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Innovation Insights
by Stephen Shapiro

manuscript web

Want to Help Me Write My Next Book?

Yesterday I submitted the manuscript for my next book to early readers. Although this is book number seven, I am using a different strategy than I have in the past.

The big influencers were two books I read on the writing process:

Write a Must Read by AJ Harper is a truly fantastic book. The key concept reinforced throughout is, “Don’t write about something, write for someone.” Simple yet brilliant. Figure out your ideal reader and then make sure everything you write solves their pain. Her suggestions on the editing process are also extremely helpful, even to seasoned authors.

The second book I loved was Write Useful Books, by Rob Fitzpatrick. The key takeaway from this one is that you want to get feedback early and often. Typically, I write the book, bring in professional editors, and then get feedback. For this book, I have my beta reader involved before any professionals have looked at it.

I just sent the manuscript off to about a dozen of my most trusted innovation partners. Clients, innovation experts, and others I truly respect.

I recall reading in Rob’s book that if you don’t feel nervous and embarrassed when sending out the manuscript to early readers, you’ve waited too long. Well, my stomach was churning when I emailed it yesterday, so I guess that good.

My goal for this book is to create something that is so powerful and useful that anyone in business (especially those directly involved with innovation, strategy, or leadership) can get some sanity in a world of constant spinning and pivoting.

You will notice that I don’t have a title yet. Normally I would love to have one by now, but I am comforted by the fact that we didn’t have a title for “Best Practices are Stupid” until a few weeks before we went to press. I’ll wait for the right title. I do love the titles, “Write Useful Books,” “Write a Must Read,” and “Best Practices are Stupid.” All of these are descriptive, with the last one being a little in your face.

I plan to share the process and progress here as I move forward, just in case it will be helpful to others.

What does this mean to you?

Given I am looking for feedback throughout the writing and editing process, I am looking for people who are willing to lend a hand. People who will take the time to read the entire book and provide honest input.

I am limiting the number of people who can be involved as I can only process so much feedback. Also, for the early rounds, I am primarily looking for input from individuals who are in leadership roles at larger organizations.

If you are interested in participating, contact me. I will respond to everyone who writes. But as stated above, I will only be selecting a handful of individuals to who meet certain criteria.

Even if you don’t want to read it, or if you don’t think you quality, I hope to hear from you! It’s always nice getting an email from people who read this blog. Let me know what you are working on!

Thanks in advance for your help in making my next book as valuable as possible!