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If You Have A Business Book In You... (8-8-11)

For years I labored under the illusion that I was going to write one or more books. For instance, in the early 1970s I began writing a tome entitled "The Scrum" which was to be a season's worth of the doings of the Washington Rugby Football Club which, at that time, had its home field on the Ellipse out back of the White House. That did not happen.
What has happened is this. By this Fall I will have written and published two business books and (this is the neat thing) - one is already available and the other will be available soon on Amazon - right up there with today's best-selling authors. If you have never been down this road, you may want to learn about my journey. Here goes.
Over the past few years I have tried to produce a "how to" book on Price To Win (PTW) written and get it into the hands of those capture teams that labor long and hard to win business for their employers. My first attempt, because I was super busy at the time, was to hire a ghost writer to create a book based on my PTW training seminar content - content I have presented to thousands of PTW students over the past 7 years. That didn't end well since the ghost writer wrote her book not my book. Probably my fault but, nevertheless, an expensive "book to nowhere."
This was followed by a couple of other abortive attempts at getting this book written. One of these involving a proposal consultant out of the UK who provided me the beginnings of a simple and elegant form of a book that was based on my content. From that start, I knew how to write my book, and so I did. Starting in late March 2011 I wrote each Saturday and Sunday until, by the end of May, I had a rough draft of my PTW book: Hope Is Not A Winning Strategy... But Price To Win Is! As importantly, I also had made contact with my publisher, Avenue Design.
When one used to say "publisher" one was probably referring to that now-dying breed of company that takes on the task of preparing, publishing, printing and promoting books for retail placement and sale. These days, "publisher" mostly means the middle ground between the old style publisher (very, very few and far between these days) and really doing it all yourself. In my case, pursuing the middle ground led me to Kathy Carl of Avenue Design, Inc. in Ft. Bragg, California -
Back to the rough draft. After a series of critical reviews among CAI/SISCo's internal PTW practitioners, plus a couple of rigorous edits, I was ready to give the almost final draft to my "readers," a select group of peers from the government business development community. Their feedback and suggestions gave me some wonderful insights and examples, fresh ideas, and a few more weekends of remediation. Above all, the process gave me lots of encouragement and allowed mr to complete a final draft by my self-imposed deadline - the day before my July 2011 birthday.
Since I delivered my final draft and graphics to Kathy, she has been bombarding me with decision points concerning layout options, cover designs, and many of the other issues that proposal production professionals routinely grapple with. The product will be:
  • A very professionallyl finished version of the text;
  • An attractive cover and cover design;
  • A "print on demand" relationship with and listing on Amazon; and
  • As many finished copies of the product as I care to keep in stock.
How do I know what to expect? Simple, I had already been through the process with Kathy publishing my first book - a much smaller undertaking but no less arduous and rigorous. What really astounded me about the first book was this. After I had received several cartons of the finshed books, I decided to make sure that Book #1 was really on Amazon. I looked for it and found it there on a Sunday afternoon. (Of course I had to order one even though I already had cartons of them.) By Wednesday of that same week, the ordered book arrived. Kathy told me that it had been printed on-demand by Amazon and shipped to me the same day or the next day. Contrast this with the almost-defunct Borders model and contrast it also with the rapidly encroaching Kindle, Nook, iBook, etc. electronic distribution channels. Well that's my story and if you've got a book in you, I hope that what I have imparted helpsand/or interests you. Call if you have questions.
By the way, Book # 1 is entitled Everything About Everything: If Information Is Power, Why Aren't We More Powerful? It can be viewed right now on Amazon using this link to Amazon. Book #1 is an inspirational text about information recycling and reuse that I wrote in 1995 and decided to publish in April 2011. The subject is presented as a futuristic tale about the concept of infocentricity and a young man with a nose for information and an inquiring mind. The premise is the fact that most enterprises squander information that they pay dearly in time and money for their people to learn, and often do so over and over again. The remedy for this situation, infocentricity, represents the "next big thing" for information technology (IT), which today is 95% about technology, and 5%, or less, about information. Such change hinges on evolving the enterprise's culture as it relates to information and transforming the typical "We don't know what we do and don't know" reality into "We do, at least, know what we do know."
Good luck and happy hunting!
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