17 February 2010

From Cynics to Marketing Consultants

My wife is a marketing genius.

Nevertheless, I would like your help. Criticism and approbation are fine, but suggestions are better.

As you know, my book Nine Weeks: a teacher's education in Army Basic Training, has been on the market for almost three months. We are making progress towards our sales goals, but I need a second wind. Below is a flyer that will accompany the book in local stores and coffeehouses.

This way, potential fans-- who likely happen to be Bay-area die hard blue-blooded liberals-- won't be completely repulsed by the ACU on the cover. What's that saying, "you can't judge a book...?

Though I wrote the book for me, I want to share my story and what I've learned with others. We have realized recently that Nine Weeks is really a book for teachers. Though Soldiers and military families will enjoy the insight into Army Training, the real value and depth is in its portrayal of how a person (me) trained and committed to learning, responded to a program in which learning was imperative, but fell well short of how effective it could have been.

It's also an examination of how fundamentally different two worlds are. An excerpt from the book:

"Not a month earlier I was standing in a high school classroom in the Bay Area, teaching math to at-risk teens. I had done an abrupt ideological about face, going from such an anti-military mindset to one that took a statement declaring our alacrity to destroy our country’s enemies as a given. Needless to say, it was a culture shock—one that I thought I was ready for.

One would think that these two worlds have much in common: on one hand the world of teaching (expand your mind, be anything you want) is meant to prepare learners to be contributing, thoughtful, and productive citizens of this great Republic. On the other, military indoctrination (be all you can be) is designed to supply the Republic with Soldiers to protect it.  

I could go on, but it's all in the book. For now, a call to arms, if you please.

1. Comment on the flyer.
2. Share what other messages from the book stand out. (If you haven't already, this would be a good time to buy the book and read it.)
3. Forward this post to anyone you know who has marketing experience, interest in design, or just a good eye for catchiness.

After all, many geniuses are better than one.


  1. I wouldn't say that many geniuses are better than one. Look at the military and the people they hire. Look at the current White House. Who did they hire? Retards. We are all retards, yes. You just have to wonder what will happen when you put the wrong retards. Maybe this will be a great example. The flyer looks kinda lame. The one cool thing that I saw on it was the quote at the bottom. Drill Sergeants are retards. Obviously he was taking math in high school for the right reasons and wanted to be there. I guess if we didn't have pricks like that we wouldn't get a lot of the poop out there that we enjoy so much. Kisses!

  2. When you put the wrong retards together that is. I am a retard. I guess my education has failed me since I obviously didn't proofread my comment.

  3. Careful with such liberal use of the word, "retard." Going from public schools (where we often serve special needs kids) to Basic training was a linguistic shock. "Retard" and "gay made me cringe. After nearly two years as a full-time Soldier, I am immune to those words, but regaining my disdain for them. Sarah Palin would agree.

    Glad you like one thing from the flyer.

  4. Poster looks good. Last quote from the drill sergeant was my favorite. My only suggestion would be to put names to the other quotes.
    Dave has really enjoyed reading your book. My turn is next.

  5. Looks good to me-I agree with the suggestion to put names on the other quotes. One thing I noticed was that in the white area where you have your quotes there is a big empty space to the left that looks a little out of place, but maybe that is just me?