Microsoft and Author Jay Conrad Levinson Launch Online, Interactive Book for Small Businesses

REDMOND, Wash., Nov. 25, 1996 — Microsoft Corp. today announced an exclusive collaboration with renowned author and business expert Jay Conrad Levinson to publish
“America at Work: Guerrilla Marketing With a Secret Weapon,” the first online, interactive book especially for small businesses. Using the Internet as a book publishing tool, Levinson will publish a chapter-in-progress each month on the Microsoft® Small Business Web site at . On the site, readers will have the opportunity to ask questions or comment on each chapter and receive answers from Levinson. Feedback from real businesses will shape the final book, scheduled to be published in summer 1997.

“America at Work: Guerrilla Marketing With a Secret Weapon”
focuses on what Levinson calls the
“unfair advantage”
that technology gives today’s small businesses.
“Small businesses can now reach more customers, be more productive and present an identity on par with far larger companies,”
he said.
“This is an unfair advantage because small businesses and home offices can use these tools to do more business with less overhead. That’s the ‘secret weapon.'”

“Chapter one was extremely relevant to me as an employee of a small outsourcing company specializing in business-managed services for accounting and financial functions,”
said Patrick A. Drury, director, New Business Development for Quality OutSourcing Inc.
“The chapter discussed downsizing, using technology, aggressive pin-pointed marketing, and the use of alliances to quickly start and grow a small business. Jay’s advice is extremely applicable to new or established small businesses, and I plan to implement many of his suggestions.”

As a member of the Microsoft Small Business council, Levinson is aware of the challenge that small businesses still haven’t been exposed to all the ways technology can benefit them. According to Levinson, the interactive forum of the Internet is the perfect place to create the book, because it not only shows small businesses the possibilities of technology, it also gives them a voice and an opportunity to shape an ultimately more useful resource.

Levinson (author of
“Guerrilla Marketing,”
the best-selling marketing series in history, and 22 other widely acclaimed business books) said the Internet also presents a new approach to research and writing.
“Not only can I get instant information through the Web, I now can have an interaction and direct connection with my readers – something I never experienced until using the Internet to create and publish a book,”
he said.
“I get questions almost daily that enable me to make adjustments to the book based on feedback that is immediate, rather than waiting several months for feedback on a print version.”

Online, interactive publishing provides benefits to publishers and readers as well. It is a way for book publishers to be competitive and stand apart from traditional publishing techniques. The online method is also a new way for people to read books, because they read with the awareness that they can interact with the author.

“I really enjoy reading a new chapter online each month and seeing the questions and answers from other small businesses like mine,”
said Pamela L. Pierce, owner of Empowering You!
“Interactive book development really makes sense – it creates a better book and builds interest for the final version.”

Helping Small Businesses Embrace Technology

Small businesses typically don’t have dedicated information technology personnel, yet they are finding an increasing advantage in using technology to improve operations and remain competitive.
“America at Work: Guerrilla Marketing With a Secret Weapon”
is just one component of the Microsoft America at Work program, designed to make it easy for small businesses to embrace technology. America at Work includes a television and video series that profiles small businesses and how they are using technology to successfully compete in today’s marketplace. Each episode provides examples, tools and useful information on ways small businesses can develop and expand their opportunities using technology. The America at Work program also includes the America at Work Seminar Series, a sales tool enabling value added resellers (VARs) to meet the technology needs of small businesses more effectively and efficiently.

“America at Work enables small businesses to see the possibilities and benefits technology can bring,”
said Vivian Scott, executive producer of Microsoft’s America at Work.
“By sharing the real experiences of business owners in solutions-based programs that can be widely distributed to millions of small businesses, we create access to valuable information in a way that hasn’t existed for these business owners until now.”

In addition to hosting the

America at Work: Guerrilla Marketing With a Secret
interactive book, the Microsoft Small Business Web site is updated semimonthly and features information to help small businesses get started, run and grow. Contributors to the site include marketing experts such as Roger Parker (author of
“The One-Minute Designer”
“Looking Good in Print”
) as well as entrepreneurs sharing shop talk about the trials and tribulations of small-business ownership.

To view and interact with Jay Conrad Levinson’s online book
“America at Work: Guerrilla Marketing With a Secret Weapon,”
visit the Microsoft Small Business Web site at . Additional information about Microsoft small-business programs and products is available on the Web site or by calling the Microsoft small-business hot line, (800) 60SOURCE (607-6872).

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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