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WFH: You’ve worked with hundreds of business people over the past thirty-five years, and have been involved in the marketing community for over 25 years. Give us some insight into your back round. How did it all begin?
Cohen: I was a tax accountant for many years, and I was also involved in the baseball card business in the 80s and 90s. Before self-publishing was even talked about, I decided to write a book on baseball cards. I wrote a book called, “The Secret of the Pros: How to Become a Baseball Card Dealer", and actually self-published it. The reason I wrote the book was not so much for the money involved in it, but because I wanted to be known as an expert in baseball cards. As a result of the sales of the book, I become a national expert in baseball cards. In 1997, I became the expert witness for the plaintiff in the largest class action suit that was ever filed to date, and some of the other trading card companies.
There were class action suits against these card companies; for everything from misleading advertising, to illegal lotteries.
WFH: You have published three books, and you third book is what this interview is really all about. What motivated you to do this project, and what did you want to accomplish?
Cohen: My third book is called, "An American Crisis: Veterans Unemployment." It’s geared to get the 850,000 to 1 million veterans that are unemployed at the moment back to work. These men and women have served our country, and they deserve better. We've gathered over 20, experts from all over the country. These experts range from wounded warriors, to an Army colonel, an Army general, the President of VetJobs, an Army chaplain, a Congressional Medal of Merit recipient, a Sergeant Major, a military spouse, and a Fortune 500 V.P. All of them contributed by writing one chapter that pertained to their field of expertise.
There are 24 chapters in the book--all geared to get veterans back to work. We're trying to get companies to buy them by the case and give them to veterans, or sell them very cheap. There are a lot of tips in the book on how businesses can get involved, and how your everyday American citizen can get involved in this epidemic, and help get veterans back to work.
Mark Baird, is the author of the book, and founder of the company HirerPatriots.com. They do everything from one day job posts to job fairs specifically for veterans to get them working. I was assisting him along the way, but it ended up that he didn’t have enough money and could not afford to publish the book. I felt inspired because my son was a Black Hawk pilot in Afghanistan; my dad served in World War II; my uncle also served in World War II, and another uncle served in the Korean War. So I decided to pay for the whole thing. If it makes money that will be fine; if it doesn’t, then I know that we would have served a lot of veterans. That was the purpose of me being involved with the book.
Award winning business consultant, Mel Cohen, a veteran in the Navy during the Cuban missile crisis, on the USS Okinawa, and President of “Inspirited Author’s Press, LLC”, has taken up the cause to help solve the veterans’ unemployment crisis in America.
Our USP is: buy a book and help a veteran. If you know an unemployed veteran, give him or her this book, or buy a book, read it first, and give it to them.
I started thinking about a publishing career. I didn’t really pick it up at that time but decided that I wanted to work in the nonprofit realm, and was self-employed until 2002. I moved to Tennessee, to work with No Greater Joy ministries. I worked about a third of my week with No Greater Joy Ministries, and a third of my week with my tax and financial services business, and the final third, in the publishing business.
WFH: What would you like to say to people who come across the advertisement for the book, to draw their attention to the book?
Cohen: If you are an employer, you will get to read the three or four chapters on how veterans are head and shoulders above the average employee. They are so well trained to follow orders, and to react to crisis situations. They make all around better employees. There are chapters in the book that deal with being a big company, how you would go about setting up a veteran's hiring program.
The person who runs the veteran's hiring program for Humana, and one of the directors of Coca-Cola, are contributing authors. We really have some high-level contributors. They are all veterans, and several of them are wounded warriors. Veterans don't want handouts; what they want is the ability to work, and this book will get our men and women veterans back to work.