Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Life’s a Pitch? How not to name your new book

I just saw a press release for a book by Terry Ward titled Life’s a Pitch: The Essential Guide to Presentations. lists the publication date as April 29, 2014. But, the first phrase in the title is hardly original, so it doesn’t really stand out. On Amazon I also found:

 Life’s a Pitch: How to Sell Yourself and Your Brilliant Ideas by Roger Mavity and Stephen Bayley (January 6, 2009)  

Life’s a Pitch!: From Hosting to Toasting...From News to Schmooze by Soni Diamond (September 20, 2004)

and her follow up book

Life’s a Pitch!...For Rookies: Son of a Pitch (November 26, 2008)

Earlier there was

Life’s a Pitch: How to Outwit Your Competitors and Make a Winning Presentation by Don Peppers (January 25, 1996)

which was preceded by

Life’s A Pitch...Then You Buy by Don Peppers (August 1, 1995)

There also was

Life’s a Pitch: What the World’s Best Sales People Can Teach Us All by Philip Delves Broughton (May 1, 2012)

and even more recently

Life’s a Pitch: Learn the Proven Formula That Has Sold Over $1 BILLION In Products by Bob Circosta (May 15, 2014)

Amazon is one place where you can check on a title before naming a book. Another is WorldCat, which I blogged about here.

Adolph Hitler’s book titled  Mein Kampf (My Struggle) originally had a longer title that translated to: Four and a Half Years (of Struggle) Against Lies, Stupidity and Cowardice.

The press release for Terry Ward’s book was titled Fear of Public Speaking Tops List of Phobias and began with:

“Studies have shown that people fear speaking in public more than they fear illness, flying in airplanes, terrorism, or even death. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, 74 percent of us suffer from ‘speech anxiety’ that keeps us from communicating our ideas as well as our needs and wants.

‘This is a shocking statistic,’ says Terry Ward, a veteran public speaker and author of the new book ‘Life’s a Pitch: The Essential Guide to Presentations.’ ‘Talking to one another, whether in casual conversation or across a boardroom table, is how we make things happen in life. So if you can’t do that effectively, how lost must you feel on a day-to-day basis?’ ”

I have previously blogged about how that statistic is shocking because the web page at Statistic Brain that seems to have created it is reciting a percentage (74%) that is over three times higher than what research supported by NIMH actually found (21.2% for fear and 10.7% for phobia). 

The 1889 image showing the evolution of a pitcher is from the Library of Congress.

1 comment:

Don Peppers said...

Just to be clear, Richard, the ORIGINAL "Life's a Pitch" book title was mine: Life's a Pitch, and Then You Buy, which was published by Doubleday. That was in 1995. When my original book was published in the UK, the UK publisher (Piatkus), thought the title should be changed slightly, for British tastes.

The next "Life's a Pitch" book didn't appear until nearly ten years later. Mine was (I can state proudly) the original.