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Solicit Contributions To Book #1

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After collecting letters for many years, I decided to self-publish a cover letter book. I had written many letters for clients and wanted their permission to reprint them. In addition, I wanted to get as many friends and acquaintances involved as possible. Bookwriting can be a community experience. One client,   Vance Winton, called me after he received my first letter. He said, "It's not a book, it's an adventure."

Soon into it, I realized I should find a publisher to do the manuscript justice. I mailed 30 query letters, received 10 requests for further information, and three contracts from brand-name publishers. One was Putman in New York and another was Ten Speed Press, publisher of Dick Bolles' perennial bestseller "What Color Is Your Parachute?" This is one of the letters that got the process started.

Good Morning! Good Morning! 


Please excuse the form letter. I'm sorry for it, but I have to cover a lot of ground quickly.

What's happened since my last letter?
Things are really taking off fast -- too fast. There aren't enough of me. The project is expanding and exploding. I complain about it, but it's exactly what I like.

I've been surprised and amazed, even thrilled at the response to my first letter. All kinds of friends from the past called me up or wrote and offered to help. Some of the ideas were just great. Best of all: the moral support.

I'm writing for three reasons: 1) to show you exactly what's happened since my last letter, 2) to invite you to become a big part of the project -- and share in the rewards, and 3) to ask you to sign a release form in case I want to use some of the materials we created while working together: letters, resumes, lists of capabilities, that sort of thing.

What's New?
As you can see, the book has a title and outline. (Copyrighted and trademarked.) What do you think? Will it sell? Emery Hills has done some preliminary artwork. Isn't it fantastic?

Since my first letter, I've met with book consultants, attorneys, software experts, audio and video tape producers -- you name it. Everything is coming together.

It looks as though we will self-publish the book. It sounds glamorous to be published by a "Random House," but big publishing houses promote only the guaranteed bestsellers. By doing it ourselves, we retain control of the design, content, marketing and distribution -- in short, it's the best of all possible worlds. (It's also a lot more work!)

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William S. Frank, M.A.,
25 Reasons I love consulting.
by William S. Frank
  1. Brand. You are your own brand, and you can define it any way you want. For many years, I provided outplacement to the ex-employees of Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield service corporation. When departing employees left the company, they didn't request outplacement in their severance package. They said, "I want Bill Frank."
  2. Demand. The world will always be full of terrible problems that need solving.
  3. White Hat. I can be a helper and get paid for it.
  4. Pay. I can be paid to do things I'd gladly do for nothing.
  5. Variety. Every day is different.
  6. Happiness. At this stage of my career, I only work for people I respect and care about. If a client micromanages me or is otherwise no fun, I complete the assignment and replace them.
  7. Talent. I'm using 110% of my talents and stretching myself to the max.
  8. Change. I can change my focus any day I want. If you're a McDonald's franchisee, you don't say, "Hey, I've got this great idea for a meatball sandwich—let's try it out today." In consulting you can adjust your focus hour-by-hour, as long as your clients still understand and appreciate what you do.
  9. Income. No one else would pay me as much as I pay myself.
  10. FUN. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing.
  11. Retirement. I can write and consult as long as I am physically and mentally capable. Peter Drucker worked into his 90s, and when asked which book was his best, he said: "My next one."
  12. Job Security. Although clients come and go, no one can come into my office and say, "Pack up your stuff . . . You don't work here anymore." In 29 years, I've only had one employer: ME.
  13. Travel. I don't have to travel unless I decide to. I travel if it's both FUN and profitable—or at least FUN.
  14. Commute. I live five minutes from my office, a corner office in an upscale six-story tower. In winter, I leave a heated garage at home and drive to an underground heated garage at work. There's seldom time to hear even one song on the radio.
  15. Vacation. Consulting is more fun than vacation (except on Wailea Beach in Maui).
  16. Friends. I have developed hundreds of close acquaintances and several lifetime friends.
  17. Time. I can work as much or as little as I like: four-hour days or 18-hour days. (Of course, my income will reflect that.)
  18. Employees. I can work with employees, subcontractors, partners, or alone—I've done it all.
  19. Passive Income. I've developed several products that provide "mailbox money." I earn while I'm sleeping.
  20. Ethics. I've never had to violate my values or personal code of ethics. I've never had to lie, purposely deceive or harm others, or promise things I can't deliver. I go to bed with a clear conscience. That doesn't mean there's never any conflict. But the conflict is conducted according to generally accepted business practices.
  21. Virtual. My career is fairly portable. With the Internet, e-mail, cell phone, and FedEx, I can work nationally, even internationally from my office—or anywhere in the world.
  22. Purpose. I make a difference in peoples' lives every day. I see it in their faces, hear it in their voices, and read it in their thank-yous.
  23. Experience. Every painful or joyful life experience makes me a better consultant. So does every person I meet or book I read. Grey hair can be good in consulting.
  24. Structure. I have to work very hard, and the clients expect superb results—but I get to structure my days, weeks, months, and years.
  25. Boss. Most of the time, I love my boss.
As I was posting these letters online, I realized I want to communicate my love for consulting. It's just a great business. The single letters, taken together, may create a picture of enjoyment, but in a burst of creativity I listed some of the reasons consulting is such a good fit for me—and perhaps for you, too. They are not prioritized; this is just how they came out.