David and I went against the advice of traditional booksellers.  Borrowing a term from the automotive industry, our book is a hybrid — it fits many publishing genres:

  • adventure
  • survival
  • exploration
  • travel
  • history

as well as

  • self-help
  • leadership
  • decision making

and hopefully others.

Traditional publishers and traditional booksellers like books that fit one specific genre, so they can be easily classified.  I believe this is 1990’s thinking.

Books that cross multiple genres are the way of the future.  Not only are they intrinsically more interesting, but they are the best way to have a satisfying read in a time-crunched world.  After all, we all have way too much information to consume — both from the old way — television, newspapers and magazines —  as well as the new way (YouTube, Facebook, Flipboard, and Pinterest).  Everyone, from young adults to older people, have limited time to spend reading traditional books.  In a time-compressed, information-rich world, what could be better than finding a book that is designed to be a quick, fun read that satisfies multiple genres at the same time?

Based on the book talks I have done so far, which include addressing 95 people from a broad range of backgrounds in Princeton NJ, to polar enthusiasts at the Devon & Cornwall Polar Society, it is clear that the hybrid approach works. Different people glean different things from our book.

One recent UK reader (from the baby-boomer generation) told me that he loved the adventure and survival stories, while a Millennial age (20-30 yr old) German reader told me she loved the lessons that could be learned from the heroic age to help with her own decision making.  The key thing was that each reader also appreciated what the other talked about — the older reader also valued the lessons in leadership and decision making, while the younger reader was enthralled by the Antarctic survival stories.

When asked to define our target audience, I list it as people who like reading Malcolm Gladwell’s books like Tipping Point, Outliers, and Blink would like our book.  That is people of all ages who  generally have an interest in new ways of looking at the world that defy traditional classifications.

 

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