Take 5 Tuesday with Lauren Burke

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Yesterday we told you about Lauren Burke’s book “Birth of a Statesman – Barack Obama” and today we have the inside scoop on Lauren, the making of this seriously stunning book, and some bookmaking wisdom we can all learn from.

obama Take 5 Tuesday with Lauren Burke

What inspired you to begin this process four years ago and to create this book?

When Barack Obama became a member of the U.S. Senate I had no clue four years later he’d walk into the White House as our 44th President. However, as a political junkie with a camera covering Congress, I pay attention anytime someone new and different comes along. He was young, unheard of outside Illinois, and yes, he had a funny name and exotic personal story. Additionally, Obama is only the fifth African American member of the U.S. Senate in American history. Just like Hillary Clinton, and later in the campaign, Sarah Palin, the historic importance of the individuals involved in the 2008 election campaign was the biggest factor in deciding to make a book.

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What were some of the highlights of making your book?

The biggest highlight is the obvious one: handing a copy to Barack Obama. But whether it is him or my mom: the best part of making a book is the moment when you’re finally presenting people with that first looksee — even if the first thing they see is a draft. By this time some of the subjects have been watching you take pictures for months and wondering: What are you doing with all those photos? With the technology we have now — where you can use Blurb to turnaround a book of high quality in TEN days the time — you can go from making a photo to showing people a book less than two weeks later. It really makes all of the time at home in front of the computer worthwhile.

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What have you done to promote & sell your book?

Everything from printing postcards, bookmarks and shilling the book on radio, to linking from my pixs on flickr to this link on my site, showcasing a gallery on facebook, and placing it in independent bookstores. Another strategy is to sell books to people who you know will tell everyone. It’s amazing what happens when you give a book to one person and how that one person can create five or six sales for you.

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After spending so many years so close to Barack Obama, what is the one moment that stands out the most?

When I was at Invesco Field in Denver on the night Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for President and it hit me once again: A politician has filled a stadium — sold it out! 76,000 seats filled — to hear a politician! Unheard of in modern American politics and it was amazing.

If you could bestow one bookmaking tip on the world, what would it be?

Make your price point and book size as small as you can stand so that you can move as many books as quickly as possible. The more time covered and the bigger the topic the harder this is. Even though I believe the historic ride of Barack Obama is worthy of 280 pages and $71, your goal should be to move books as well as tell a comprehensive tale. The smaller the page count and the cheaper the book the more units you have and more people can see it.

A big thanks and congratulations to Lauren for this amazing book. To see learn more about Lauren and the book, visit her site here.

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