Anovel about an IT challenge? It might seem an unlikely bestseller and an even more unlikely brand accelerator,
but in the hands of IT thought leaders Gene
Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford—and
publisher Todd Sattersten— The Phoenix Project has taken off, built a brand, and caused a
revolution all its own.
Utilizing a book as a calling card for thought
leadership and platform growth is not new.
For decades business leaders and companies
have built their reputations, and then partnered with publishers, to bring innovative
ideas to the page. True to its name, the team
at IT Revolution Press took a different path
to bringing their business book, The Phoenix
Project, to life. By using digital self-publishing
platforms including NOOK Press, the Phoenix
team launched their book—and shared their
message—at their own pace and in their own
Publisher Todd Sattersten, the general manager at IT Revolution and book publishing
veteran, shares what made The Phoenix Project work not only as a book, but as a platform
and business accelerator.
MQ (MARKETER QUARTERLY): Why publish a novel about a business challenge?
TS (TODD SATTERSTEN): Stories are very
effective at communicating information and
teaching lessons. It may seem unusual to think
about writing a business novel, but business
schools have been using the case study method
for decades, and, in the last 20 years, business novels have been some of the best-selling
business titles. The general business audience
is very familiar with books like The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Who Moved My Cheese?
In our case, the authors modeled the book
after The Goal by Eli Goldratt. Published in
1983, this was the first big business novel and
was crucial in educating the manufacturing
sector about Lean principles. Given that we
had the same goal of bringing Lean principles
to the information technology department, it
felt like a good example to follow.
MQ: Your self-published eBook has sold very
well on NOOK. How has the decision to self-publish, rather than seek a traditional publishing experience, impacted your book’s success?
PARTNER COLUMN / THE MQ&A
BRAND BUILDING: A NOVEL APPROACH
BY JULIA COBLENTZ
“AS WE SOLD MORE
COPIES, IT OPENED UP
MORE OPTIONS FOR OTHER
LINES OF BUSINESS.”
THE PHOENIX PROJECT