At IBPA’s PubU last weekend, I heard some eye-popping stories of endurance and book marketing that have inspired me and might inspire you.  First,  I had the privilege of meeting Jason Lewis, the first man to circumnavigate the globe under human power, whose book, The Expedition, won the 2013 Benjamin Franklin Award from IBPA for best first book (non-fiction).

Jason Lewis and Gail Woodard

Jason Lewis, Gail Woodard

One comment that Jason made during his presentation was “The human body is capable of incredible feats of endurance — if the mind buys into it.”

Then Tammie Stevens, Managing Editor of BillyFish Books, publisher of The Expedition spoke.  The story of her efforts to publish Jason’s book was also one of astonishing endurance.  She said that she sent out 80,000 emails in her campaign to get The Expedition published and marketed.

Today, I thought of Jason pedaling across the Atlantic (yes – pedaling in a one-of-a-kind floating, 26-foot long, four-foot wide contraption for days and weeks.  You must read the book. And then books 2 and 3 – it’s a non-fiction trilogy. Here’s a link to Amazon to buy it: The Expedition by Jason Lewis)

Gail Woodard and sons at Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge here we come!

Here I was today, ready to pedal across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, escorted by two of my valiant sons.  (Another side note: last time I was on a bike was twenty years ago, and Casey, the one in the middle in this picture, had been strapped on my bike in a kiddie seat behind me.  This time, my sons were watching out for me!)

As I rode along Crissy Field on the way to the bridge, my thoroughly undeveloped quadriceps already voicing surprise and dismay, I thought about Jason pedaling in the middle of the Atlantic, hour after hour, day after day, week after week. So what if he was in his twenties and I am not.  So what if I haven’t been on a bike in two decades.  So what if my legs are not happy with me.  I’ve wanted to do this for years and today is my day. It worked. My mind bought into the adventure and, despite their initial displeasure, quads got to work and I had a wonderful ride to Sausalito.

But I also thought about Tammie’s mind-over-matter success in marketing The Expedition.  80,000 emails!  That’s huge!

Jason’s book is a well-written, terrific adventure of human physical accomplishment, blended with his musings, reflections and metaphysical discoveries.  He and Tammie deserve all the kudos they are receiving for the book.

I’m just wondering if other authors and publishers pedaled hard enough in their book marketing efforts, how would the results look?  80,000 emails in a year calculates out to over 6600 emails each month.  What if you, if you’re an author, sent out even one thousand emails a month to promote your book?  How would that change your sales numbers?

Return on investment for book marketing is notoriously difficult to measure.  At DCP, we are focusing on book marketing strategies like targeted social media and special market sales this year. We are measuring both our efforts and our outcomes – and we’ll see what happens.  I’m not sure we’ll get 80,000 emails out in 2014, but you can bet we’re going to be reaching a lot more people than we have in the past to promote our books.

So – would you pedal on, and send out 80,000 emails this year to promote YOUR book?