My name is Jonathan Pletzke and I run a small publishing company based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I started my endeavor two and a half years ago after three years as an employee. Prior to that I was involved in a couple of startups (both tanked) and ran a successful software/business application development consulting company for around 10 years. I started the publishing company as a way to balance all the important things in my life, modeling both my doctor ("I designed my practice around my lifestyle") and a cookbook writer ("I`m not retired, but it sure feels like it").
I like the challenge of writing (very hard to do well), and couldn`t wait to get the first book out, though it didn`t turn out to be the one I had planned. One year ago, the COBRA continuation health insurance from my previous employer was due to run out, so I went to go shopping for health insurance. I had intended to put a chapter in a book about ways to "retire early" when you don`t really have the financial resources to do so (i.e. when you can`t live on 4% of your invested assets). A chapter was not enough, and I found it hard to get the hard facts on buying health insurance, so I put that project on hold. The result of the last year of research has been incorporated into a new book (not my first, that was in 1996 - any computer folks remember Smalltalk?). My new book is a guide for buyers of health insurance, including early-retirees and early-retiree wanna-bees, among others. My book is titled Get a Good Deal on Your Health Insurance Without Getting Ripped-Off.
Now I`ve got other authors working and another book coming in less than a month (on Tuscan Cooking by an American born contessa). I`m trying to get the word out on the first book, and know that my market is entrepreneurs, free-lancers, and anyone else who doesn`t get health insurance at work. Come to think of it, getting health insurance at work isn`t such a great thing either, so that`s another market. Traditional "book marketing" doesn`t seem to be appropriate, since few people go to bookstores anymore for niche books like this - though when they want it they really need it!
I`ve gotten press materials together, toyed with the idea of a blast press release service, but don`t think that much will come of that from what others have said. I think my challenge is to get the word out to the media and other places (online, chamber of commerce, etc.), and to make the publicity campaign as high quality as the book. I`d love any suggestions or ideas about how to get the word out effectively and with high quality. For example, I`ve never called a reported before to push a story - do they want a list of possible angles or just one story suggestion a week?
I`ve started to post on SuN regarding health insurance topics, after hearing about SuN in March of 2006 at the Microsoft Small Business Summit. I don`t want people to make the mistakes that I have made, get scammed or ripped-off, or trip on one of the cracks in the health insurance system and end up uninsured and uninsureable. I welcome your advice, kind criticism, and compliments.
Author, Get a Good Deal on Your Health Insurance Without Getting Ripped-Off