“I” wrote a book: an announcement and a lesson

I don’t usually share news through my blog, but this news is BIG!

My first book is now available. Launch event and ordering info are below, and I want to personally (through this mass publication) invite you to come! And, please buy as many copies of my book as possible and give copies to everyone you know as gifts for every occasion possible. Give it a 5-star review (others already have). Thank you in advance.

You know me, though; I have to turn this into a story, with a lesson to learn and apply. Here we go:

It’s been a two-year project, but it wasn’t supposed to be. It was supposed to be a 6-month project ending in October of 2015. Whoops. What happened?

Well, it’s harder than I thought. I have written over 60,000 words worth of blog posts, articles, and follow-up client support over the last decade. I thought perhaps my assistant (Ashleigh) and wife/partner (Julie) could simply pick the best, put them in a nice order, and get a book rolling. Boom!

But no. It’s not that simple. My writings didn’t flow. They didn’t fit together. The themes weren’t always clear. But – those challenges didn’t stop Ashleigh (who has a degree in marketing communications and already proofs and refines my writings) and Julie (who has a Master’s degree in literacy, and is a master content creator herself). They were able, over several months, to pull things together with me. The three of us passed tasks back and forth to get things done, but there was a long period where they did all the work on “my” book. Then my best friend Matt (who has been an English teacher and brilliant writer for 20 years) did a pile of proofreading. Four months past due, but all ready to roll, right?

Well, sparing you the details, it’s not that easy. Appropriate pagination, proper copyright page formatting, page and section breaks in the right spot – it was too much. Enter Jordan. If you’ve seen the Group Dynamic job aids, you know Jordan’s work. He designed the cover and executed the layout formatting. Now we’re done! Right?

No. We opted to self-publish through CreateSpace (a decision we’re quite happy with for this first project), and all we needed to do was fit the formatting into the right template. No big deal, right? No. Almost, but not quite. There are little details that make the difference between a self-published book looking self-published and actually looking professional. Enter the team at CreateSpace. Sarah (at CreateSpace) was the go-between between my team and their team, and they finally put together something that we’re pretty darn proud of.

My name is on the cover and the spine. Because I’m the author, right? “I” wrote a book, after all. But it was quite the team effort.

Remember this the next time you embark on a project – it’s okay, and gets better results, to engage a team.

Remember this the next time you admire an author – it’s pretty likely that a large team made it all happen.

And, much of the content comes from the lessons I’ve learned from clients, students, and friends. So, thank you.

Now, please buy a copy. (Or 20 copies. That would be okay, too.) It’s a set of readings, carefully selected, edited, and arranged for leaders like you. You can read one per week, or you can read them all at once. Regardless, it’s paperback for a reason – it’s to be used, written in, referred to, and shared.

And come to the launch party! Refreshments will be served. Books will be signed. Remarks will be made. And, it’s in the classiest place – The Des Moines Art Center, hosted by the Museum Shop. June 9, 5:30 to 6:45. Put it on your calendar and come by!

Check it out, and share it, please. Let’s spread the word on effective servant leadership!

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