked, through an augmented. Reality I'm. Not sure if the video will play but we can we can try just so we can see, how it looks. So. As you said as you've seen that the idea here is not that you need an augmented, reality app, necessarily. But. That, you can find interesting. Ways of, engaging. Your, audience and, surprise them along the way so. All right so you, have all of these these. Interesting, activities, you have a book you have an augmented, reality app, you have videos. What. Can you do next well you can repeat the process either, for, other. Projects. Other. Books or you. Can do the same thing for other. Markets. So. In my case I, just published. The first international. Version, of live like fiction, which is a, different. Title. It's a Portuguese, version. And. He. Follows, it followed, exactly, the same the same approach and I. Will, leave you with the trailer, that I made to promote, the. Book in, Portugal, and then we can we, can have a discussion. In, Q&A. All. Right so thank you all. Right, thank you for that chest cool this was great. Says. Reminder to her microphones, on the Alsea if you want to ask a question just for free and go ahead and ask but, let. Me start by asking you. What. Where. The idea of becoming. An author, just. Come. From yes. So the my my, initial objective, was not to become an author it just really. Happened, organically. As, I, mentioned, the first time I I moved, to New. York City I didn't, really know anyone in so one way of coping. With, this. Transition, to the professional, world was. To, take notes and see how people. Behaved. And then in. Different, situations. In social. Circumstances. Professional, circumstances. And then, translate, those ideas, into. Strategies. That I can that, I could use, in. There and after initially. A a. Few. Colleagues. And friends had. The chance to read it and, and. Encouraged me to share, it wider and that's where, the, entire process. The. Entire process began, one, thing that I would say is that. It's. Very challenging. To go through all of it but, once you do it it, becomes very easy to replicate, so. Hopefully, I'll be looking. To more more projects, in the future like this yeah, we - absolutely. Just. In the same line but. Who is your favorite, author well. I I have many. Different, authors. That. I that I like I, can, pinpoint, one, specifically. But. I'm. Actually reading, a very. Interesting book called, the invention, of news. Which. Traces, back, which. Traces, the. The, news. Industry back. To the 13, androids all, the way to modern times so it's it's it's very interesting for, me, as that's, my industry, but I usually, read.
A Lot of nonfiction, books. That's. A very interesting. Well, I did have a question about, your, book a few questions about your book but before, well, you did mention that you wrote. A blog, post right. It went viral so. Did, you ever consider, just. Sticking to writing, blog posts or just be a blogger. No. Because you know then the initial, the initial. Goal. Was to see. If I could execute. On the strategy, of, turning. Something, digital into. Physical. And. It, was important, to me as a personal. Interest in as a media, strategist, to try, to explore, different. Ways of, telling, a story not only through, a blog, post but through a physical, book, videos. And augmented, reality app. In. So, creating, a portfolio, of experiences. And. Again the most enjoying, thing is the is the process, of figuring out how to do it and. To learn about new. New. Strategies, or new technologies. And and. Then implement, them in. In. The project, specifically, right. Okay. So. Now, talking about your your book in, particular. Did. You originally intend, to have the book as as, an open source book, or were you or did you ever consider having, or, maybe following the the traditional approach, at, some point no. The initial goal was you. Know if I'm, if. I'm promoting. Innovation, as part of my my, professional. Career in if I'm encouraging, new ways of thinking about media, strategy, and it. Would be better if myself. I if I explore. New avenues and, new routes to. To publish content so, I wanted to for. The process, to be to. Break away from the traditional model and. Apply, a. More, user centric, approach. To. Writing, the book so putting the audience first rather. Than then last, and. Then use. That that, initial feedback, to improve the book, invalidated, before, it's. Distributed. Wider by by. A publisher, all. Right very innovative, indeed, thank, you and we have a question from the audience yes, hello thanks, for an chesco for coming, you. Mentioned, in your talk how you shared. Your book and the ideas with a group of ten people how, did you actually decide who those ten people should be because depending. On the composition that would greatly, kind, of bias. A bug one way or another we're, looking for people who were you. Knew work a little bit more critical or, people who just make you feel good that's. That's, a great question, in specifically. When. I was designing this small, focused, group I, picked. Friends. Who I know are very, critical and. In fact the question that I asked, was tell. Me what's. Wrong, and. And. After. You do that tell me what do you like and. So inviting, these feedback, and inviting. The. The. The, initial work to be dissected, and evaluated. By people, that I know are very. Critical was, very important, to me because, once. It goes through that. That. Smell test then and. You're able to improve. Your work based on on on those. Interactions, that then. You're likely. Going to have some something, that everyone. Enjoys. And. I also I, also search, for people, or identified. Friends. And family from, different from different areas. So not