An Exciting Rebranding for One of My Favorite Clients

As readers of this blog may have noticed, for more than a year I have run a paid promotion at the upper right corner of this website for Speakerfile, a tech company based in Toronto. They operate a web platform with smart software that connects conference organizers and meeting planners to authors and experts who speak in public. The ingenious software ensures powerful search capabilities, so speakers and experts are found readily by people eager to discover them. I think they run a great service, and so have really been proud to feature them prominently on my website, while also representing them to the book industry–publishers, authors, publicists, and literary agents. Having long described themselves as an expert visibility platform, it is therefore a natural evolution that has now led the company to officially rename themselves as Expertfile. In an announcement on their website company CEO Peter Evans says,

Switching our brand to ExpertFile underscores how we are aligning with a larger shift in the market. In working with organizations such as Cleveland Clinic, ADP, Constant Contact, [and] the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) . . . we've seen first-hand how content marketing and thought leadership has become a major priority. While speaking at industry conferences is important to thought leadership programs, it is only one dimension of how organizations build visibility and authority. Driving online engagement with their experts is proving to be essential to thought leadership. But most marketing departments lack the tools to unify and publish a yard sale of expert content—assets that remain fragmented across a variety of social and rich-media channels.

In a company press release Evans added, In working with thousands of experts and Fortune 500 organizations, we are discovering a major unmet need among even the largest of enterprise customers. Our move to ExpertFile is a natural evolution to a full enterprise platform that helps organizations promote and manage their expert content—to build visibility and authority in their industries without the complexity and drama of building custom applications.

In keeping with the change, their Twitter handle has changed to @ExpertFile, and they have a new ExpertFile Facebook page, which I invite you to 'like.' If you're interested in learning more about how the company operates and how they work with individuals and organizations, you can sign up for free online demos via this link. Their new logo is now in the promo on this site, and clicking on it will lead you directly to the Expertfile website. I'm really excited to see this dynamic client of mine evolving in exciting new directions, and I look forward to continuing to introduce to my book business contacts, old and new. If you'd like to know more about Expertfile, please let me know.


Enjoying Whitehorse at Hill Country with Friends

Amid an incredibly busy week–teaching a nonfiction book writing seminar on Tuesday at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and attending Digital Book World (DBW) Wednesday and Thursday, it was fun to still get out and hear some live music, when Luke Doucet and Melissa McClelland, aka Whitehorse, played at Hill Country, the fun BBQ restaurant and saloon in Manhattan on Thursday night. What made it even better was that I was able to bring some friends from DBW with me. Joining me were Peter Evans, CEO of Speakerfile, the Toronto company that connects conference organizers to author experts that do public speaking, whom I represent to the publishing industry; and Chris Howard and Jason Freeman of Libboo, an exciting new engine for book advocacy and discovery. We enjoyed an amazing dinner first and had a kinetic conversation that encompassed vintage guitars, music performance, emerging technologies, and whether Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) is the best beer to have with smoked wings. Before we knew it, Whitehorse was taking to the stage.

I had heard and met Luke and Melissa last year, so it was great to see them again, and this time turn some friends on to their music. Though they are ‘only’ a duo, they play like twinned one-person bands, supplying percussion, bass, keys, guitars, vocals, and foot-stomping to the sonic mix. Melissa’s voice is a powerful, arcing instrument, and Luke’s guitar work, mostly on a big, white Gretch Falcon, is consistently mind-blowing. Their ensemble work was especially powerful on such songs as “Wisconsin,” “Passenger 24,” “Devil’s Got a Gun,” and “I’m on Fire.”

I love it when spontaneous fun can be enjoyed amid a busy trade show. Thanks to Peter, Chris, and Jason for all the good company, and Luke and Melissa for the soundtrack to our evening!Luke & Melissa 2

Speakerfile, on Stage at Digital Book World

Thursday Update: Here’s a pic of Speakerfile CEO Peter Evans at the Digital Book World podium yesterday, just after the panel he was part of discussing innovation. Photo by Mercy Pilkington. Today I’ll be on the floor with Peter talking with publishers and agents about how Speakerfile can help their authors be discovered by more readers.DSC_0015

Wednesday Update: Speakerfile has sent out this press release on the wires about CEO Peter Evans’ appearance on a DBW panel later today about innovation:


It’s not even the middle yet of what’s bidding to be a great week.

Today, Tuesday, I team-taught in a nonfiction book writing seminar at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Wednesday and Thursday I’ll be attending Digital Book World (DBW), third year in a row I’ve gone to this conference that showcases the evolution of the book world in the sometimes lurching transition into digital reading. What’s more, tomorrow Peter Evans–CEO of Speakerfile, a Toronto company I represent to the publishing industry–will be part of a DBW panel devoted to innovation in publishing. Speakerfile, which has a click-through promo near the upper right corner of this website, is a software platform and website that  connects conference organizers, meeting planners, and members of the media to author experts and thought leaders who do public speaking.

