The Power of Playing Offense Became the Go-To Comprehensive Leadership Playbook"/>

Go Big or Go Home! How The Power of Playing Offense Became the Go-To Comprehensive Leadership Playbook

What makes a great leader? Mountains of books have been written on the traits, skills, and qualities that provide this answer. In my mind, one easily rises to the top: The Power of Playing Offense.Eric Yuan, Founder and CEO, Zoom Video Communications

Paul Epstein
Keynote Speaker and Organization Performance Expert 
We hear it all the time: “I want this book to be a short read. Something that can be consumed on a plane ride.” And a short read is sometimes the right answer. Sometimes. Paul Epstein’s new book The Power of Playing Offense: A Leader's Playbook for Personal and Team Transformation can also be finished on one plane ride—if a reader were on a flight from New York to Hong Kong. And in Paul’s case, a lengthier book was the right answer.

The book’s size was a natural extension of the concepts contained within the read. Unconventional length matched groundbreaking content as The Power of Playing Offense broke the mold in more ways than one.

Four hundred pages with charts, graphs, and visuals turned out to be crucial to the success of this particular book. For Paul to elaborate on his leadership wisdom gained from his nearly fifteen years of working for multiple NFL and NBA teams, a global sports agency, and the NFL league office, we found that a design-intensive interior was necessary. Though a graphic-heavy interior does equate to a lighter and airier read, it can lengthen the page count. Sometimes that trade-off isn’t worth it, and sometimes it is—it all depends on the content and context.

CEO of Zoom Eric Yuan provided the foreword, commenting that out of all leadership books out there, “[The Power of Playing Offense] easily rises to the top.” Paul’s authority on leadership and firsthand experience provided valuable tools for leaders to use, and we helped him speak to those people. As our work together moved from the editorial to the design phase, one thing quickly became clear: this wasn’t going to be a quick read. This wasn’t a CliffsNotes on leadership, but the go-to reference guide, encyclopedia, playbook, and manual. And we embraced that fact in every aspect of the project.

Our goals?

  • Lean into the substance of Paul’s book
  • Design an interior that takes Paul’s ideas from the page to the leadership playing field
  • Embrace the book’s unconventional length and graphic-heavy through the marketing plan

Editorial: After Paul had submitted his manuscript to us and we collaborated with him on the editing, his manuscript was around 50,000 words, which we estimated to be a tidy 200 pages. All standard. But as soon as we entered design, we realized that was going to change.

Five PillarsDesign: Design is a key element to keeping the reader engaged from cover to cover. Visuals help by pulling out key points and depicting them. In Paul’s case, that meant things like a football field-style diagram illustrating the Five Pillars of Playing Offense or a photo of the San Francisco 49ers’ home field. The visuals—crucial to illustrating many of Paul’s points—meant increasing the two hundred pages to four hundred. Though counterintuitive, this ultimately made his book lighter and easier to read.

Marketing: In our communications about the book, we don’t shy away from the fact that this is a lengthy title with phrases like “chock-full” and “more than 50 activities, tools, and strategies.” We want potential readers to know this is a one-stop shop for practical leadership guidance.

More about the book: playing offense instead of defense

Paul Epstein’s time in the business of professional sports allowed him to see first-hand the qualities of great leaders and not-so-great leaders. He experienced the proactive skills that created a flourishing culture and performance. He also saw the struggles of reactive leadership where the team leader is just trying to keep everyone’s head above water. The Power of Playing Offense is the result of his breadth of experience and maps out a guide to promoting your team’s success through offensive leadership.

So, what exactly is offensive leadership? It’s when a leader is in control of their team and the situation at hand. At the same time, they’re focused on seizing opportunities and meeting long-term goals. A broad scope of vision and a focus on achievement are hallmarks of the offensive leader. Defensive leaders are narrow-sighted in comparison, focusing on near-term challenges. They lack a focus on purpose and inspiration, and that lack of focus carries through in their management. So how do you avoid playing defense and set yourself up to play offense? Paul lays out a plan that, through individual and collective action, sets you up as the quarterback of your organization.

The Power of Playing Offense: A Leader's Playbook for Personal and Team Transformation will be released on March 30, 2021.

