BUSINESS AT THE SPEED OF NOW is available in all formats at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, 800-CEO-Read and other outlets where fine books are sold.
This Thanksgiving we had something special to be thankful for: a life’s dream of writing a book came to reality a mere two days before the turkey hit the hot oil.
While my first book, BUSINESS AT THE SPEED OF NOW was scheduled to begin shipping December 6th, it actually started arriving at readers’ homes and offices on Tuesday, November 22nd. That same day Amazon released the Kindle version and I received a box of 50 copies at my home for family and friends. Over the coming weeks Wiley will be releasing the book in Europe, Australia and Asia. An audiobook is also in production.
Two years ago this Thanksgiving I was in the middle of writing a manuscript which I then sent to an accomplished literary agent in the spring of 2010. He hurdled back a note that said I had “managed to obscure some interesting ideas” in it, the beginning of a rather interesting collaboration with a man to this day I have never met in person, Michael Snell. The original misguided manuscript was never talked about again – it died a quiet death. Early on Michael suggested I do some work with a woman named Betty Rausch, a woman he called the “marketing babe” who lives in New York City. Michael told me she would help me better think through my messaging and positioning. Boy, did he call that right. Betty was a gift and the “Now” concept emerged from our many dialogues.
For six months Michael ran me through what seemed like a blind obstacle course. At times I though he would never be satisfied. He was demanding and rarely offered encouragement– he just pushed me harder and harder. At times I didn’t think he could ever be satisfied. I can remember one day I was convinced it was done after four-and-a-half months of hard work. Michael knocked me off my pedestal and told me we were about “a quarter of the way.” I remember telling my wife that I didn’t think I could every meet his high standards. I was ready to quit, exhausted, stressed and tapped out. But of course I didn’t.
Three weeks later, out of the blue, Michael told me we were done. I about fell out of my chair out of sheer relief.
Remember, this was just the book proposal! The book had not yet been written.
Well Michael — I can now see — was challenging me to create a great book. He saw something in me I didn’t and maybe couldn’t see. He was testing to see if I had the true conviction to do the work it took to do something extraordinary.
He knew what he was doing. We sent the proposal out at 7:30 one Friday morning 14 months ago. I will never forget the literal rush of adrenalin I had when my cell phone rang two hours later. We had our first offer. Within two weeks we had two more publishers interested in the book. We were blessed to be in the position to choose, and we chose John Wiley & Sons, the largest independent U.S. publisher of books. My agent, who has taken some 800 books to market in his career, had never enjoyed such a fast and abundant response.
More than six months later, after the completed manuscript had been submitted to Wiley with lots more help from my now collaborator Michael, I finally heard what he thought of the proposal. Out of the blue I received a call from a Portland, Oregon (where I live) business colleague, who told me he had come across Michael in his pursuit to find a literary agent. As this person was anxious to learn more about book proposals, Michael offered him a link to “the best book proposal” Michael had ever been involved with. It was mine.
It’s been an interesting journey with many wonderful twists and turns, but I am sure it has only just begun.