WideSkyscraper(Authors)I began working with Speakerfile in 2012, and one of the first clients I brought them was Movable Type Management (MTM), a literary management firm. Last summer MTM put two dozen of their author clients in to a mini-speakers bureau that resides on Speakerfile’s website, with the same bureau also appearing on MTM’s site. MTM president Jason Ashlock has just recorded a brief testimonial video about Speakerfile in which he says, “Within the first week we had a couple of bookings . . . we’ve now booked over a dozen events for our clients, each of which has paid our clients well and promoted them across the audiences that we’re really hoping that we’ll reach.”

With publishing clients I’ve introduced to Speakerfile finding many new speaking engagements for their authors, I am convinced that this smart Canadian company can become a dynamic engine of discoverability for publishers, bringing authors and their books together with motivated audiences. I’m very pleased that Peter Evans will have the opportunity to share Speakerfile’s story with the questers for innovation at Digital Book World.

Free Demos of Speakerfile

If you’ve been interested in learning more about Speakerfile–the company I rep to publishers, authors, publicists, and literary agents, that connects conference organizers with authors and experts who do public speaking–their CMO Cara Posey will be doing free Web demos on Wednesdays from 3-4 PM, limited to the first two dozen people who sign up. If you’d like to take advantage of one of these gratis sessions, I suggest you follow this link and register at the web page Cara’s posted.

If you’re just learning about Speakerfile for the first time, you may go to their home page by clicking on the promo placed near the upper right-hand corner of The Great Gray Bridge. It’s a robust Web platform with terrific SEO capability that can really drive discoverability of authors and thought leaders. The first client I’ve signed up for them–a forward-oriented author management company called Movable Type Management–got 9 bookings for their author clients in just the first few months after creating their own mini-bureau on the Speakerfile site, a bureau MTM also placed on its own website under the rubric ‘Author Booking.’

If you’re already engaged in public speaking, or you work with public speakers, I’ll be happy to explore with you how Speakerfile can help you and your associates get better bookings. Please let me know if you have any questions about Speakerfile.

How (Not) to Make the Most of an Empty Chair

Author Jonathan D. Moreno has a fascinating Op-Ed in Saturday’s NY Times, What the Chair Could Have Told Clint, offering unexpected insight into the use of an empty chair in an imagined dialogue, and the opportunity that Clint Eastwood missed when he gave his unscripted talk at the RNC Thursday night. Turns out that Moreno’s father, J.L. Moreno, was a psychotherapist who developed the use of an empty chair in therapeutic work, leading to use of the term ‘psychodrama.’

A technique that the younger Moreno points out Eastwood could have undertaken would have been to take a turn sitting in the empty chair himself–a suggestion that his father encouraged and which psychiatrists still make to their analysands, in hopes of having them truly comprehend the other in their midst. Moreno regrets

Mr. Eastwood wasted an important educational and therapeutic moment from which our deadlocked political system could benefit: putting himself in the role of the other person of whom he is critical and coming to understand that person’s point of view “from inside.”

Moreno also points to a missed opportunity from the 60s and the Vietnam era. His father offered the Johnson administration his professional services in a bid to conduct a psychodrama with LBJ and Ho Chi Minh. He laments that

Perhaps the deaths of so many tens of thousands of men, women and children could have been averted. But my father got a curt brushoff from Bill Moyers, then the White House press secretary, informing him that diplomacy was not a psychotherapy theater game. But of course any practitioner or historian of diplomacy knows that often that’s exactly what it is.

Moreno knows these fields very well, and I urge you to read his entire column.

According to the bio on his 2012 book, Mind Wars: Brain Science and the Military in the 21st Century, he has been “a senior staff member for three presidential advisory commissions and has served on a number of Pentagon advisory committees.” For the sake of full disclosure, I want to note that I am connected to Moreno through my friendship with Erika Goldman, his book editor at Bellevue Literary Press. In June, when I began consulting with Speakerfile–the Toronto company that connects conference organizers with authors, experts, and thought leaders who do public speaking–Erika recommended the platform to Jonathan and he became one of the first authors to sign up for Speakerfile during my tenure as a consultant for them.



Whistleblowers on Speakerfile

Delighted to have my recent blog essay, On the Imperative of Publishing Whistleblowers, republished today on the blog of Speakerfile, the company I consult for that connects conference organizers with authors who do public speaking. H/t Neal Maillett of Berrett-Koehler Publishers for his piece, Why We Publisher Whistleblowers, which inspired my own, and Mike Shatzkin, who alerted me to Neal’s essay. Also, thanks to Cara Posey of Speakerfile who solicited this post from me.

On the Imperative of Publishing Whistleblowers

Neal Maillet, editorial director of Berrett-Koehler Publishers, has published a good opinion piece in Publishing Perspectives on what he sees as the imperative of publishing books by whistleblowers, and the dynamics that prevail when working with these authors and their books. In 2004 Berrett-Koehler published the breakthrough book on vulture capitalism, Confessions of an Economic Hitman, a mega-hit by John Perkins that was licensed to Plume for trade paperback for whom it was also a bestseller. More recently, he writes that B-K has published Confessions of a Microfinance Heretic, on the little-known darker side of what we like to think of as progressive measures to facilitate economic progress in the developing world.