Revealing Hidden Solutions to Your Biggest Opportunities with Invisible Solutions

Solving business problems isn’t about pulling ideas out of thin air. It’s about asking the right questions the right way.

Stephen Shapiro
Innovation Keynote Speaker, Management Consultant, and 6-Time Author
Consider an airport where passengers complained about wait time at baggage claim. They initially worked on the problem, “How can we speed up the bags?” but they realized that the real problem was, “How can we reduce the wait time?” Wait time involves both the speed of the bags and the speed of the passengers. So instead of speeding up the bags, they decided to slow down the passengers by moving the baggage carrousel further away, requiring people to walk for a few extra minutes. Asking the right questions created potentially better problems for them to solve. For example, they could change one word and go from, “How can we reduce the wait time?” to “How can we improve the wait time?” Now the problem isn’t about speed, but rather experience.

This simple example demonstrates that changing the question will change the range of solutions considered. And sometimes changing just one word in the problem statement can lead to completely new solutions.

Revolutionizing the way we approach business issues

Stephen Shapiro, innovation expert and Hall of Fame speaker, argues that creating optimal solutions is a process frequently stalled by a lack of good questions. In his book Invisible Solutions: 25 Lenses that Reframe and Help Solve Difficult Business Problems, he offers expert advice—and a tool—to help organizations and individuals solve any problem that crosses their path. The key is reframing the problem to reveal hidden solutions.

What does this mean?

The problem is that our past experiences drive the decisions we make in the future. This can be limiting. Shifting your perspective allows you to discover new solutions that are not in your peripheral vision.

Our natural tendency is to try and solve problems that are too big: How can we increase revenues? How can we improve the business? How can we leverage new technologies? These overly abstract questions invite too many low value options.

By applying the right questions, anyone can visualize the problem in easier, more manageable pieces. Shapiro’s Invisible Solutions offers twenty-five lenses grouped into five categories. These are designed to help identify different and potentially better questions by examining the problem from different angles. He offers a how-to guide for reframing any problem multiple ways, propelling people and organizations past perceived roadblocks and challenges.

Why hybrid publishing made sense

Shapiro is an experienced speaker on business innovation with five other books under his belt, including Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition and Personality Poker: The Playing Card Tool for Driving High-Performance Teamwork and Innovation (both initially published by Portfolio).

For his most recent book, he wanted to retain all of the intellectual property so that he could reuse and repurpose the content freely through the creation of derivative products. Therefore, he decided to move forward with a hybrid publisher.

Those products include:

  • A videobook (similar to an audiobook but in video form) using all of the content from the book
  • A series of web-based tools that use the content from the twenty-five lenses
  • A series of online training courses that use the exact content from the book

Our goals?

  • Create a stand-out book with amazing content and a creative design
  • Market creatively to reach readers
  • Aid in growing Shapiro’s speaking network

Stephen Shapiro found Amplify Publishing through the recommendation of Amplify author Melissa Agnes. Shapiro wrote the first draft, and Amplify provided editorial services. The end result is a practical and actionable guide that delivers value to readers.

The design process complemented Shapiro’s content with a modern vector-style cover and corresponding interior. The design team emphasized Shapiro’s ideas by recreating his easy-to-follow charts and graphics that further illustrated many of the twenty-five lenses discussed in the book. The two-color interior layout with a pull-out insert are just some of the facets that make this book pop. Of course, the purple cover and purple accents throughout help. Readers have commented that this is not a book, but a piece of art.

To market Invisible Solutions, Shapiro didn’t stick to the script. He took content from the book and adapted it into YouTube videos to reach potential readers on a different platform. For example, he created videos summarizing the baggage claim story. Also, during launch week, he leveraged social media by taking famous innovators and put them on the cover of the book wearing the hat and glasses that are the book’s “mascot.” He even created a 3D Snapchat filter with the hat and glasses so anyone can give them a try. His goal was to have some fun and create something that stands out.

Invisible Solutions helped grow Shapiro’s speaking business as well. He has the opportunity to promote his book through speaking engagements by interweaving its content into his presentations. Shapiro was already shifting to virtual events and platforms before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Now, his virtual meetings continue to grow, and he’s well positioned for a return to in-person speaking after the pandemic ends.

