Editing/PR: Business Plans Handbook
Client: Thomson Gale Publishing / Gale
Project: Secured/edited successful business plans for inclusion in major reference books published annually by America's largerest reference publishing house
Business Plans Handbook is an annual business plan reference guide, originally published by Thomson Gale Publishing and then by Gale Cengage Learning. Each volume – 52 so far — contains hundreds of pages (250 to 500+) and an average of 25 real business plans obtained from businesses in the manufacturing, retail, and service industries which successfully were used to secure funding. Each plan is fictionalized by changing the names of companies, executives, addresses and products/services. Each volume includes a sample business plan template and two fictional plans, a glossary of small business terms, and a directory section containing various listings of interest to entrepreneurs and consultants specializing in small business advice and planning. These books were mostly sold to libraries all around the world, as well as to individuals.
Bastian was hired to serve as the key Research Editor for six annual editions of Business Plans Handbook (BPH). While many research editors were hired to help secure up to 25 business plans per book, Bastian had always been the one professional who could be counted upon to consistently provide the vast majority of the entire inventory of plans for each edition.
In 2006, Bastian was working on the 12th annual edition of BPH. As usual, she had to find business owners who were willing to have their successful business plans published in a fictionalized version. However, the sticking point for many potential contributors was that they would not be paid for doing this. This year, Bastian came up with an innovative solution to this perennial problem of finding good, qualified plans within the “no payment” constraints. Her idea was to write a press release emphasizing the “call for contributors” for the 12th edition; a move never done before by the publisher. More importantly, Bastian came up with a list of ways to reward contributors which would not cost the publisher a dime; and those benefits were touted in the press release. They included: a free copy of the book, an acknowledgement of thanks to the contributing business or person in the book’s front matter, and a full business listing about the contributing business or person in the Resource section found at the end of the book.
After gaining the publisher’s approval, Bastian wrote the press release and distributed it nationally via PRWeb distribution service, and promoted it on numerous investment and general business websites.
Morever, she gave free advice to contributors on how they could further leverage their plan contribution(s) by promoting this activity to their local media outlets, etc. The result? Bastian was able to secure an increased number of highly qualified and successful business plans from old and new contributors, and increase the editorial value to the BPH product line.
Editing, researching ways online to find successful business plans, interviewing/developing relationships with contributors, writing press release, publicity, planning new strategic marketing methods.
Launch press release Bastian wrote/distributed to find business plan submissions
Launch video of librarian promoting handbook in his library