Our second time working on a book development project with entrepreneur and investor, Ken McElroy, The Sleeping Giant is the de facto book on start-up entrepreneurship. It’s a compilation of twenty amazing stories from twenty amazing entrepreneurs that teach, inspire and, in many cases, leave readers in complete awe. It’s a book with how-to and heart built into it.
Ken got the idea for the book from his own experiences and from his association with Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO). A long time member, Ken thought it would be interesting to find stories within this global organization and bring them to life, in many cases for the first time. With 7000 members, EO is a massive organization and that was one of the challenges of this project.
Ken had a great idea for a book and a great organization that was interested in assisting. The first challenge was inspiring busy entrepreneurs to contribute to a book by an author, although known by many, not necessarily known by them. The next challenge was selecting the best of the best entrepreneurs, seeing what we had to work with and determining the book premise from there. Next, we had to determine which aspect of each story was really the “lesson” of the chapter and blend them all so that the book was engaging and interesting from first page to last. Finally, entrepreneurs are busy people, so we knew getting preliminary manuscripts as well as follow up approvals on time would be a challenge.
To begin credibly marketing the project and soliciting participants, HEASLEY&PARTNERS gained endorsement by the Entrepreneurs’ Organization EO Global Headquarters, then developed and distributed communications to the membership, using direct and indirect methods. Over the course of a few weeks, we found our efforts worked and we had a number of interested business owners willing to contribute.
The next step was to qualify the prospective contributors and find the best of the best. Obviously, not every story would be book-worthy, so to perform our initial qualification, we asked each interested business owner to complete a preliminary questionnaire and gave them a deadline. Once the responses came in, we met with Ken to go over our recommendations on who to keep and who to decline. We discussed it, formulating a game plan, then another, then another as we sifted through dozens of interesting, but completely unrelated business stories. Arriving at a unique underlying thread wasn’t easy.
From there, we got our contributors on board and began working with them to develop their stories. Some sent us manuscripts that we reworked, others we interviewed and wrote from scratch, others we found a glimmer of a better story within what they sent and asked them to write about that instead. It was literally give and take, managing 20 different authors. Through it all, we were able to capture these entrepreneurs’ stories and find the heart of what drives them to do such extraordinary things to grow their businesses. Once we had the essence, the manuscripts and the approvals of all the contributors, Ken could add his own magic to the book and pull it all together through his own introduction and chapter openings. This book is truly one of a kind and a must for anyone thinking about starting a business or already in the mix.
- Book development, concept and continuity
- Completed manuscript writing and editing
- Rights management
- Intensive project management
- Contributor relations and communications