Shapiro’s latest project is the Invisible Solutions Podcast. Moving into podcast form, the podcast tackles a real-life complex business problem submitted by an audience member and solves it using the twenty-five lenses from the book each week. In all media, Shapiro continues to shape the conversation around innovative solutions, and the book has played its part doing so.

The book has been featured extensively in the media, including Investor’s Business Daily, CEO World, and The Globe and Mail.

Our goal was to create a stand-out book to complement Stephen Shapiro’s new, modern ideas on organization problem solving. From design to marketing, Invisible Solutions was designed to be eye-catching and highly readable. Shapiro continues to shape the innovation discussion and propel business into the future.

Seizing Opportunity with The Opportunity Agenda

A Plan to Grow the Middle Class and Revitalize the Democratic Party

Rather than developing a long-term plan to help middle-class Americans, today’s Democratic politicians too often lean on ‘the public’s revulsion to Trump’ as the center of their electoral strategy. In place of the party’s vague, anti-Trump approach, the authors propose an ‘Opportunity Agenda’ revolving around economic uplift for the middle class.Kirkus Reviews

Disrupting the Democratic Party to improve its core

Sly James
Former Mayor of Kansas City
Winston Fisher
Real Estate Developer and Civic Leader
New York businessman and civic leader Winston Fisher and former Kansas City mayor Sly James wouldn’t seem like they have much in common. They come from different cities, cultures, and professions. But they do have one thing in common: their desire to save the Democratic Party from itself. Together, in >The Opportunity Agenda: A Bold Democratic Plan to Grow the Middle Class, they outline a way forward for the party that focuses on what really matters: appealing to the American people.

What does this mean?

Winston Fisher and Sly James are both faithful Democrats but believe the party can do more to achieve long-term success. They think that rather than rehashing the same common platforms—Medicare for All, higher minimum wage, a Green New Deal—the party needs to target voters by focusing on mainstay policies that will appeal to a wide swath of Americans for years to come. If the policy makes sense with the words “for you” tacked onto it, then that policy is likely to interest most Americans beyond a single election cycle. Voters want to see a platform tailored for them rather than one created on the rebound from a lost election.

Our goals?

  1. Edit The Opportunity Agenda after Fisher and James write it
  2. Update the book during production to be up-to-date with the COVID-19 pandemic
  3. Capitalize on the biggest talking points of the 2020 election cycle

Winston Fisher wanted to help improve the Democratic Party, so he set up a meeting with Sly James to discuss ideas. They soon realized they shared a lot of the same ideals and agreed the Democratic Party is due for a change because of its repeated failures. So, they co-authored a manuscript intended to solve those problems and provide a roadmap for Democrats moving forward. They took their time developing the manuscript, brainstorming various policy points and the best possible solutions for the American people. After about a year of development and writing, they had a final manuscript that achieved those goals.

When COVID-19 swept the United States, the need for Fisher and James’s policies was clearer than ever. Portable benefits, for example, became sorely needed as people lost their traditional nine-to-five jobs. Despite the fact that The Opportunity Agenda was already at the printer, we updated it to ensure the book remained topical upon its release.

Both authors are active in their Democratic scenes, which was useful as we neared the book’s release date. Sly James covered Kansas City, Missouri, while Winston Fisher was in charge of New York City. And in addition to leveraging their personal networks, James and Fisher partnered with Global Strategy Group, a public affairs and communications firm that specializes in the intersection of business and politics. Javelin, a DC-based media and public relations company known for marketing political titles, also got involved to assist with media and publicity. Between Fisher, James, GSG, Javelin, and Amplify, it was a coordinated effort to make waves in the press in advance of the 2020 presidential election.

The effort bore fruit. Sly James and Winston Fisher co-authored an op-ed for Newsweek entitled “A Warning to Our Fellow Democrats: A Campaign Focused on Trump Won't Win.” In it, they acknowledge the unity of the Democratic Party against President Trump and his reelection bid but insist on the need for a “major campaign pivot” to ensure lasting wins. Sly James also made appearances on national television. On Fox News, he discussed the George Floyd protests as a situation needing strong leadership, and on MSNBC, he appeared to discuss how the Democratic Party can become the party of opportunity. He wrote an op-ed in The Kansas City Star, advocating paid family leave as an economic boon and an issue the Democrats should champion beyond the 2020 election. Kirkus Reviews, a trusted voice in book reviews, also hailed Fisher and James’s ideas as “ambitious and cogent.”

