In the middle of the most academically intense semester of his life, Alexander Lahargoue, a senior marketing major with a management minor from Olathe, Kansas, decided to relieve stress through creative writing. A member of the inaugural cohort of the College of Business Administration Honors Academy at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, his leisurely activity turned into a fiction book called, “The Marketer,” which will be released September 1.
“During the semester there was a lot of business and technical writing, so I decided to write two pages of whatever came to my mind,” Lahargoue said. “The next night I wrote another two pages and I continued that for about a week.”
After the week had passed, the blue prints for “The Marketer,” appeared in front of him. Lahargoue began setting goals to finish the book.
“When the book was about 7,000 words long, I was enjoying the process but needed to take it to the next level. I set a goal of writing at least 5,000 words a week in order to finish the book by the end of the summer,” he said.
“The Marketer,” a 412 page, 34-chapter book, features a young chief marketing officer named Benjamin Harrington who works for the national software giant, Armitage. The company and Harrington’s success and popularity become threatened when their main competitor releases a new product early. From there, he must scramble to finish the acquisition of a small firm whose lead developer winds up murdered and the technology goes missing.
“Essentially, I just wanted the book to be entertaining for people to read. I know how easy it is to get stuck in the world of academia reading textbooks, doing your homework and writing essays,” he said. “There were a lot of chapters I had to nix and a lot of edits made. It was always a challenge to keep in mind how to keep the reader engaged.”
While Lahargoue’s parents, both lawyers, assisted in the editing process, his CBA ties helped connect him with a publisher. After listening to an ethics lecturer at a CBA business luncheon who recently wrote a book, Lahargoue formed a connection with him and later inquired about the editing process and finding a publisher.
“I sent the publisher the book and she loved it, and being a part of CBA was a huge asset in terms of helping me get there,” he said. “Vice Chancellor Plowman and Chad Mardesen, assistant professor of practice, both read the book and provided feedback. I took their suggestions and reworked them into the plot.”
Now focusing on marketing and promotional efforts, the book has gotten picked up by Amazon and Target, and is being translated into two different languages. He recently finalized his contract with his publisher and will release another book in 2018. He plans to create a series of four to seven books.
Graduating in May, Lahargoue wants to continue writing while gaining experience in the marketing field and looking into graduate level studies. He refers to his time in the CBA Honors Academy as instrumental to not only his current success, but preparing him for the future.
“The classes I took within the CBA Honors Academy instill in you the technical knowledge you need and the personal skills requisite to be successful,” he said. “The faculty teach you to take the initiative, think outside the box and create a plan. They help you figure out how to go into the trenches and make the work actually happen.”