For my part, when I describe the imperatives and mandates that impel my personal publishing choices I have long placed “whistleblowers, truthtellers, muckrakers, and revisionist historians” highest on my list, and refer to this on the two business-oriented pages at the top of this website, Philip Turner Book Productions and Philip Turner. Quoting from the latter page, I’ve written “As an editor and publisher I have always felt impelled to publish books by and about singular witnesses–whistleblowers, truthellers, muckrakers, revisionist historians–people who’ve passed through some crucible of experience that’s left them with elevated author-ity, and the only person who could write the book in question, or about whom it could be written. Whether told in the first person by an author who has passed through some crucible of experience that leaves him or her uniquely qualified to tell the tale or in the third person by a reporter or scholar who has pursued a story or historical episode with single-minded passion, I am devoted to publishing imperative nonfiction, books that really matter in people’s lives.”

My definition of an imperative book is not limited to books by corporate and government whistleblowers, though it certainly includes them. The list of relevant books I’ve acquired and/or published over the past decade and a half includes these ten titles:

1) DEAD RUN: The Shocking Story of Dennis Stockton and Life on Death Row in America (1999), a nonfiction narrative by reporters Joe Jackson and Bill Burke with an Introduction by William Styron, chronicling an innocent man on Death Row in Virginia and the only mass escape from Death Row in U.S. history. The condemned convict, Dennis Stockton, wasn’t among the escapees, but he kept a whistleblowing diary detailing corruption in the penitentiary that he later with the reporters;
2) IBM & THE HOLOCAUST: The Strategic Alliance Between Nazi Germany and America’s Most Powerful Corporation (2001), an investigative tour de force by Edwin Black showing how one of the world’s most successful technology companies lent its technology to the Third Reich’s killing machinery;
3) THE WOMAN WHO WOULDN’T TALK: Why I Refused to Testify Against the Clintons and What I Learned in Jail (2002) by Susan MacDougal, a New York Times bestseller. Susan served 18 months in jail for civil contempt when she wouldn’t give Special Prosecutor Kenneth Starr the testimony he wanted from her.

4) THE POLITICS OF TRUTH: Inside the Lies that Put the White House on Trial and Betrayed My Wife’s CIA Identity (2004) by Ambassador Joseph Wilson, which later became the basis in part for the film, “Fair Game,” a New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller;
5) AHMAD’S WAR, AHMAD’S PEACE: Surviving Under Saddam, Dying in the New Iraq (2005) by Michael Goldfarb. A longtime NPR correspondent, this is Goldfarb’s tribute to Kurd Ahmad Shawkat, his translator during the U.S. invasion of Iraq, who started a newspaper in the months after Saddam’s fall, only to be assassinated for his editorials critical of intolerance. A New York Times Notable Book.

To the books by these authors, I would also add my writers, the late Edward Robb Ellis, the most prolific diarist in the history of American letters, and 100-year oldRuth Gruber, award-winning photojournalist–each of them singular eyewitnesses to history. Over the years I have published four and six books by them, respectively.

Among my professional roles nowadays is that of independent editor and consultant to authors on book development in which I continue seeking out unique individuals with stories like these to tell. That’s also why I enjoy working with Speakerfile, the company that connects conference organizers with authors who do public speaking. Thanks to Neal Maillett and Berrett-Koehler Publishers for reminding me and all readers of the vital role publishers play in helping us hear the voices of whistleblowers and truthtellers. H/t to Mike Shatzkin for alerting me to Mr. Maillett’s article. Also, thanks to the Open Democracy Action Center (ODAC) for use of their whistleblower graphic.

Please click through to the complete post to read about the last five books from the above list and see many of the book jackets.

Announcing My Collaboration with Speakerfile

June 25, 2012–Shelf Awareness, the e-newsletter for booksellers and librarians and others in the book trade, has run a generous announcement on the collaboration I announced last week with Speakerfile. It was in the email they sent out to their subscribers this morning and at this link. If you don’t already subscribe to their emails, I recommend them–there’s a professional one for the book trade that comes out every workday and one for readers that’s published twice a week–they are grouped together at this link.

Last Friday, the day the release below hit the wires, the daily e-newsletter Publishers Lunch also covered the news, with a piece at this link.
June 22, 2012–Today I am announcing a business collaboration with Speakerfile–the Toronto-based company I’ve been writing about a lot on this blog over the past month. I’ll be representing their robust online platform that connects conference organizers and meeting planners with authors and thought leaders to publishers, authors, agents, and publicists. This press release on PR Newswire announces the arrangement. I’ve also pasted it in below, for your convenience. If you are an author, or you work with authors who want to do more public speaking, please read the release and follow the links to learn more about this engine of discovery that has the potential to put authors in front of audiences and drive book sales. You’ll also find a promo for Speakerfile near the upper right-hand corner of this website, which you can click on to go directly to Speakerfile’s site. Please let me know directly of any questions you may have, or if you’d like to sign up for Speakerfile.

Click on the link above for the press release or click through here for the release copied & pasted-in.