Read the acim and completely omitted a few chapters, drastically reduced the length of several chapters and extensively re-wrote the entire book. Oh, and the 50 or so pages from the inspired material from course work and DMAIC training, those were deleted, only to be re-written, and deleted again. Perhaps a 2nd edition of the book in the future will incorporate these concepts as I grow as a writer.
But, onward I read, researched, studied, wrote, modified, deleted, added, and so on. In all, the entire book had an estimated 450 pages of material that was deleted and rewritten down to 248 pages. Roughly 200 pages were erased from the manuscript as the questions above began to reveal the insufficient need and fit. This process lasted from August to the first week of November. During this time, I read the book start to finish an estimated 20-25 times, modifying every-single-time I passed through.
During the writing of the final chapter, I began thinking of titles of the book. The original title was The Leadership Alignment Theory, and then it was The Leadership Alignment Model. Later, I changed the title to The Leader’s Journey to Optimization, and then to the Pathway to Leadership Optimization. However, the final title chosen was The Optimized Leader. During this time, I also began looking at ways to get the book published. Traditional publishing for a ‘nobody’ author is not impossible, but the success rate is in the single digits for my kind of book (2-3% as I recall). But, I located four companies to co-publish with and heavily engaged with two of them while researching the other two extensively. The original goal was met, to be accepted into the initial company I researched. This acceptance finally came in November as I was finishing my final pages and preparing to read the book for what would become roughly five more times.
I finished the book, formatted it, re-submitted my final versions and sent it in to only find my formatting was far from over. Fortunately though, I had found out a lot of key tips in formatting from my research of companies for publishing, so the process was marginally less painful.
Every page, every indent, every header, page number, spacing, etc. had to be reviewed – again. And, yes, they were all adjusted, on every single page. And the images all had to be re-drawn in the computer program I used; an equally tedious process.
After all submitted updates, I estimate upwards to 15 modified manuscripts. At present there are not only multiple formats (doc, PDF, HTML) and multiple versions, but there is also an eReader version, and two versions of accompanying workbooks (about to be three versions). Then, of course, the images needed reformatted – again – to fit the formatting requirements (which I had chosen the format to start with, without knowing the extensive alterations required for the print sizing). After all the work, the book ended with 248 pages.
Completion of the book, however, leaves me with a rather ’empty’ feeling. After devoting a nightly effort of many hours of writing, I had finally completed the writing phase. The next phase: marketing the book. Marketing a book is something that is required for any author. This is especially the case for a new author. Publishing groups and their distributors don’t exactly put your book in hands at the checkout line. An image and brand needs development for success. This phase is in progress currently.
The whole process is like a relationship. It starts as a few seeds of thought, a loose outline, some roughly drawn together pieces, endless editing and re-writing (and deleting sections for the sake of quality of the production). Then, as the picture becomes clearer that the book is painting, a sense of joy comes with it as you have molded something into a piece of (nerdy) art. And, as it continues to develop, I feel proud of the ‘book’ more than ‘myself’.