It takes more than relying on the failures of others to make a political party successful and transcend just one election cycle. Winston Fisher and Sly James dug deeper and created a plan to renew the Democratic Party and bolster middle-class Americans for years to come.

MSNBCKirkusNewsweekThe Kansas City StarFox News

Going Extra Innings at the City of Hope National Medical Center

Former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Fred Claire’s cancer diagnosis came out of left field, but at the City of Hope, he found the dream team to help him beat it.

Extra Innings is a must-read that chronicles Fred Claire’s incredible career in baseball.Dave Roberts, Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers

Fred Claire
Former Los Angeles Dodgers general manager
    

A baseball legend

The Los Angeles Dodgers are playing the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2020 World Series. The last time the Dodgers won the Fall Classic was back in 1988, with an overachieving team assembled by former sportswriter-turned-baseball-executive Fred Claire.

Fred Claire

Fred Claire continued his tenure with the Dodgers until 1997, when he stepped away from the game he loved and started a glorious retirement filled with friends, family, staying active, and playing a lot of golf. But in January 2015, Claire received bad news: the supposedly harmless spot on his lip was instead squamous cell carcinoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer.

That’s when Claire entrusted his care, treatment, and life to the doctors and nurses at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. After some highs and lows, Claire is now in recovery and attributes his good health to the amazing team at City of Hope and the support of his friends and family.

Telling a story of hope in the fight against cancer

Claire was so moved by the care and treatment he received that he wanted to let the world know about the groundbreaking work happening at City of Hope. It occurred to him a book would be a great way to talk about his cancer journey to inspire others and give CoH a platform to talk about its approach. CoH was on board; it would provide support for the project and make the doctors and nurses who helped Claire available for interviews.

Claire approached our parent company, Mascot Books, about his idea and we were on board. It was an inspiring story with a worthy cause. And to help kick things off, we connected Claire with Tim Madigan, a respected author and journalist who has written for the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Politico, Reader's Digest, and, for thirty years, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Together, we took two trips to the City of Hope to see for ourselves the exceptional care and innovation happening beyond its doors.

Our goals?

  1. Partner with Claire, City of Hope, and Tim Madigan to produce Extra Innings: Fred Claire's Journey to City of Hope and Finding a World Championship Team
  2. Highlight the innovative treatment occurring at City of Hope
  3. Raise awareness for City of Hope through both baseball- and cancer-related media hits

Madigan got to work writing the book and telling Fred Claire’s and City of Hope’s unique stories and how they came together. From its origins as a treatment center for homeless tuberculosis victims in the 1910s, CoH has become not only a leader in diabetes treatment and bone marrow and stem cell transplantation but also a leader in cancer research and treatment. Madigan captured CoH’s humanity, its combination of science and compassion, and its excellent health care professionals. One reviewer on Amazon stated, “Tim Madigan has woven [baseball and CoH] together in a masterful story that will make your soul happy.”

Extra Innings gave City of Hope the opportunity to spread the knowledge of its research and treatments far and wide. Its innovations in chemotherapy, radiation, experimental surgery, and immunotherapy all put it on par with its peers, like the Mayo Clinic. By partnering with Claire on Extra Innings, CoH advances its name and saves more lives.

People remember Fred Claire well. In the Daily Bulletin, Fred Claire’s story ran in two articles, the first titled “Writing sports in Pomona led Fred Claire to Dodgers (and World Series)” which retold his journey to becoming Dodgers general manager. In the second, “Readers haven’t forgotten Fred Claire, the Pomona sportswriter who became a Dodgers exec,” newspaper readers share their memories of Claire during the 1980s. Claire also appeared on the podcast SABRcast with Rob Neyer in May 2020 to talk about his baseball career and journey to City of Hope. Also, a review of Extra Innings is currently in the works with the magazine Baseball America.

