2016 Lane Reports

How the Book You Write Can Drive Your Brand or Message

The Lane Report, December 2016
Thursday, December 1, 2016 10:00 am
by Tim Brandhorst, J.D.

We are grateful that clients all over the world favor us with their confidence.  While it's well-known that we help for-profit companies, non-profit organizations, social enterprises, and high net-worth individuals with their tax planning and compliance, wealth planning, corporate and governance issues, intellectual property protection, and business decisions, we are equally proud of our ability to help our clients grow.  And, increasingly, we are helping our clients grow by helping them become authors. 

A book can play an important strategic role in driving a business agenda or mission, building brand equity, enhancing corporate reputation, and exercising thought leadership--while positioning the author as the pre-eminent visionary in his or her field.

We help our clients become successful authors by guiding them along each step of the publishing path. 

  1. We help define the book’s content, with an eye to the author's business goals or mission.
  2. We help ensure that the focus and tone of the book will appeal to the stakeholders who will become the book's target market.
  3. We assist the client in creating the book, whether on his or her own or in collaboration with others.
  4. We help the author make an informed decision about traditional publishing versus self-publishing.
  5. We shepherd the book through the editing and publishing process.
  6. We help develop and execute a marketing and distribution strategy to successfully reach the prospective customers, funders, strategic partners, and other readers most important to the author.
  7. Finally, we help leverage the book to expand the author's platform and circle of influence by harvesting speaking engagements, op-eds, public relations initiatives, and other opportunities to increase visibility among the decision-makers most important to the author.

By way of example, here are a few of our book projects in development:

  • Our client John Corrigan, a customer experience expert, has over 20 years of business, technology, and strategic design experience.  The founder of Iowa City-based Journimap L3C, Mr. Corrigan’s book will make a compelling business case that his cost-effective solution, designed to elevate customer experience through a cloud-based application that incorporates artificial intelligence capabilities, will be transformative for nonprofits, for-profits and government units along with those they serve.

  • Our client Edward Mungai, a Kenyan who serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya Climate Innovation Center, envisions a holistic approach to economic development throughout Africa.  Mr. Mungai recently toured the United States as a 2016 Eisenhower Fellow. His book will position him as a go-to expert on social innovation across the African continent and the challenges impact investing can address.

  • Our client Rev. Dr. Shanta Premawardhana, the president of the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE), the Chicago-based organization that for 40 years has provided urban contextual theological education through graduate-level courses in seminaries, is taking SCUPE global. His book will herald the organization’s expanded mission—to promote an unequivocal commitment to religious, political and cultural pluralism throughout the world.

  • Our client Deon Lucas, an architect based in Chicago and the founder of Sage Equity Holdings L3C, will introduce design thinking into inclusive and democratic real estate development in Chicago and, in time, throughout the nation.  The result will be an ecosystem of empowerment, lifting up families and communities.  Mr. Lucas’s life story and strategic vision will capture the imagination of those who follow his extraordinary lead.

If you and your business, social enterprise, or nonprofit would like to consider how a book might drive your brand or message, please reach out to Marc Lane at 800-372-1040 or [email protected], and we'll happily explore the possibilities with you.

Peterborough's problem was daunting: Sixty percent of prisoners serving short-term sentences historically had gone on to re-offend within a year after their release. But policymakers were confident that a solution was within their reach. They attracted private investment to pay experienced social service agencies to provide intensive, multidisciplinary support to short-term prisoners, preparing them to re-enter society and succeed outside the penal system. - See more at: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20131007/OPINION/131009850/a-new-kind-of-futures-contract-for-illinois#sthash.ThgxeiFt.dpuf

The world's first social impact bond, or SIB, was introduced in 2010 to fund innovative social programs that realistically might reduce recidivism by ex-offenders in Peterborough, England, and, with it, the public costs of housing and feeding repeat offenders. Prudently building on the strengths of that initiative, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is rolling out SIBs to help solve some of the state's most vexing social problems.

A SIB isn't a traditional bond where investors are guaranteed a fixed return but a contract among a government agency that agrees to pay for improved social outcomes, a private financing intermediary and private investors. SIBs shift the risk of experimenting with promising but untested intervention strategies from government to private capital markets, with public funds expended only after targeted social benefits have been achieved.

Peterborough's problem was daunting: Sixty percent of prisoners serving short-term sentences historically had gone on to re-offend within a year after their release. But policymakers were confident that a solution was within their reach. They attracted private investment to pay experienced social service agencies to provide intensive, multidisciplinary support to short-term prisoners, preparing them to re-enter society and succeed outside the penal system.

The government decided which goals would be supported, but exactly how those goals would be achieved was left to the private sector. It was the investors, through a bond-issuing organization, who ultimately endorsed the allocation of investment proceeds — how much would be invested in job training, drug rehabilitation and other interventions.

If the Peterborough plan eventually shrinks recidivism rates by 7.5 percent or more, the government will repay the investors' capital and share the taxpayers' savings with them, delivering up to a 13 percent return. If the target isn't hit, the investment will have failed and the government will owe the investors nothing.

Illinois' SIB effort was spearheaded by the state's Task Force on Social Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise — the governor's think tank on social issues, which I am privileged to chair — with support from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Aurora-based Dunham Fund. A request for information issued by the Office of Management and Budget on May 13 yielded responses from service providers eager not only to reduce recidivism here but also to create jobs, revitalize communities, improve public health outcomes, curb youth violence, cut high school dropout rates and alleviate poverty.

Now the governor has issued a request for proposals intended to spur better outcomes for Illinois' most at-risk youth — by increasing placement stability and reducing re-arrests for youth in the state's Department of Children and Family Services, and by improving educational achievement and living-wage employment opportunities justice-involved youth most likely to re-offend upon returning to their communities.

Kudos to Mr. Quinn for bringing SIBs to Illinois. May they soon start delivering on their promise.

- See more at: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20131007/OPINION/131009850/a-new-kind-of-futures-contract-for-illinois#sthash.ThgxeiFt.dpuf
The world's first social impact bond, or SIB, was introduced in 2010 to fund innovative social programs that realistically might reduce recidivism by ex-offenders in Peterborough, England, and, with it, the public costs of housing and feeding repeat offenders. Prudently building on the strengths of that initiative, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is rolling out SIBs to help solve some of the state's most vexing social problems. - See more at: http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20131007/OPINION/131009850/a-new-kind-of-futures-contract-for-illinois#sthash.ThgxeiFt.dpuf

Tim Brandhorst is Of Counsel to the Firm. A publisher, editorial director, and writer, Tim is an industry insider who counsels the Firm's author clients. He holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from the Loyola University of Chicago School of Law.


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