Our special guest today is Rudy Mazzocchi, author of the entrepreneur book, Storytelling: The Indispensable Art of Entrepreneurism. Rudy is best known as a medical device and biotechnology entrepreneur, inventor, and angel investor, with a history of starting new technology ventures throughout the U.S. and Europe. He’s been privileged to have the opportunity to see the newest innovations in healthcare and work with some of the most brilliant researchers, scientists and physicians in the industry.
Authoring more than 50 patents, he has helped pioneer new companies involved in cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, neurosurgery and even embryonic stem-cell development. Through these efforts, he has become the recipient of many technology and business awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Healthcare (2004), Businessman of the Year Award (2005), and Global Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2013).
Combining these experiences and opportunities, with thousands of hours of travel and long evenings in hotel rooms, he found the initiative to start writing a collection of award-winning business/medical thrillers based on true events, known as The EQUITY Series. STORYTELLING was his debut non-fiction business book released in November 2013.
Thank you for this interview, Rudy. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how long you’ve been writing?
I’ve had a wonderful 25+ year career as a start-up CEO in the medical technology industry, including several years as a venture capital and private angel investor. It has provided me with the opportunity to witness the development of many incredible developments of new medical sciences that have or will greatly impact the longevity and quality of life of our bodies and minds. Some of these technologies are early in their research phase and have the potential of completely changing our moral, ethical and political views on many topics that impact us today. All of this “information” has provided for endless materials for a series of business/medical thrillers that are now referred to as The EQUITY Series.
I have previously authored several journal articles and over fifty patent applications, but started writing my first novel manuscript about five years ago while taking a cruise with my wife down through the Panama Canal. Now with a literary agent, publisher, editors and several publicists in tow, I’m working on my third novel after having just released my first non-fiction business book just two months ago.
Can you tell us briefly what your book is about?
STORYTELLING – The Indispensable Art of Entrepreneurism is a practical and candid analysis one of the most essential elements of being an entrepreneur… the ability to tell the proper story to the appropriate audience. I’ve used over a dozen stories based on my own experiences, providing the good, bad and ugly of hard lessons learned in the trenches that meant the difference between success and failure. This book focuses on a key component of business that is not actively taught in business/entrepreneurism programs in university classrooms today. It should be of value to anyone who needs to tell a story, whether as a first-time or experienced entrepreneur, a business manager, or salesperson.
Why did you choose your particular genre?
It was an easy extension of what I do and who I am! After being the recipient of several business and entrepreneur awards, I was nominated a second time for the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. While being interviewed by the judges, they spent considerable amount of time trying to determine what may have been the one most important element of my success. After a great deal of discussion, it was obvious that it was simply my honed ability to tell the story. They encouraged me to write this book.
What was your greatest challenge writing this book?
After spending the past four years writing “fiction”, I constantly had to fight the urge to convert the content of my chapters into active “scenes”. Mid-way through the manuscript, my editor convinced me to use such a writing style to help tell my story in this book about storytelling. It made perfect sense and helped me finish the manuscript in a shorter time. (However, it did require a substantial amount of ‘fact checking’!)
Are you published by a traditional house, small press or are you self-published?
Since the completion of my debut novel, I’ve gone the traditional route with a literary agent (Trident Media Group) and a small press publishing house (Twilight Times Books). I’ve used Twilight Times for both my novels and non-fiction book, STORYTELLING.
Was it the right choice for you?
My publisher has been doing a tremendous job – no regrets! Given the demands of my ‘day job’, I need to rely on others to help me move these projects forward. Marketing and promotional activities never seem to be enough, but I’m not sure a larger publishing house would be doing much for this first-time author with limited brand recognition.
How are you promoting your book thus far?
I’ve engaged numerous publicists over the past five years, all of which have a slightly different approach to marketing and promoting my books. I believe this provides good “cross-coverage” for various media sources. We usually start with those critical Press Releases and then expand into various on-line, radio and newspaper interviews. I’ve then used various groups to help with virtual book tours, the most comprehensive of which is PUYB (“Pump Up Your Book”) with Dorothy Thompson. Here we attack the social media sites with numerous book reviews, interviews and guest blogs. I also use an independent email program that goes after various hi-end media sources (including possible TV and magazine interviews), and in the case of this business book, we’ve done a mass-mailing to over two dozen universities who have well-respected business/entrepreneurism programs.
How is that going for you?
STORYTELLING has consistently been in the Top 100 Business/Entrepreneurism books on Amazon since its release on November 1, 2013. We also have received orders from several businesses and venture capital firms for significant volumes to be given to their senior managers and business leaders. So far… so good!
Can you tell us one thing you have done that actually resulted in one or more sales?
Well, this might sound a little “sneaky”, but in the Acknowledgement of the book, I thanked many people who had a direct impact on my career. Upon notifying them of the release of this book (via email), I mention that I have recognized them in the opening section. Needless-to-say, they are very appreciative for the “shout out” and immediately buy a copy of the book. Several have gone further and purchased multiple copies to give out as holiday gifts!
Do you have another job besides writing?
Yes, as you may find in the BIO of my website, I am currently the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of a medical technology company in the field of Ophthalmology. I also continue to invent new technologies, file patent applications and strive to fund various new start-up ventures. In addition, I currently serve on the Board of Directors of five other companies.
If you could give one book promotion tip to new authors, what would that be?
Outside of hiring a publicist (or two), try to identify three or four social media activities that you can personally manage on a daily basis. I’ve established a presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN and my own Blog site. Here I try to contribute something – anything – on a daily basis just to stay in front of existing and potentially new readers.
What’s next for you?
I’ve recently completed the research for my third novel in The EQUITY Series, to be titled, EQUITY of LIFE. Like the previous two bold (and somewhat controversial novels in this series), this will touch on some scary medical sciences as they relate to another controversial theme… this time dealing with the topic of euthanasia. This will most likely take another year to complete before it’s ready for professional editing.
I then intend to focus on the sales and promotion of these three novels and this non-fiction book (STORYTELLING). We are already in discussion with several potential screenwriters for EQUITY of EVIL, as my literary agent has been approached by various producers for movie rights. Exciting times!
Thank you for this interview, Rudy. Can you tell us where we can find you on the web?
Author Website: http://www.rudymazzocchi.com
Blog Site: http://rudymazzocchi.wordpress.com