Extra Innings drew attention because of its cancer subject matter, as well. Not only did City of Hope write an article about Claire and the book on its website (“Fred Claire: Former Dodgers GM Chronicles Cancer Journey In New Book”), but he was also interviewed by Ed Hart on From the Hart, a podcast that tells inspiring stories. Claire has an upcoming appearance on Thrive Podcast, a podcast about fighting cancer and moving forward with life, as well.

Keep on swinging

Fred Claire has had his ups and downs, but his recovery is going very well. And with the Los Angeles Dodgers contending to win the World Series again, he’s spending his free time rooting for them to repeat that victory for the first time since his team did.

All proceeds from Extra Innings go to the City of Hope National Medical Center.

Uncovering the Secrets to Becoming a Financial Badass

How one successful wealth advisor made it his mission to increase millennials’ financial literacy.

George Kroustalis
Wealth Advisor
George “G$” Kroustalis thought it was another typical day hosting a 401(k) enrollment seminar. Though a financial advisor for pre-retirement clients, Kroustalis hosts these events to reach young adults just starting their professional lives and to encourage them to begin saving money. That day, October 10, a former attendee came up to Kroustalis and told him that, though he was initially doubtful, he had followed Kroustalis’s advice over the past twelve years and built his wealth beyond his wildest expectations. That moment turned Kroustalis’s passion for spreading financial literacy into a crusade, which drove him to write Secrets to Becoming a Financial Badass.

An essential book young people need to read

Secrets to Becoming a Financial Badass was hailed as the “personal finance book that every millennial should read” by the host of MSNBC’s Your Business, JJ Ramberg, because of its sound financial advice and fresh writing style. Using his “Save, Spend, and Invest” model, Kroustalis uses his experience as a pre-retirement financial advisor to teach young people how to balance their budgets and become financially successful in the future. He keeps it simple with just the basics of what young adults need to know now so they make smart decisions with their money later. It’s Kroustalis’s personal mission to increase financial literacy in young adults, and this book is tailored for them with jokes and pop culture examples to keep it relatable.

Our goals?

  1. Match Kroustalis’s vision to make the book relatable to young people by using their language and making references only they understand
  2. Launch the book with a bang on national media channels
  3. Supplement national efforts with local events to excite Kroustalis’s personal network

Kroustalis knew what kind of book he wanted to write. It needed to be informative yet humorous, to keep young people engaged in the financial content. The tone had to be light and invoke current pop culture references like Call of Duty, Instagram, and Lana Del Rey to explain complex financial strategies. All in all, it took a year to write the book. Kroustalis was involved every step of the way—from writing to fact-checking to the black-and-white interior illustrations—in order to ensure the book was true to his vision.

Once the book’s interior was set, the cover designed, and the book printed, Kroustalis took Secrets to Becoming a Financial Badass to the New York Stock Exchange for its debut. He appeared on Cheddar, the business news network, to answer pressing financial questions millennials face and describe how the book tackles these difficult decisions.

Kroustalis also appeared on SiriusXM’s “The Power Hour” with Godfrey the Comedian, a show that covers politics, pop culture, and social issues. He discussed the power of compound interest with the famous “Would you rather have a million dollars or a penny doubled every day for a month?” example, a question that highlights the importance of saving money early in life.

Kroustalis also launched the book at J. Sam’s, a restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina, a launch so successful it was standing room only.

A charitable element

Secrets to Becoming a Financial Badass is one part of Kroustalis’s mission to spread financial literacy. Inspired by the date his former seminar attendee thanked him for his advice, Kroustalis created Project 10.10, a 501(c)3 nonprofit committed to educating young people on basic personal finance at the community level.

Young people have time on their side financially. Kroustalis’s experience as a financial advisor working with pre-retirement clients means he knows the importance of a 401(k), and he wants young people to know it, too. In Secrets to Becoming a Financial Badass, he takes three short chapters to teach millennials how to keep their budget sheet balanced and he succeeds at—above all—being entertaining.

The Roadmap to Becoming Crisis Ready®

Organizations that are Crisis Ready® are more than just resilient. They’re invincible.

