With Behind The Pages, I'll keep you in the loop on the process of creating a book, what I'm learning about the traditional book-publishing industry, and the strategy I'll be using to market The First 100 Days. You'll also get access to early-reader bonuses for following along. Thanks for joining me on the book-publishing journey!
The Journey Begins: Joey Meets the Publishers
In the beginning of November, I finished a proposal that I had been working on for some time with Tucker Max and his team at Book In A Box. After the final details were completed, we sent it to four agents. It didn't take me long to select Jim Levine after interviewing all four of them. (Hat tip to Jay Baer at Convince and Convert for the introduction to Jim, who is also Jay's agent).
For the next two weeks, I worked with Jim to polish the proposal. We then submitted it to the publishers a week before Thanksgiving. Things moved quickly; two weeks later I was flying to New York City for interviews with five different publishers.
During the interviews, all five publishers impressed me for different reasons, so I was excited to see what would happen when the proposal went to auction. To my surprise (and delight), the book received five bids (yay!). After some consideration, I went with Penguin Portfolio.
Here are a few videos I shot in New York. There would have been more, but frankly, I was so excited I forgot to shoot them. Enjoy!
The Adventure Continues: Contracting
Since Penguin Portfolio announced they'll be publishing my book, we've been working on the contract. This is an exciting time for everyone involved!
Contracts are never that exciting. But as someone who spent three years studying to be an attorney, it's not too painful.
For those of you who are wondering, the contract is about 15 pages and covers everything I will do and everything the publisher will do to create and market this book. It covers the fact that I've agreed to turn in a 65,000 word manuscript on or before April 1 of this year. It includes the agreement that The First 100 Days will be published sometime in 2018. The contract also includes the details about rights and responsibilities, royalties, as well as what we'll do for the ebook and any audiobooks we might create.
Thus far, working with my publisher has been an absolute delight. They are a friendly group of people who obviously have years of experience behind them. I can't say enough about my fantastic agent Jim, who has been holding my hand along the way and letting me know what's standard and what's negotiable in the contract.
What I'm most excited about is working hand in hand with my publisher to put together some really fantastic ideas for the launch, things you don't normally see. Among other things, we're going to give my readers (that's you!) early access to the book, early access to bonuses, and a lot of fun tools that will help you embrace The First 100 Days concept and apply it to your business.
It's an exciting time, and I want to thank you again for coming along on this journey with me!
The Writing Process: How Book In A Box Made It Easy
Since we’ve completed the contract, I’ve been hard at work writing the book.
But with such a busy schedule, how am I getting this done?
I’ve been working with the fantastic team at Book In A Box. I’ve been able to simply get on the phone and speak my book through a series of interviews.
When we think about writing a book, most of us feel we could never find the time to sit down and get it done. We think about taking the time to sit in front of the computer with the white, blank page staring us in the face, and the expectation that we just start typing away.
That’s a common experience, so that’s why Tucker Max and Zach Obront came up with the idea of having authors talk through their book instead of writing it out.
And for those of you that know me and know me well, talking is never something that I’ve struggled with.
This is a unique and fun model for creating a book. We start with a very detailed outline of the entire book. Then we go through a series of 90-minute calls, during which we tackle a new chapter each day. The writer/editor asks me questions based on the outline, and I answer those questions.
Once the interviews are completed, they transcribe the audio and do a rough edit. My answers get stitched together as part of the prose. Then it gets sent back to me to review and revise.
If you’re like me, then you know that it’s a lot easier to edit something you’ve already written than it is to write it from scratch.
My hope is that this model is going to make the book really fun to read. Because let’s be candid; I love telling a really good story. And I like to think that when I put emotion and excitement into a story when speaking, that it should be able to transfer onto the page.
When I’m on these calls, I put my Book In A Box team on speakerphone and stand in my office, gesticulating the same way I would if I was on stage (they don’t even know this). My hope is that this drive and energy come through and that you will be able to feel it as you read the book.
We’re about a third of the way through the book already, and we’ll continue to plug along on these calls. We probably have a half dozen more before we’re done, and then we’ll be able to share some of what’s written with you, which I’m very excited about as well!