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Member Spotlight: Bill Rasmussen

Posted by CreateSpaceBlogger on Apr 18, 2011 12:36:29 PM

Bill Rasmussen

Author, Sports Junkies Rejoice the founder of sports cable network ESPN, The Worldwide Leader in Sports, Bill Rasmussen knows a thing or two about what interests sports fans. One of Sports 100's Most Important People in American Sports History, he decided to write a book about how the popular network he created came to be.

Sports Junkies Rejoice: The Birth of ESPN is the story of how it all started in 1978, when Bill was fired by the New England Whalers hockey team, and tells the inside, behind-the-scenes story of passion and endurance that led to ESPN's first broadcast on September 7, 1979. In the book, Bill offers sports fans all the previously unknown details about how he turned a sports dream into reality.

Sports Junkies Rejoice was first printed in a limited run of hardcover books in the 1980s and became the definitive book about the founding of the first 24-hour television network. Fans everywhere wanted this collector's item to read the story about how Bill forever changed the way America viewed sports.

"Only a limited number of the original hardcover books were available, and I continued to get requests for the books from attendees at various speaking events and other appearances," Bill said. "I did not want to go through another hardcover printing and was looking for another solution."

When Bill heard about CreateSpace, he found it to be ideal for his needs. Rather than manage costly upfront printing, distribution, inventory and returns on his own, he turned Sports Junkies Rejoice over to CreateSpace. In addition to taking advantage of hands-on phone and email support and print on-demand manufacturing, Bill used CreateSpace to make his book widely available on and to thousands of retailers, libraries and academic institutions via the Expanded Distribution Channel.

"I needed a no-nonsense way to reprint the book and add some updates to the story," Bill said. "I found CreateSpace to be the perfect solution. Its customer service was superb, with remarkable response times and everyone delivering what they promised on time." CreateSpace providing the platform to handle all the publishing logistics, Bill was able to devote more time to the marketing of his title. As a keynote speaker for corporate events who is also very popular on college campuses nationwide, Bill often draws large audiences of potential readers. He recently provided the keynote speech at Northwestern University's annual conference in the Kellogg School of Marketing and was keynote speaker at the 2010 CEO Forum at the University of Saint Francis. He regularly schedules such speaking events to include a book signing, where students, business executives and other fans purchase copies of his book. At these functions, Bill uses discount codes provided by CreateSpace on print materials, which allows him to gauge the effectiveness of a marketing event based on sales response - even after the event has ended.

In addition to personal appearances, Bill and his book have been featured in local, regional and national news stories, including FOX News Channel's "Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld" and the nationally-syndicated Dennis Miller Show, where his book was chosen for "Dennis's Oprah's Book Club." He also recently hosted a book tour in Philadelphia that resulted in hundreds of books sold and signed. Finally, award nominations and book reviews have helped Bill spread the word about Sports Junkies Rejoice. In early April 2011, Sports Business Journal honored Bill as one of 2011's "The Champions: Pioneers & Innovators in Sports Business" and highlighted his story and book in an extensive news feature.

So what's next for the speaker and entrepreneur who so significantly altered the world of sports? Fans of Bill and ESPN will be happy to hear that he plans to write at least two more books of original content - one about baseball and the other a collection of great moments in sports he's personally witnessed - and publish them through CreateSpace. Sports junkies rejoice, indeed.