Building an invincible brand in an uncertain world

Melissa Agnes
Crisis Management Expert
Written by crisis management advisor as well as founder and CEO of the Crisis Ready Institute Melissa Agnes, Crisis Ready: Building an Invincible Brand in an Uncertain World provides organizations such as businesses, police, military, and universities the tools they need to build resilient brands. Being Crisis Ready® means if an organization is faced with a crisis, they come out of it stronger and even better than before.

What does this mean?

Modern-day organizations face a slew of potential risks: security breaches, economic hardship, PR disasters, and, most recently, global pandemics. In Crisis Ready, Agnes provides organizations with the roadmap for embedding a culture whereby every member of the team becomes adept at getting ahead of risk—be it a customer complaint straight through to a full-scale catastrophic crisis—in a way that transforms the risk into a brand-strengthening opportunity.

Crisis readiness is not the same as crisis management. Crisis management is what happens once the risk has materialized. The more Crisis Ready® an organization is, the less crisis management they are likely to have to do. When you’re Crisis Ready®, your organization can withstand hardships and unexpected emergencies because a Crisis Ready® brand is proactive, confident, and strategic.

Our goals?

  1. Hand the mic to Agnes as a Crisis Ready® thought leader
  2. Support her expertise with a powerful design
  3. Create a quality, evergreen book that will help businesses for years to come

As a strategic advisor and keynote speaker, Agnes has worked with NATO, ministries of foreign affairs and defense, financial firms, technology companies, healthcare organizations, cities and municipalities, law enforcement agencies, global non-profits, universities, and many others. In other words, she is an expert in crisis management across a diverse range of industries and is fully equipped to share her knowledge.

Agnes took the lead on her manuscript, and we utilized a writing coach to keep her on a timeline in coordination with the production calendar. She wrote, and we reviewed and edited. After 6 months, the manuscript was done.

The result? She created a compelling manuscript that provides readers with real-world examples of where organizations do well and where they fall short. This includes learning the tools to interact with stakeholders appropriately and having a measured plan of action to be Crisis Ready®.

Next, we needed a strong interior design to supplement Agnes’ expertise and streamline her findings. It was important to Agnes that the book be a multi-sensory experience. Our design team filled out the interior of the book with eye-catching 2-color graphs, diagrams, and most impressively, a gatefold insert that opens out to reveal a large chart with her teachings. It was a thoughtful journey to finding the perfect cover, fluctuating between thousands of ideas and outlines to create a meaningful, subtle approach. A simple yet powerful cover design tied it all together, conveying a sense of calmness and readiness in an uncertain world.

Two years later

Commended as “intelligent, intuitive, and unabashedly gutsy,” named by Forbes as a top ten business book in 2018, and named by Book Authority as a top three crisis management book of all time, Crisis Ready is the go-to book on the topic of crisis preparedness and crisis management, and has helped solidify Agnes as a leading expert in the field.

While Agnes is profitable with online and brick-and-mortar retail, she finds enormous success with bulk buys from corporations and businesses, who are looking to evolve their culture and become Crisis Ready® from the ground up. One of her greatest successes was with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. After supporting Chase’s small and medium-sized business clients through the COVID-19 pandemic, Chase bought 2,000 copies of the Crisis Ready® ebook to give away to their clients. We coordinated the logistics, and the deal was done.

Agnes frequently uses her book as a teaching and speaking tool on her podcast, vlog, and contributes articles to Forbes magazine. Crisis Ready is also part of the curriculum at Harvard University and dozens of other higher education schools globally. The book has gained Agnes professional speaking gigs and brought in more clients interested in retaining her Crisis Ready® expertise.

Now, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Agnes’ ideas have become even more relevant and necessary. This new era has forced organizations everywhere to reevaluate how to communicate with clients effectively and collaborate with staff virtually. Ultimately, organizations need a strategic plan to come out alive on the other side. Agnes’ expertise is in high demand because there is no better time to be invincible.

Now that Agnes has solidified herself as the a leading authority on crisis readiness, she has launched her latest initiative, the Crisis Ready Institute, a public benefit corporation with a powerful mission. By incorporating a culture of readiness in organizations and teaching them how to turn risk into opportunities for growth and connection, the Institute is on a mission to create a crisis resilient world.

The second edition of Crisis Ready is in the works and is scheduled to be released in 2021.