only people that work. In media or entrepreneurship, but. You, know. Friends. That work, in the medical, field in, friends, who are. Artists, or teachers, and so trying. To have an. Audience. Or initial audience that could represent, the. Why the wider world. It. Is 10 a magic number was like three friends that that like you three friends that didn't like you and maybe mom. Dad yeah no, it was not a magic. Number it was just you. Know I was looking for initial. Group. Of people. That could provide. Some. Some guidance, and it just happened to be ten, but. I I think that's that's a good number I think five is he's, he's. Too small and you. Know maybe 100, these is too big so. Something. In something in between right, so I spiring, writers, and authors then people don't, forget, that okay. So now in the lines of feedback. You. How did you prepare, for. For. Not positive. Feedback, I mean you by, doing the book as an open source you. Probably, knew that there was a possibility, that some of the feedback that you were going to receive was not necessarily, what you wanted to hear or read so, how did you prepare yourself for that yes, so to, two main things so the, first thing is that the, main, objective. Was to produce, a, very, good product a very good book and so if, that's the focus then I. Could. Look at feedback as a way of improving, and getting close to to. To that to that vision in the, second point is that you don't have to receive. Or. Implement. All the feedback, you you. You, get so, there's a there's.
A Balancing. Act between, the, feedback, you receive in your own. You. Know your own direction, your own creative. Spirit, so you have to be able to manage. Both of those in. While. Staying true to your own voice in in to what. You want to convey, in in the book that you're writing okay. I have to say that's very courageous, of you I'm. Not so sure if I would just want to open the. Things are right to the open. Net, and see what feedback I get so, yeah, good stuff for ya. Very courageous um okay. So kind, of shifting, gears a bit, well. Technology is, is part of your book it's, it's basically at its core. When. Did you decide, to incorporate, technology in, your. Book well. I mean it's part of my. Technology. Is part of my language, it's it's what I do is in, my profession, and so. You. Know today we have so many tools available to, us that can really help us scale, our. Creativity, in this. Collaboration, between. Humans. In in machines, is something that I'm very passionate. About. So. I wanted to incorporate technology. From from day one, and. That means. Using. A you, know online, shared. Document, to. You. Know online, platform. For sharing blog. Posts, which, in my case was, medium, all the, way to using. Video. Automation. In in augmented, reality. And. As I mentioned, it was a process. Of exploration not, only of the concept, of the book but. What I could do around it in the. Strategies, that I could implement, as. Part of this project, right. And and then you also mentioned that, well. You have a full-time job so. How. Tell. Us how you balance that I mean did did your job in The Associated Press, somehow. Help you achieve what. What you wanted to achieve with the book or through the process um just, tell us how do you balance that because I think sometimes. You. Know we all want to do things but oh we're I'm so busy with my with, my job that I just can't find the time for just. Doing whatever you know whatever I haven't been wanting to do for so long so how did you balance that, yeah really, so first. Of all this was a hobby. For me something that I was very interested, in pursuing, and. You. Know I I really. Enjoyed. Doing it and so if. That's the case and if you are doing an enjoyable act, it becomes much easier when, you arrive home after, the long day at work and use. It as a. Way of relaxing, of, distracting, yourself. And. That's. That's, what I that's what I did use this creative, process, to, not. Only inspire, the book but also inspire. My. You, know my daily life in my profession. Because I feel. That having, a hobby is crucial, because, it's a source of creativity, that, you can then channel, into different areas of. Your. Life and. Also there's you know there's the weekend which is a, great. You. Know if you account the number of hours and things that you can accomplish on a weekend, if it's something enjoyable to you there's. There's, a lot of time. Specifically. My, work as a media strategist, there's a at the large news, organization. I get. To. Learn about new. Technologies. New strategies. And so some. Of those lessons learnt. End. Up, playing. A role in in, what you do or in my case or what I did outside, work, so. Learning, about video, automation, in learning about how, to develop, newsletters. How to curate. Content it's. Something, that that, I was exposed, to, through my work, did. You ever ask your your co-workers for, feedback about the book yeah, absolutely and, in. Fact, we. Have a. Very successful internship. Program, and. I was a the. My, publisher, gave me several. Copies of the book so we could give it to to, our interns. And. I've I've also, shared, some presentations. In some ideas, specifically. About the book with with, my colleagues, in they, have been wonderful. At supporting, the project as well as providing. Feedback asking, questions in and so on again. Very courageous, of you yeah. Yeah. What. Advice can you give those future. Authors. That are watching this on YouTube, but what's, the maybe three things you can tell them or the one thing you can tell them to those who are thinking about as. I said before right start, their own project, but maybe. They just don't have they think they don't have time or, or.
