Book Publishing Specialists
Words for Warriors
by Colonel Ralph Puckett
Words for Warriors: A Professional Soldier’s Notebook by Colonel Ralph Puckett is a book about leadership—leadership on the battlefield and in the garrison. Colonel Puckett shares with readers what he has learned in his roughly sixty years of training, leading, teaching, and mentoring warriors. The book addresses tactics, training, administration, special staff, public relations, self-development, and a myriad of other responsibilities of commanders.
Since its publication in November of 2007, Words for Warriors has sold over 5,000 copies. Its success can be attributed primarily to three factors: the audience that Colonel Puckett has built over the years, the quality of the book itself, and Colonel Puckett’s marketing efforts.
Colonel Puckett has built a large audience over the decades that he has led, taught, and mentored. He’s become well known and respected in the military community in general, but especially among the infantry and special operations. He’s also a veritable legend among the Army Rangers. (See Chapter 11, “Valor,” in Rangers in Combat: A Legacy of Valor by J.D. Lock to read about the famous Korean War battle in which Puckett and his company of 51 Rangers captured and held Hill 205 in the face of multiple attacks by several hundred Chinese forces.) Additionally, Colonel Puckett is one of the most highly decorated soldiers in U.S. history with two Distinguished Service Crosses, two Silver Stars, three Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars, five Purple Hearts, and ten Air Medals. So when Colonel Puckett has something to say there are many waiting and willing to listen.
Colonel Puckett was careful to craft a book that is not only instructive, but also enjoyable. It is a collection of short standalone essays that draw on fascinating real-life stories of successes and mistakes. Colonel Puckett effectively intersperses quotes from history to add interest and illumination.
“[It is t]he absolute best book on military leadership that I have ever read,” says H. G. Moore, Lieutenant General, U.S. Army Retired. “A superb, very readable series of short, incisively written leadership lessons by one of the very few great battlefield leaders in the history of the U.S. Army. This book should be read by every officer and NCO in the Army and Marine Corps. A superb compendium of ‘how to’ and ‘how not to.’”
Here are some of the ways that Colonel Puckett markets the book to his audience:
• He gives free copies to large numbers of people in the military community.
• He arranges to have it presented as an award for outstanding performance in various military training programs at Ft. Benning.
• He makes presentations as a Rotary military guest.
• He has condensed excerpts published two to three times each month in the Ranger Memorial Foundation Newsletter.
• He holds book signings at military merchandise stores and bookstores. (These signings are scheduled on Ranger Course, Ranger Indoctrination Program, Ranger Assignment and Selection Program, and Basic Training graduation days.)
• He has arranged to have the book placed on the Chief of Infantry Reading List
• He gives presentations based on the principles in the book to bank managers, orthopedic surgeons, and civilian business leaders
Colonel Puckett has discovered the formula for book sales success: build an audience, write a great book, and then market directly to your audience.
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