ForbesBusiness InsiderHarvardBook AuthorityCrisis Ready Institute

How The Horseshoe Virus Created Political Change in Arizona

A Political Title Ideally Suited for New RealClear Politics Imprint

Worsley convincingly connects the pseudoscientific racism that permeated the anti-immigration wing of the Progressive Movement to today’s ethnocentrists, particularly John Tanton (the co-founder of the controversial Center for Immigration Studies), who deploy similar environmental and eugenicist arguments in their opposition to immigration.Kirkus Reviews

Bob Worsley
Former Arizona State Senator
Former Arizona state senator Bob Worsley uncovers the surprising beginnings of modern anti-immigration sentiments in his book, The Horseshoe Virus: How the Anti-Immigration Movement Spread from Left-Wing to Right-Wing America.

What is the “Horseshoe Virus”?

The “Horseshoe Virus” is the spread of “toxic, anti-immigration legislative and ideological strategy” from groups within both Democrat and Republican parties, Bob Worsley argues. Worsley focuses on how far-left activists shape far-right policies, reveals how anti-immigration feeling rose to prominence in modern politics, and prescribes ways to bring America back from the brink of extremism.

Our goals?

RealClear Publishing is an imprint of Amplify Publishing, RealClear Politics, and Gotham Ghostwriters. RealClear Publishing was established with the goal of diversifying the conversation around politics. While traditional publishers only publish books by the political elite, RealClear Publishing works to bring out voices from educated thought leaders and respected individuals. RealClear Publishing authors retain full ownership of their copyright, receive 80% of the profits from sales, and have access to over 17 years of publishing expertise through the Amplify team.

When we started working on The Horseshoe Virus with Bob Worsley, we knew the collaborative style of RealClear Publishing was a perfect fit. Three heads are better than one, so we combined RealClearPolitics’ brand equity as a trusted platform for political news and commentary (and the massive audience they offer), Gotham Ghostwriters’ expert editorial and writing services, and our know-how when it comes to production, distribution, and marketing. The Horseshoe Virus is the product of partnership in action.

Going viral and the media interest that followed

While RealClear Publishing was working behind the scenes to get this book out there, Bob Worsley was getting attention for his well-timed op-ed in AZ Central titled, “A Response to the ‘Latter-day Saints for Trump’s Rally in Mesa, Arizona” in which he called for a return to the values of “truth, respect, honor, competency, freedom, and concern for our fellow man.” He argued that “President Trump is the antithesis of so much the Latter-day Saints community believes.” The letter has gained media attention in the Los Angeles Times, Deseret News, KJZZ, AZ Family, and the Daily Mail.

With Worsley leading the Arizona Republican movement to pull away from Trump, we knew the timing of The Horseshoe Virus had to be just right. With Worsley so prominent, it only made sense that his call to return from far-right extremism would debut on the market in October, right before the November general election.

The strategy paid off. In the election, Arizona went for the Democratic candidate Joe Biden despite being a Republican Party stronghold and a predicted Donald Trump win. Bob Worsley credits that flip in part to the efforts of many good members of the LDS Church and grassroots interest groups like Stand Up Republic, saying they were “a united effort to pull away from Trumpism, anti-immigration feelings, and return to decent, centrist American values.” Worsley’s voice was part of the call for Arizonans to vote for Biden not Trump, and The Horseshoe Virus achieves what a good book should: influence change.

Stepping into The Age of Intent

Named one of the Best Business Books 2019 by strategy+business, The Age of Intent guides readers through the challenges of using AI to improve customer experience.

Pioneering the conversation around AI-powered chatbots.

P.V. Kannan
CEO and Technologist
Written by co-founder and CEO of [24]7.ai P.V. Kannan, The Age of Intent: Using Artificial Intelligence to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience expertly discusses how AI-powered virtual agents can help a business to succeed—or fail.

What does this mean?

The rollout of virtual agents—in conjunction with human support agents and good business practices—has the potential to completely transform the customer service experience. Using case studies and real-world examples, Kannan outlines how these AI-powered chatbots can anticipate customer needs, fulfill requests, and efficiently answer questions, providing quality 24/7 customer service that gets smarter every day.

