I’ve never been a part of the traditional publishing industry. I’ve written a few magazine articles for print and online magazines, but I’ve never worked with a publisher to bring a book into the world. I recently self-published a little book on Amazon and enjoyed almost every minute of it.
Until six months ago, I’ve shared most of my writing here on this blog. Right now, I’ve got thousands of words saved on my hard drive that have never seen the light of day, but that I hope to someday publish in one form or another.
As a blogger, one of the hardest things about writing all those words without posting them here is the delayed feedback loop. We bloggers are addicted to instant feedback. Write it. Post it. Get feedback. It’s always been one of my favorite things about blogging.
As you know, the digital revolution is changing the way we buy and read books. It’s also changing the way authors write books. Some authors are questioning the validity of going the traditional publishing route when self-publishing an ebook is easy, and in a few cases, more profitable.
I’ve been thinking about how all of this comes together in my world as I think about options for publishing what I write.
Here’s what I’ve come up with—let’s write a book together!
Here’s how it works:
1. I post the early drafts of my content here on the blog.
2. You offer feedback in the form of questions, comments, and constructive criticism.
3. I use your feedback to help clarify my thinking and improve my writing.
4. I eventually publish a cleaned up, clarified, communally edited version of what I initially posted online.
5. The most frequent and helpful commenters get a shout out in the acknowledgements.
6. I’ll footnote and give credit for specific insights that I incorporate into the finished product of the book.
Before You Go is an early iteration of this process that I stumbled into. It started with a series of blog posts that grew into a short book. Many of you offered valuable suggestions, pushed me to go deeper, and told me what I was writing was worth sharing. A few dear souls even volunteered to help with the copy editing. The book that emerged from the process is much better than the original blog posts.
I’ve got several other book ideas that I’d like to flesh out here on the blog in a similar way, only with more intentionality.
As you read this blog, make comments, share what you read, and offer encouragement, you’re helping me write future books. Because of the way blogging has shaped my approach to writing, I can’t imagine doing it any other way.
So, let’s get to work on the next book and thanks in advance for all of your help.
By the way, here’s a more technical description of what I just described.
I think this idea has legs!