What I learned from launching my first book

In case you hadn’t heard, exciting news first, my first book is launched! Here is the link to learn more about Welcome to Tomorrow: a beginner’s guide to technology. I want to share my hard earned insights from taking a year off to work full time on writing and self publishing this book. If you see a hyperlinked text below, its a gif, not a trap. Before we get into all of that please allow me to talk about why I wrote this book and what I’m attempting to accomplish.

Why the hell did you write a book?

Great question. It was a bar called Tribeca Tavern, a Tuesday night in early fall, NYC. The first words my wife ever said to me were direct and authoritative “Corey, put your phone down.” Prior to this point I’d met this woman, yet casually disregarded her due to my assumption that she was my friend’s fiance, whom had yet to arrive. I was very wrong, by the time my eyes met hers, I was hooked. By the time she requested Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice be played on the jukebox, I was in love. We spent the rest of that night engaging into the early hours of the next day, I played my best card – I requested that we swap jackets to ensure we saw each other again. It worked.

Well into our courtship we glowed with love that was visible to strangers and friends alike and we still do. The reason for this happiness was that we both motivated each other to exercise agency over our aspirations. You could say, an authorship of our lives.  Ashley will always be the first to tell you that she was not technologically inclined, in fact she downright hated it when I met her. I, like I imagine like a lot of yourselves grew up anticipating the next big technological development. From year to year, kilobytes to megabytes transitioned to gigabytes and I was there waiting with baited breath. One of the crucial lessons I’d learned throughout my education in technology was that it was always best to have a guide, someone with more experience to help you out with software or hardware. I knew that I had to help her understand. She now educates her friends on how convenient our Echo or Philips hue lighting is. Yeah, tech and its many incarnations has many flaws, but it also has a lot of promise as well.

Welcome to Tomorrow, is the culmination of a lifetime of recognizing the opportunity and risks in being a digital citizen and guiding people toward recognizing the same.

What the hell did you learn?

Actual Writing

  • Motivation needs to come from within, do not tell people that you’ve begun writing a book. It will trick your brain into feeling proud when your work is only just beginning.
  • There is no replacement for having something meaningful to convey. See also, motivation.
  • Understand who you’re writing or creating for, speak to them as you’d want to be spoken to.
  • The steps between editing and writing are intuitive, the timing is not. If its your first book, tell no one about timing.
  • Recruit an editor that understands and encourages your mission, bonus points if they’re experienced within your topic.
  • While its fairly easy to feel proud of chapter drafts, you will be tweaking until the final moments before your book launches. Maybe even after.
  • Know when to stop tweaking, a nip or a tuck to an image on page 32 can cause issues on page 37. Issues in formatting can sometimes cascade, especially if you’re new to software like  Adobe Indesign.

Past the Writing

  • Recognize when to put the phone down, you never know when you’re going to meet your tomorrow.
  • Creating imagery or licensing is as easy as ever, if your book has visual elements understand that creates a whole new ballgame when it comes time to format for print or ebook.
  • The cost of tools to produce a book have reduced dramatically, the skills honed while producing the book are still difficult to master.
  • The skills required to produce and market a book can all be honed and polished online for free.
  • The traditional publishing model is broken, between taking a very large cut of books sold and piss poor communication, you may end up waiting weeks or months to hear from an agency or a publisher.
  • That being said, it may be a good gig if you can get it. I don’t know for sure.
  • Whether you land a publisher or not, getting the word out via marketing would still be incumbent upon the author to plan and execute. Plan for that while you’re not telling people about the book you’re writing.

I’m still learning and digesting all that I’ve been learning over the past year. If you guy’s would like to see further updates I’d be happy to share! Time to go sell some books!

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