Filed under 'Tiny Books'
It’s been a rollercoaster of a week, but I’m delighted to have finally launched my first book: Start! Stop Procrastinating and Pursue Your Passion. It’s been a long – very long – journey, but it’s a relief to have finally shipped.
Not before time!
I’ll be writing a longer, reflective post – sharing some of the lessons I learned on the journey – in due course, but for now… I’m looking forward to having a short break and catching up on some long-overdue reading.
If you’d like to buy the book I’d very much appreciate your support. It’s timed perfectly for a spot of holiday reading, and if you have an idea for a business you’d like to turn into a reality, it will help you achieve your goals.
It’s been a long journey, but I’m excited to – finally! – announce that the first of my Tiny Books, Start! Stop Procrastinating and Pursue Your Passion, will go on sale on Tuesday.
If you’ve ever dreamed of running a business, and imagined a future where your business aligns with your passions, I think you’ll find it useful.
The content of the book – and its accompanying screencasts, slide decks and worksheets – will help you get started so that you can turn your idea into a reality, building a profitable business. As Lee Munroe, one of my successful Masters graduates, puts it:
Think of it as a Masters education without the Masters price tag.
Helping others realise their dreams is incredibly important to me, so I’ve priced everything very affordably. I believe education should be within reach of everyone, and through Tiny Books I’m sharing my tried and tested teaching tools with as wide an audience as possible.
Even better, if you sign up for the Tiny Books Newsletter you’ll get a special 48 hour discount when the book launches, saving you 1/3 off the price. Win, win!
I can’t wait to share what I’ve been working on and I’m very much looking forward to reaching lift off on Tuesday.
Earlier this week I finished the final round of edits for the first of my Tiny Books, Start! Stop Procrastinating and Pursue Your Passion. Working with my editor, Owen Gregory, the book has been considerably refined and all that remains now is to format it.
Kai Brach, Offscreen magazine’s publisher, has very kindly written a foreword for the book, which I’m looking forward to sharing very shortly. I’ve always admired Brach’s work on Offscreen magazine and I’m delighted that he enthusiastically agreed to write a foreword.
With the edits complete, all that remains is the small task of creating PDF, ePub and Kindle files to get it into readers’ hands.
Did I say small task?
Of course the task is considerably larger than I’d anticipated and is by no means small.
One of the many benefits of working with Emma Boulton and her wonderful team at Five Simple Steps (and the other publishers I’ve worked with) was that all of this complexity was handled – as if by magic – in the background.
Looking back this was so much easier. When the manuscript was completed, your job was – for the most part – over and the publisher took the baton and finished everything.
When you’re the author, designer and publisher, all of this becomes your responsibility. Breaking the task down there’s a lot of complexity: three different versions (PDF, ePub and Kindle); a distribution channel to get the book into readers’ hands (Shopify, in my case); writing and formatting launch emails… the list goes on and on.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a challenge and wrestling with InDesign to ensure the typography is beautiful and considered is, for a typographer, a pleasure. As far as creating the ePub and Kindle files goes, well… that’s another small task that I’m approaching with trepidation.
I’ll get there, eventually, and I hope to have a PDF – at the very least – finished for beyond tellerrand, where I’m the opening speaker. A few late nights and a lot of hard work and, fingers crossed, I’ll get there. As my editor expressed it: Toi, toi, toi!
It might have taken longer (much longer) than I had anticipated – and there’s a lesson to be learned there, of course – but, after three months of toiling away behind the scenes, I’m delighted to announce that the Tiny Books site is now live.
I’ve been working under the radar, hidden in plain view, for the last three months developing the site and gathering helpful feedback, and today – 1 April, 2016; April Fools’ Day – I’m delighted to announce that the Tiny Books site is now, finally, live.
I’m grateful to everyone that has helped me to get to this point. In particular, I’d like to thank: Jordan Moore, for helping me build the final site, ensuring it’s fit for purpose; Vic Bell, for developing a brand, that I love; and, finally, Cara Murphy – my wife – for cracking the whip and keeping me focused, as Tiny Books’ Project Manager.
On 1 January, 2016 I wrote a short post – Start! – acknowledging the fact that I’d promised progress, but delivered very little. As I put it then:
I made promises too soon. I didn’t deliver. Lesson learned.
I’ve learned a lot of lessons along the way, not least the need to be a little more realistic in my timelines.
I’m working on Tiny Books on top of: my teaching at the Belfast School of Art; my work as a design consultant; my writing elsewhere; and my speaking engagements… all of which inform my thinking. There are only so many hours in the day, and it’s been a hard lesson to learn that I can only do so much in the time I have available.
I’m delighted, however, to finally share some of what I’ve been working on, and I’m looking forward to sharing more of my thinking – here – from now on.
My first book, Start!, is currently in the final editing phase. A final draft is written – Hurrah! – and I’m currently working through the edits with my editor, Owen Gregory.
I’ll be writing here, at the Tiny Books Journal, as I work on completing it, the first book of many I have planned. I’ve missed writing and sharing my thinking since I called it a day at The Standardistas – almost three years ago – and I’m looking forward to having a home for my thoughts, once again.
If you’re RSS inclined, the site has a feed. Alternatively you might like to sign up for the newsletter, to be notified when books are published. Lastly, you might like to follow me on Twitter, where I’ll be sharing links I think readers will find useful.
I’m looking forward to embarking on this journey, and I hope you’ll join me for the ride.
If you’re the kind of person who enjoys reading the publishing information at the start of a book – there are, I’m sure, others who do? – this might interest you.
The numbers you see on the copyright page – 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 – are there for a reason. They’re called a printer’s key.
This chain of numerals allows you to know which printing of a book you’re reading. If the numbers you see are – 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 – you know you’re reading a first printing. If, however, you see – 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 – you’re reading a fourth printing.
Between printings (or, increasingly, in this digital day and age, re-exportings) authors have the opportunity to make minor corrections, addressing issues that may have arisen since publication.
By identifying different publication versions, the publisher – and, perhaps more importantly, the reader – are alerted to which version of a book they are reading.
I’m sorry to admit that after unveiling the Tiny Books web site at Hybridconf, Dublin in August, 2015 – four long months ago – I’ve made very little progress.
In part this was due to some staffing issues at the Belfast School of Art (where I’m a team member down), but there’s no escaping it, most of the delays were down to my wilful procrastination.
I’ll hold my hands up: This is entirely my fault. I made promises too soon. I didn’t deliver. Lesson learned.
I might fall flat on my face, but there’s no point in procrastinating any more. I’ve promised to share the first fruits of my Tiny Books labour at Breaking Borders, with a book – ready in some form – to share.
I’m aiming to complete Start! in early 2016 and I’m literally working around the clock to complete it (on top of my teaching, which is – helpfully – forcing me to focus my mind).
My all-encompassing plans – to create, “a universe that combines content of varying lengths, designed to fit together” – were, with the benefit of hindsight, a little too ambitious. What I really need to deliver is a book. A small win.
I’m scaling back.
As Sugru founder, Jane Ni Dhulchaointigh, puts it: “Start small and make it good.” If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s that over-ambitious and grandiose plans are worthless if you never ship. You need to get something finished, laying firm foundations on which you can build.
I’m delighted to announce that Cara – my wife – who is far more organised than me, has taken on the role of Tiny Books Project Manager. With her at the helm – she’s a firm, but fair taskmaster – Tiny Books will (I have no doubt) see the light of day.
I’m a firm believer in sharing the ups and the downs. Consider this short update a mea culpa. Focus on what you can realistically achieve, to promise otherwise is to disappoint your audience.