It wasn’t supposed to happen for another couple weeks, but somehow my book appeared “in stock” on Amazon.com today! That means that by the end of October, it should begin appearing on store shelves. :-)
It’s been about a year and a half since I first started working on Changing the Game with Ethan, and about two years since I first started discussing the project with Pearson, my publisher. At first, like most writers, I procrastinated and only put in a few hours per week, at best. But for a window of about six months, from December 2007 until May 2008, I spent nearly every single night and every single weekend researching, writing, and editing non-stop. It’s fair to say that Ethan and I were completely sick of working on the book by May. Whereas in the past, we might have spent an entire afternoon arguing about a paragraph or idea, by the last month one or both of us would capitulate in about three seconds. :-) Thinking back on those days brings to mind some advice I’d like to share with new non-fiction authors. In particular:
- Don’t wait long to engage your editor and your trusted friends. Ethan and I wrote about half the book before we started soliciting meaningful feedback from a wide audience. Some of the feedback we received caused us to substantially revise what we had already written, but because we had written so much, we were more resistant than we should have been to the advice.
- Don’t stress too much about the first chapter in the beginning. You’re probably going to end up re-writing most of it later on.
- Don’t let yourself get sucked into a research black hole; it can happen so easily. My research into the world of advertising kept turning up interesting new ideas and contradictions. I ended up getting a little obsessed and probably wasted a few weeks reading obscure research papers that would never find their way into the book. The same thing happened when I was researching the concept of flow.
Anyway, I also want to take this opportunity to thank those of you who pre-ordered copies of the book. I’d imagine that you’ll be receiving them very soon. When you do, I’d really love to hear what you think! Just because the book is finished doesn’t mean that I can’t benefit from and respond to constructive criticism… that’s partially what the book’s blog is for!
PS. The thumbnail on the right leads to a larger version of the cover image (not the Amazon.com book page), in case you’re curious to see it.