A lot of people ask me how long it takes to publish a book.
I wish I had the definitive answer. Let’s get perspective on the reality and why you might or might not need a traditional publisher.
It took one author a solid 15 years to publish her book because of the book’s complexity and because of the traditional Big 5 publishing process.
Note: Books That Matter is Tracking Wonder’s interview series that showcases influential thinkers’ and authors’ relationships with books that matter to them.
The times, they are a-harried. Yet the very act of reading books lets us shape meaning of our own lives’ dashing moments.
Today’s Books That Matter guest Jonathan Fields seems to live this truth. Jonathan’s life has evolved in myriad, beautiful ways – even in the few years I’ve had the pleasure to know him. The current tags he goes by – “entrepreneur” and “media producer” and “award-winning author” – seem like vehicles for how Jonathan ceaselessly makes meaningful experiences for himself as well as for the audiences he loves and engages. The kinds of books he’s shifted to writing, to reading, and to returning reflect Jonathan’s ongoing pursuit of meaning.
In this Books That Matter feature, Jonathan shares an astute prediction for the future of publishing as well as the two books – the philosophically profound and the playfully profound – he most often re-reads.
Here is what I cannot stop asking myself: How do people get through the inevitable challenge of writing and create their best work? What drives them?
Really, that question has driven me for years to experiment with, research, and create.
It’s driven me to track wonder.
It’s one thing to fall in love with a fantasy. It’s another thing to stand in love with a dream.
Members in the Tracking Wonder community and ecosystem are creating their best work. Like, every week. It’s a pretty astonishing to witness. They’re launching workshops, websites, writing books, poetry & building businesses.
But none of them are without challenges. Read more
So who’s your Story about?
I generally feel a wee bit disoriented right after shaping a book proposal.
What’s it worth? I wondered. What if my agent rejects it? What if this is all a fool’s errand? What have I done with my life? Okay, I don’t go quite that far.
Last time this happened, my six-year-old peeked in my study. She wanted to show me her outfit – a summer skirt and a short-sleever atop a long-sleever.
“I just couldn’t wait any longer to wear summer clothes,” she said as she twirled around the study. And at that moment, I remembered again why I’m writing this book, why I’m building Tracking Wonder, why I utterly adore engaging readers. Read more
Writing drafts is a process of discovery
You know, Michael Bungay Stanier didn’t write his elegant book The Coaching Habit in one draft. Or two. Or three. He wrote multiple drafts. In fact, he presented the book with multiple angles and in multiple structures to Workman Publishing, who had published his previous book Do More Great Work (that sold hundreds of thousands of copies) but to no avail.
Finally, after many attempts at getting his book published, Michael took matters into his own hands, hired his own publishing team, and published The Coaching Habit with his own Box of Crayons Press. Read more
How do we stay productive each day and each week while still feeling spacious with presence, delight, purpose? This comes up a lot when we discuss the process of writing your book.
“Productive” here references the quality that you’re moving forward on the projects and ideas that matter. And by “that matter” I mean the projects and ideas that light you up, that come from your own key drive (whether that’s novelty, mastery, impact, accomplishment), and that contribute in some way, great or small. Read more
You want to publish your book.
Whether you’re writing your first or fifth book, you fantasize about finishing that book, getting it into the hands and hearts of people who need it, and what might happen to your life and sense of fulfillment as a writer once that book is “out there.”
But you feel a tension. This tension is the gap between what you currently know and what your skill set is a present, versus what you might need to know and be able to do and create in order to reach that place you fantasize about.
That gap in knowledge can feel like a chasm.
That chasm’s enormity can take your breath away.
The self-masochism begins. Read more
During the past month, Tracking Wonder’s research assistant Gianna Kaloyeros has curated some of what we deem the most relevant studies, stories, and news that will help you and your team excel at having the most impact and influence via brand building, storytelling, and innovation.
– Jeffrey, Chief Tracker at Tracking Wonder
Four Reasons Every Startup’s Brand Needs Attention
With a personal account and wealth of advice from an entrepreneur and investor, Kumar Arora nails down the four biggest priorities for startups building their business. Don’t wait to start building the brand culture, he says, even in the infancy of the business. Among the four priorities is making sure your brand has a carefully considered name, builds customer loyalty, remains a source of inspiration, and sets your business apart from the competition. Kumar Arora @karora007
Guest Post by Erin Haworth, Tracking Wonder’s Systems Shark
The Remote Team’s Time Challenges
I’m fortunate to be Tracking Wonder’s operations manager and overseer of a dynamo team of remote contractors. It’s common for three or four team members to be working on one client’s brand story, strategy, website and online assets at any given time.
Projects like these require lots of coordination and lots of collaboration. But that’s not a simple task considering our team doesn’t work from a single brick-and-mortar studio. We need an entire team to operate on the same page even though we span 4 time zones, 6 states, and 2 countries.
Our projects also require we be responsive to each other and to our clients in a timely fashion. Again, not easy. But that’s what I do at Tracking Wonder – I track problems until I find a viable solution. Read more
Guest Post by Marisa Goudy, Copywriter and Storytelling Coach
“Creating in the midst of chaos is your superpower.”
When someone first said this to me, I took it as a compliment. I’m a mother, a business owner, and a creative. Chaos seems inevitable. It’s better to embrace the mad swirl of the full catastrophe than it is to resign yourself to a narrow, boring existence, right?
I’m not so sure any more. I’m not so sure all this chaos is as effective or enticing as it used to be.
WHEN CREATIVE CHAOS JUST BECOMES… CHAOS
Not so long ago, everything from entrepreneurship to parenthood seemed like an exciting, all-encompassing experiment. Each day dawned with new challenges and rewards. It seemed like a fool’s errand to try to limit such creative possibility with something as pedestrian as time management strategies.
Inevitably, layers of complexity forced me to shape those uncharted days into more structured routines. A second daughter, the elementary school calendar, the needs of an evolved business partnership, the tug of a novel, the launch of a podcast… Winging it stopped feeling “open-minded.” It began to feel amateurish and unsustainable.
But that addiction to chaos is tough to kick. It’s still tempting to go with the flow and wrest order from chaos by strength of will alone. They don’t pass out super powers every day, after all. If making it happen in the midst of a daily fire storm looks so impressive, why quit? Read more