Book launches are commonplace. At least that's the thinking of Rohit Bhargava, author of the new book Personality Not Included: Why Companies Lose Their Authenticity And How Great Brands Get it Back.
Rohit opined that the usual tactics - PR releases, Facebook groups, live events, online mob flashes - while effective, are not necessarily the best at creating a conversation, which is his ultimate aim. Over the next few weeks and months he plans to discuss on his blog why personality matters.
So, in an effort to be innovative and conversational, Rohit reached out to a number of bloggers and asked each to submit five questions about the book or personality and he would answer them, providing a customized interview. All of the interviews that he does will be linked on his site and you can vote on the best one on Monday, March 31.
So here's my exclusive interview with Rohit Bhargava:
Scott Monty: Why a book? Why now? After all, the lightning speed with which our industry is evolving would seem to preclude anything with a 8-month lead time.
Rohit Bhargava: Great question, especially coming from a fellow blogger. Two reasons. First, because I felt that I had a big idea with the concept of the book and writing a book is still the best way to get an idea like that out there. I also believe that the concepts in the book will have a shelf life of longer than 8 months because I don't focus on one particular microtrend or technology that is likely to get outdated. The premise of the book is a strategic idea, instead of a tactical one, and that tends to have a longer relevance.
The second reason is that when it comes to building a career, there is no credential quite like being an author. I would never do an MBA as I don't feel its worth the time away from work or the expense. Writing a book essentially gives you an even more powerful credential ... and even better you don't have to pay someone else $50,000 for that privilege.
SM: What would you say to someone who requested, "Teach me to be authentic." (That's not a joke. Someone asked me that once.)
RB: It's not that difficult. Mean what you say and say what you mean. At the very basic level, that's all that authenticity is about.
SM: Who designed the dust jacket, and why is the one on your blog & Facebook group different from the one on Amazon? Which is the "real" version?
RB: Good question, the difference is actually due to the lag time between Amazon putting the new cover on the product page and us sending it. Apparently, they don't update that often. The one on my blog and the Facebook group is definitely the real version. I worked directly with the designers at McGraw-Hill (my publisher) to design it. We worked on concepting together, and then they designed and executed it.
SM: When you think about yourself, what do you consider yourself first: author? speaker? marketer? guru? blogger? something else? Why?
RB: Great question - that one makes me think for a while as they all apply. Let me go with one not on your list ... father. I've got two little boys (age 3 and 4 months) and I'd love to say that the first way I define myself will be as their father. Second to that, when it comes to business ... before the book I would always have said marketer. Now that I'm published, I might have to go with author (especially since I shared that was one of the reasons for writing the book in the first place!)
SM: American Idol: which are you - Simon, Randy or Paula?
RB: Definitely Simon, because he's authentic. Authenticity to me means not blowing smoke up people's behinds when you think they are stupid. I don't give false compliments to people, so when I offer a compliment, praise or feedback - I always mean it. Otherwise I usually don't say anything.
If you're intrigued by what you've read here and by what you see on Rohit's site, get on over to Amazon and order a copy of his book. I've been reading Rohit's blog since I started mine, and he's definitely got a personality that you should get to know more.