Competitive Intelligence

Tactical, Operational & Strategic Analysis of Markets, Competitors & Industries

Special Book Offer - Confidential: Business Secrets, Getting Theirs - Keeping Yours by John Nolan

"Confidential: Business Secrets, Getting Theirs - Keeping Yours"

John Nolan has released a limited reprint of his book Confidential: Business Secrets, Getting Theirs - Keeping Yours (ISBN 097213560X). The title is on many Competitive and Business Intelligence reading lists, but has been off the open market for over a decade. John, a veteran of the CI field, recently did up a print run (by request of one of his clients) and has authorized me to offer the remainder of the books to the intel community. The book is an outstanding resource for learning the Elicitation/Counter-Elicitation techniques and (more importantly) how to apply those techniques to the Business/Competitive Intelligence field.

Veterans of the Business, Competitive, and Military Intelligence industries know John’s background and contributions to the intelligence community. For those not familiar with John (a retired Counter Intelligence Agent), he co-founded Phoenix Consulting Group where (in addition to providing services and training to Intelligence and Special Operations groups) he pioneered the application of Military Intelligence techniques to the business community. He served as an adjunct professor at the National Defense Intelligence College and regularly lectured on economic and competitive intelligence issues.

New copies of “Confidential” are currently being offered on Amazon for $19.95 (plus shipping). However, as a special offer, members of the Ning Community can receive copies of the book at the discounted rate of $15.00 per copy, plus shipping (see the shipping rates below). This is approximately 25% off the retail price – and is only being offered to a few select organizations in the CI field (and while supplies last).

If you are interested in receiving copies at the discounted rate, please send me a brief message through Ning (you'll have to add me as a "friend") - or you can send an email to steele@soldierconcepts.com with the subject line of "BOOK OFFER." You'll need to include the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Mailing Address
  • The number of copies that you would like to purchase
  • An email address that I can send a Paypal invoice to
  • And any comments, questions, or special instructions that you may have


(**Note: The Paypal invoice can be paid securely online with a Credit Card or with Paypal funds. You do not need to have a Paypal account to make a payment on Paypal.)


An invoice will be created through Paypal and emailed to the email address that you provided for payment. Once the payment is received, the package will be processed for shipping. We generally ship orders within 24 hours of receipt - but please allow us 48 hours (two business days) to process the shipment. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. For your reference, I have attached a "Cheat Sheet" of the Elicitation Techniques (based on the book), as well as a PDF that describes the book in more detail (see the links under my name).

I look forward to hearing from you!

Tony Steele

Elicitation Cheatsheet

Confidential: Business Secrets, Getting Theirs - Keeping Yours


*****************************************************SHIPPING RATES************************************************************
US Orders:

Method: USPS Media Mail with tracking. Cost: $3.99 shipping charge for the first book and $1.00 charge for each additional book. Estimated Delivery: Media Mail usually takes less than a week to arrive in the Continental United States. I CAN ship to APO/FPO/DPO addresses at the same price, but please understand that it naturally takes a little longer for packages to arrive at these destinations and that the package cannot be tracked past the port of exit.


Canada Orders:

Method: USPS Priority Mail International. Cost: $19.95. (**NOTE: I can ship up to two books for the price of $19.95. It costs me the same amount to ship one book as it does to ship two books. So it may be in your best interest to purchase two books. As a suggestion: you could either go in on the order of two books with a partner - or sell the other copy off at the full rate to someone else). Estimated Delivery: 6-10 business days.


International Orders:

Method: USPS Priority Mail International. Cost: $23.95. (**NOTE: I can ship up to two books for the price of $23.95. It costs me the same amount to ship one book as it does to ship two books. So it may be in your best interest to purchase two books. As a suggestion: you could either go in on the order of two books with a partner - or sell the other copy off at the full rate to someone else). Estimated Delivery: 6-10 business days.

