Milford resident Brenda Richards recently published a book about marketing with her longtime friends Kathleen Soldati.
After listening to longtime friend Kathleen Soldati speak about marketing, Brenda Richards knew that Soldati’s knowledge could reach a much larger audience by turning the information from that speech into a book.
“What inspired me to talk about writing a book with her, was that she had a lot to offer for people who are sole practitioners or small firms,” Richards said.
Their book, “Business Comes to the Expert: A Proactive Marketing Plan for Professional Practice Firms,” was published in 2008 by Osberg Library of Design Management and Greenway Communications, LLC.
Richards, of Milford, first met Soldati, when the two were colleagues at JSA Inc. Architects Planners in Portsmouth, N.H. Richards worked as the business manager, while Soldati was a marketing director. She traveled back and forth, lending her talents to architectural firms in New Hampshire and Boston, until she retired and moved to Milford in 2004.
But, it was when Richards invited Soldati to speak to a business survey class that she was teaching at Boston Architectural College that she decided to strike up a partnership for a book.
“That’s when I really thought that she should get all of this great information down on paper,” Richards said. “I knew the information that she was giving out to people could easily be put into words.”
From there, the pair sat down and drafted an outline for the book.
“That first meeting pretty much encapsulated what we stuck with,” Richards said. “We wanted something that people could read, understand and incorporate. We wanted to give people the tools so they could do the marketing themselves.”
With the pair residing in different states throughout the four-year span of the project, nearly all of the collaboration was through e-mail. But, last fall, Soldati made a trip from New Hampshire to Delaware to hash out the last minute adjustments to the book.
“It’s a back and forth until you get an end result,” Richards said. “Our goal was to be completely finished by the end of 2007, and we met our goal so we were happy about that.”
The pair recently met up again in May to present an outline of their book at the Residential Design and Construction Conference in Boston. They will present it once more in November at a conference called Build Boston.
“This book is really targeted for a professional audience,” Richards said. “It’s written to satisfy a need. In general, it’s not something that you would walk in the bookstore and buy.”
The book is available through the publisher’s Web site at www.greenway.us/expertbook or www.amazon.com.
“We hope we’ll sell books and we hope people will feel comfortable using it,” Richards said. “They may need some consult, and we’ll be willing to provide that, or they may feel comfortable enough to run with it.”
And since this isn’t a first for Richards, there is a good possibility she could publish another book in the future. In 1998, she served as the editor for the “Handbook of Design Office Administration,” at which time she was also the president of the Society of Design Administration. In 2004, through the SDA, she was the editor for the “Handbook of Forms and Letters for Design Professionals.” And, most recently, in 2008, she wrote the first section ever on administration for the “14th Edition of the Architects Handbook of Professional Practice.”