Posted September 10, 2018 by Mark Perna
Writing and publishing my first mainstream book has been an incredible journey. When I sat down to write Answering Why, it wasn’t even called that yet. I had no idea that the writing portion, intense as it was, was actually going to be the easy part!
The publishing world is complicated, to say the least. I did not know what I didn’t know, which was a lot. Between writing the book, looking for an agent, reaching out to get endorsements, connecting with publishers, creating and executing a comprehensive marketing plan, interviewing PR firms, and so much more, I never imagined the sheer amount of work it would take to bring a book to a national audience.
Having said that, writing and publishing Answering Why has been a wonderful experience filled with tremendous growth, both personally and professionally. And I couldn’t have done it on my own. I’m incredibly grateful to the many talented individuals who contributed to this chapter of my life.
I was recently asked by an interviewer what I see when I look at the finished book. Looking at the copy of Answering Why I held in my hand, I simply said, “I see a million decisions.” Every bullet point on the outline required a decision. There were countless choices as to the precise wording of each sentence. I chose to rewrite several significant sections halfway through the process. There were choices about the best way to adapt the flow of the book around each new idea and strategy that was included.
Not to mention the decisions I had to make about the book as a whole, from the cover design, title, and subtitle to the endorsements used and what form the physical book would take in its hardcover, ebook, and audiobook formats. Writing a book encompasses a million small details that all mount up to the finished version that will be officially released next week on Tuesday, September 18. Whew!
As I look over the landscape of the last two and a half years spent writing and preparing Answering Why for publication, I am thrilled to have reached this point. We are on the cusp of publication and in some ways it almost feels anticlimactic! The real labor has been spread out over these last several years in between my work growing our TFS business, delivering keynote speeches across the country, and consulting for my amazing clients. We’ve never been busier.
I’m a huge believer in the power of ripples in the pond. Seemingly small things can have lasting and profound effects, far beyond what we may expect. Already, it has been deeply rewarding to see and hear the positive impact that Answering Why’s message has had on early readers and audiences as I speak across North America. Though I do not know where this book will spread, I am remarkably proud of the message it promotes and the ripples it has already created. And if it brings us closer to changing the paradigm for education and workforce development, this incredible journey has been worth every step.