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Comment by Trip Krant on September 29, 2013 at 1:37pm

Tony,

Yep, your right the techniques are timeless, though the context may have changed. People talk as though there is a dichotomy between social media and IRL – this is a mistake. True the elicitor no longer necessarily has to travel to the location of the 'target', but likewise the elicitor can already have established rapport with the 'target' before they actually meet IRL at a conference or trade show.   The ability to establish social value through industry social media before you even get to an event can only increase your collection opportunities.

Comment by Tony Steele on September 29, 2013 at 1:16pm

@Ellen: I can't tell you how many Military Intelligence courses I've attended, where John's techniques have been taught or brought up as a reference. He developed many of the techniques and training that we use in the MI world. In fact, that's how I got involved in re-releasing the book. "Confidential" was brought up in one of the classes in my MI Captain's Course as recommended reading. Some of my classmates were saying how much they wanted to buy the book, but that the price was just too high for them (at the time it was going for around $150 on Amazon for a used copy!). So I called John that afternoon and asked him about the possibility of doing another print run. Obviously he agreed to it. I do agree with Tripp though, that an updated version (that especially incorporates Social Media) would be beneficial.

Comment by Trip Krant on September 29, 2013 at 1:14pm

Hi Ellen,

No, I am not working on a book – though I would be happy to help John if he wanted to do an updated edition. Likewise, I am happy to help those who are currently writing books related to the matter.

The project that I was considering was about CI with enterprise social software. The Enterprise 2.0 vendors all tout their ability to do CI, but there is little actual guidance available on how to implement it (Kris Wheaton's “Wikis in Intelligence” is a notable exception).

Comment by Tony Steele on September 29, 2013 at 12:57pm

@Trip: Agreed. The world has changed significantly since the original publication of the book. The book makes mention of pagers, etc.....which are mostly outdated. I spoke with John (about a year ago) about the possibility of putting out an updated e-book - and he mentioned that he was working on something - but I have no idea where it is at right now. I'll have to bring it up to him again, when I speak with him in a couple of weeks. The good thing about 'Confidential', is that the techniques themselves are timeless and can also be applied through social media venues to elicit info (versus face-to-face interaction). In fact, I've come to learn that many people more readily give up information on Social Media than in person! This makes the job of the "Elicitor" much easier, as they no longer have to actually travel to where their "Target" is located.....and the job of Counter Intelligence and Security Managers MUCH more difficult.

Comment by Ellen Naylor on September 28, 2013 at 8:16pm

@Trip, so is this something you're working on? I agree we can prepare differently than we could with social media, in particular. @Tony how neat that you're a good friend with John. Yes, I had noticed the high price of his book, as had those I was presenting too. I don't have an elicitation talk scheduled presently, but I will keep this in mind for the future!

Comment by Trip Krant on September 28, 2013 at 2:45pm

Might there be demand for a updated ebook edition?!   


The world has changed since its original publication – the rise of social media, and change in the information security threat-scape come immediately to mind.

Comment by Tony Steele on September 26, 2013 at 5:05pm

My pleasure, Ellen. I'm glad I was able to facilitate this. John's an old family friend - and he was more than happy to help out. He was a little disturbed at how high his book was selling for at the time (....flattered, but disturbed). He was more than happy to bring more to the market to help keep the cost down for those who need to learn the skills of Elicitation. Let me know if you need more for any of your classes or lectures.  -TS

Comment by Ellen Naylor on September 26, 2013 at 3:43pm

John's book is the first one I recommend to those who want to focus on primary collection and counterintelligence. I am glad that you got him to release some more, Tony. They were not available at such a reasonable price when I gave an elicitation talk for the DC SCIP chapter last year.

Comment by Tony Steele on May 5, 2013 at 3:21pm

Note: John Nolan's book on Elicitation is still available to members of the Ning community at a discount. Let me know if you're interested.  - TS

Comment by Tony Steele on April 15, 2013 at 11:05am

Oh yeah? I'm actually doing some work out of country right now - and am unfortunately in a place that I can't stream the podcast (because of bandwidth constraints). I'm quite familiar with her work. How'd it go?

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