Our goals?

  • Let the expert do the talking
  • Details, details, details
  • Set the book up for success

When we first began working on The Age of Intent in 2018, the use of artificial intelligence in the customer service realm was not widely discussed. While most people agreed a technological shift was on the horizon, publications often focused on one narrative: how companies would soon phase AI in while phasing human employees out. Kannan believes the corporate world should take a different approach—one that combines the power of machine learning with human intelligence. If implemented correctly, it’s a win-win for businesses and employees.

In order to ignite the conversation, Kannan partnered with Josh Bernoff, an experienced business author and expert on analytical thinking. Bernoff’s attention to detail and aptitude for research perfectly complemented Kannan’s industry knowledge and innovation. Together, they worked to bring Kannan’s big ideas to life, and perfected the manuscript with a powerful foreword by New York Times writer Thomas L. Friedman.

A successful book needs more than just a strong manuscript—it needs a cover design that succinctly depicts the content while catching readers’ attention. In this case, it was imperative that we highlight three main topics: technology, artificial intelligence, and customer interaction. We looked to our design team to take on the challenge, and the result was a compelling, eye-catching cover that uses a background graphic, central image, and bold title text design to bring the book’s concepts to life.

The age of intent is here

Following its publication, The Age of Intent became the #1 New Release in Enterprise Communications on Amazon and was availabe at Hudson News stores nationwide. It infiltrated business and technology publications, including Harvard Business Review, Fortune, TechCircle, and MIT Sloan Management Review. Kannan and his team appeared in the New York Times, providing readers with an inside look at how the combination of machine learning and human labor has made [24]7.ai so successful.

Praised as “a must read for any manager leading or participating in the digital transformation of their business,” The Age of Intent is leading the movement to AI in the customer service realm.

What will the future hold for artificial intelligence in the workplace? P.V. Kannan has a few ideas.

The Triple Threat of Brainwashed

Headlines scream that football causes CTE, but the headlines don’t tell the whole story.

a detailed, well-documented account of the issues that surround the sport of football and the potential for brain injuriesDr. Julian Bailes, Director of neurosurgery and co-director of the NorthShore HealthSystem Neurological Institute

A bold statement for an even bolder book that put Amplify on the map.

Merril Hoge
ESPN Analyst and Former NFL Player
Written by former NFL running back Merril Hoge (with contributions from neuropathologist Peter Cummings), Brainwashed: The Bad Science Behind CTE and the Plot to Destroy Football was hailed as “a must-read for any parent” by current Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger and his wife, Ashley.

The gist?

There are hidden agendas and misinformation surrounding CTE, which Hoge and Cummings address by examining flaws in the often-cited studies and exposing the sensationalist reporting that catapulted CTE into the national spotlight.

Our goals?

  • Nail the timing
  • Solidify the expertise
  • Go big on press (or go home)

When Hoge approached us in January 2018 with the concept, we knew that time to market was essential to capitalize on this hot and controversial topic. Oh, and we needed to get this book out at the start of those five months out of the year dominated by one other acronym: NFL.

That gave us 10 months to get the manuscript written, edited, designed, and printed, a process that usually takes 18 months or more. Our keys to success were hiring both a ghostwriter and thirdparty researcher who knew that timing was key, but accuracy was even more important. Taking such an alternative approach to a topic that hit the country harder than a defensive tackle required airtight research. 

One of Lou Holtz’s many quotable moments was when he said that “no one ever drowned in sweat.” So once the book was complete, we hit the press offensive. Hard. One day after the book’s release, Hoge was in USA Today (and in front of hotel room doors nationwide). That same day, both Hoge and Big Ben were on TMZ Sports, proving that no outlet was too big—or in this case, too out there—for this story.

And while this was nationwide news, the NFL jerseys that bore Hoge’s name shaped our regional pitch strategy. With a career-ending concussion as a Chicago Bear, Hoge returned to the Windy City’s headlines with this piece in the Chicago Tribune.

Throughout the 2018-2019 NFL season, Brainwashed continued to make national and international news with coverage on FOX News, the UK’s Daily Mail, and more. Now that we’re in the throes of another NFL season, the conversation continues. And Merril Hoge continues to be in it.

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