I've been steadfastly mocking myself publicly for a long time, saying that I'd never write a 4th edition of CRM at the Speed of Light because I was sick of it.
To my own defense, I WAS sick of the book.
But I'm not now.
Hell, it made my career. How can I be sick of that? Plus its a bit of a franchise if I do say so myself and that's pretty cool.
So, I was riding on a metro train past East Falls Church last week on the way to meet the good folks at the Institute of Politics, Democracy and the Internet and the former Finance Minister of Venezuela, a wonderful man named Luis Matos. I was chuggin' along, the train was above ground at that point and I was reading, and musing, and looking out the window.
I happened to be reading Seth Godin's new book."The Dip" on how quitting is a positive thing if done right. I had a bit of an aha moment as I was thinking about what he was saying. I realized that I was cutting off my....nose to spite my face. Godin was saying, know when to drop the things that you aren't passionate about or that you aren't so good at and focus on those things that make you the best at what you do.
So I quit.
I quit all other book projects and decided to do CRM at the Speed of Light, 4th Edition because in my heart of hearts, I knew that I really wanted to do that.
After all, the 3rd edition came out in 2004 and while still pretty damned appropriate if I do say so myself, it was getting dated. Plus the 2.0 phenomenon that's forcing the redefinition of customer strategy to move from management and operational to engagement and collaborative is well under way and at this point, a fact of life - not just business life.
And, there are NO CRM related books about it.
There is one really good MARKETING book done by Paul Gillin, called "The New Influencers" that I HIGHLY recommend everyone read.
But no CRM books that handle the transition or point out the good and bad companies and practices engaged in this transition. Or the emerging thinking, business models or strategies for that.
So, on Friday, I spoke with my favorite editor of all time and one of my favorite human beings of all time, Roger Stewart, at McGraw-Hill. He has been there through the first 3 editions and I really wanted to have him for the 4th.
He checked on the 3rd edition sales and was happily surprised by their magnitude and thought that this new book under the old brand which would be named something like:
"CRM at the Speed of Light, 4th Edition: Customer Engagement Strategies in a Web 2.0 World" was a great idea.
So now I have to write the proposal for this and submit it to the Editorial Board and then they thumbs up or down it. What I also found out was that if, perchance, they didn't want to do it, I could get the rights to the book and the title back under my ownership entirely - which was totally cool too.
So that brings me to the next point.
I Want...No...I NEED...Your Help
I want input. I want your input on what I should write about, what I shouldn't write about, what you think of the world and what makes sense to cover in my usual overly effusive style.
But not just solo ideas for inclusion.
I'm also willing to entertain a chapter or appendix (that would be my choice) proposal that you'd want in the book (all you budding authors, take note) that you would write. You'd get paid for it and you'd get contributing author status on the inside of the book. But I retain the right to ask for some writing samples on this one. Any ideas I use that don't lead to chapters but are included as ideas will be acknowledged in the, ta da, acknowledgments.
It seems important to walk the walk on this so user generated content is the way to go.
Now, here's the deal as far as the ideas and chapter proposals go. I'm going to set up a section on the CRM 2.0 wiki to discuss the book ideas and chapter ideas. If you're reluctant to do it that way, then email me at email@example.com or post it as a comment here. But I want to have most of the discussion around the book on the wiki since whatever ideas you have will be germane to a CRM 2.0 discussion since the entire book will be about that though will cover the operational parts of CRM too.
The time limit is the end of the month because I want to submit the proposal by roughly the 7th of June or sooner and I'm going to write the Table of Contents/Chapter outline after I have all your ideas digested and decided on what needs to be in there.
So, join with me to write CRM at the Speed of Light, 4th Edition.
Whether McGraw-Hill publishes it or not, I'm doin' it.
And this time, I ain't lyin'.