BooksChangePeopleOctober 19, 20210The Birth of a Book: Lots of Work, Kind of a Mess, Joy at the End


There are ways in which pub­lish­ing a book is like hav­ing a baby. It’s a spark of cre­ation lead­ing to a long, qui­et, large­ly invis­i­ble process, fol­lowed a by a flur­ry of activ­i­ty and anx­i­ety, and then — voila — a won­der­ful, new thing.

Some­times it seems like the main dif­fer­ence (oth­er than, of course, the fact that we’re talk­ing about an inan­i­mate object vs. a real live human)  is that the flur­ry-of-activ­i­ty-and-anx­i­ety peri­od lasts a whole lot longer with a book than with a baby.

With a book, things start to ramp up as soon as you have an OK’d final man­u­script.  At that point you begin months of copy-edit­ing, design (inte­ri­or fig­ures, cov­er, fonts and lay­out) and gath­er­ing tes­ti­mo­ni­als. You cre­ate and final­ize the index and the cov­er text, and build the marketing/PR strat­e­gy, while jump­ing through all of Ama­zon’s hoops and try­ing to get for­eign rights deals. You record the audio­book. Then once all that’s done, there’s the final pre- and post-launch focus on pub­lic­i­ty: get­ting arti­cles and inter­views pub­lished, guest­ing on pod­casts, ampli­fy­ing all that on social media, ask­ing peo­ple to write reviews, thank­ing peo­ple for men­tion­ing and pro­mot­ing the book in var­i­ous contexts…

It’s a lot.  But I have to admit I real­ly like almost all of it.  It’s fun, and also excit­ing and inter­est­ing — and, most impor­tant from my point of view — it gives me a chance to share with peo­ple impor­tant ideas and skills that I believe will help them, both in the book itself and in all the asso­ci­at­ed inter­views, arti­cles and podcasts.

That’s some­thing I’m feel­ing even more strong­ly this time around than I did with my pre­vi­ous books. I’m so grate­ful to have the chance to put some­thing out in the world that will pro­vide peo­ple with tools and insights to build bet­ter, more sat­is­fy­ing lives and bet­ter, more func­tion­al and human organizations.

So when Change from the Inside Out offi­cial­ly launch­es next week, and peo­ple start get­ting their ebook copies deliv­ered to their Kin­dles and Nooks and iPads, and their hard copies in the mail or from a book­store, I’ll be thrilled to think of all those hun­dreds and thou­sands of peo­ple who, hav­ing read it, will be bet­ter equipped to live and thrive in this world of non-stop change.

My mis­sion in life, as I’m sure I’ve said to you before, is to help peo­ple become who they want to become. Every­thing I write, and every­thing I do pro­fes­sion­al­ly, serves that mis­sion.  So to you, dear read­er, if you have the chance to read this lat­est book, I hope most ardent­ly that it will sup­port you in cre­at­ing the life you tru­ly want.

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