On June 18, 2013, Wharton Digital Press published The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook: Pressure Test Your Start-Up Idea—Step 1, by Wharton professor Ian MacMillan and James D. Thompson, director of the Wharton Social Entrepreneurship Program. The first part of the ebook was offered for free to active and aspiring social entrepreneurs as part of “one of the more unusual ebook…experiments of the year” (ThinReads).
The authors invited readers to join The Social Entrepreneur’s Advisory Group to crowdsource feedback in order to help shape the complete edition of the book, which publishes in November 2013.
The ebook experiment was an outstanding success:
- More than 10,000 copies of the ebook have been downloaded worldwide from Wharton Digital Press, Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Samsung, Ebooks.com, and other retail partners. The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook was consistently in the top 3 in the Apple iBookstore, and it was #1 in Entrepreneurship in the Amazon Kindle Free Store.
- Nearly 300 readers joined The Social Entrepreneur’s Playbook Advisory Group to help shape the expanded edition. The Advisors are an outstanding group of aspiring and active social entrepreneurs, as well as philanthropists. Their ranks include founders, CEOs, executive directors, managing directors, and other leading social entrepreneurs and supporters. They hail from for-profits and nonprofits and from all around the world.
- The Advisors provided feedback on the free book, and they shared where they are in the start-up process, what their biggest challenges are, and what they want and need from the expanded edition. Among the best news was that the advisors reported across the board that they would recommend the book to someone interested in starting a social enterprise (4.55 out of 5—with 5 being “definitely recommend”). With the advisors’ feedback, the authors are now completing the manuscript for the expanded edition of the book, which will publish in November 2013.
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