Or, So yes, so I think the, most important, thing is to. Develop a plan of. The. Steps you want to accomplish, and. The. Action items that you have to do or to. Execute to get to that larger, vision so for example in this discussion. Today I shared, you. Know ten principles, that I found. Important. In in in my journey I, think, these are applicable to other people, but each each, individual. Will have their own unique. Way. Of approaching. A book project but. Again if, you are able to define a plan and stick to it eventually you'll see results and that, was important. To me because I, wanted to, give. Up every single day as I was, creating. This project because. You know it's. You're. Getting rejected. By publishers, or you. Know the feedback is very harsh or. You are not able to you. Know create a certain. X acute on a certain idea that you had so having, the guiding, principle. In. That, knowing, what light. At the end of the tunnel in terms of your creative processes. Is. Crucial, as as you are developing a, book. Project or any media project, right. Okay well I have maybe one more question if the audience has any questions police approach mics yes, and we have a question yeah thanks for coming I, spoken. With a lot of authors and I worked with some of them closely and I, feel a lot of them have gone through this great marathon of creating, this this, work this item and. They. Sort of run out of energy when it comes time to self. Promote they. Some, of them expect the publisher to do this and there's not, a lot of resources I'm publishing these days to really. Pull, that through, all the way what. Sort of advice would you offer to authors who have gone. Through the race and. Are basically. In their mind finish but they have a little ways to go into. Making their books a success, but sort of ice do you have to keep their energy levels up in that self-promotion. Phase, which i think is just so key that, you're talking yeah absolutely and, that's. Excellent, question because I I. Felt. The. You know what you just described, which is some fatigue, after going, through all of this effort and then you. Still have to to, promote the. Book one. One, thing that I find very energizing. And although I've been talking, about how to leverage technology. And. Different. Marketing, tools that are available out, there I. Found. Very, very. Rewarding to have offline, discussions. With with, people in in in. Readers, and, potential. Readers, because. Then you get to interact with. You. Know with people that are just like you and you. Get new ideas and you see how, from. How. They are enjoying reading it in in that's that's, that's. Inspiring, and as, I'm writing, you. Know or, as I was writing this book and any. Other projects, I always, think about one. Or two people. Specific. People friends, or people that I met at an event or at a conference, those. Are those are that's. My audience and so I'm thinking about that specific. Person, I'm thinking about John. Or Sarah or whoever, might be and, in. Having. That in mind of how will they react once. This, is out so. Again. Not. Folk, focusing. Of, course on, being, creative and resourceful in, terms of the, technology, tools you used to market your book but. Most, importantly. Find, avenues. To. Interact. With. People in real life. Thank. You, ok, if I just called one last question. What's. Next so, we know your book he's published in Portuguese now do, you plan to. Do. More more versions perhaps, Italian yeah I would love to to do more versions, in. You. Know looking, forward, to finding, partners. In in. Readers, in in in, in, other, countries, because. The the feedback that I've been, getting, has. Been very positive and that's very. Rewarding and, I would, love to share some of some, of the. Ideas in the creativity, with even more people so. Hopefully. More translated. Versions in the future and any other plans. To write more books or other, subjects. You have in mind for future yeah. I have some sons and, other ideas but right. Now I'm. Focusing. On and on. Making, this specific. Project. Successful. And. Then I'm sure eventually, I'll I'll. Explore, other concepts, or other book. Ideas, so, all right well, thank you so much for coming with definitely, appreciate, your time and thank. You for sharing your ideas with us thank you so much and thank you google for hosting. Me. You.