Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Building a team

This one is going to be tough for a lot of you aspiring to be writers out there. Many of us writer types are introverted and private by nature. I think that comes with the territory. Still, from my experience so far, this has made a huge difference for me. Maybe I'm lucky, but maybe not too. Maybe this just has to do with having the right attitude.

After I finished writing the book, came the question, "what next?" Well, first of all I knew I needed to edit the book, but even more importantly, I needed opinions. Was it any good? I thought so, but since I wrote it, I'm biased. I needed some slightly more unbiased opinions. Naturally I reached out to friends and family, but obviously there will still be some bias there, because they want to be supportive. So I took a chance offering it out to some gaming friends on facebook. These were people I didn't know at all. I also made it available to some people who were in the same yahoo group as me. I've had mixed results with that experiment but let me offer this advice. Don't send anyone the PDF to anyone unless they have an e-reader like a Kindle or Nook. It became obvious to me that well-meaning people who thought they would sit down in front of their laptop and read it, really couldn't find the time.

My best friend and web designer, Mark Buckley, offered to help me with the book as sort of a side project. His wife Janet graciously agreed to do the editing. Reviews came back and, while there have been some minor criticisms, the response has been positive and encouraging. The side project has evolved into a team since we started working on it. This team consists of me and my wife, my brother Denny and his wife, Berny, and the aforementioned Mark and Janet. We all have very different personalities and I think that has been crucial to the dynamic of the team. We put together a business plan and started working towards weekly or bi-weekly goals. Everybody gets homework to take home.

Now, it helps to have a detail-oriented, spreadsheet-loving business manager like my friend Mark. Seriously though, if he could bottle up what he has and sell it to other aspiring authors, I would recommend it highly. You have to work on all those little goals, though. Being able to check off all the small accomplishments helps you get closer and closer to your ultimate goal, which is getting published. If I had tried to do this all myself, well, let's just say it would have been messy. If at all possible, build that team of people who believe in you and your book. I don't recommend trying to go it alone, and you know that is what most of you are doing. Good luck.

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