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Self-publishing a book

Some of my friends have been asking me for tips on my experience in publishing my first book. So here is a post to describe my journey.

How it all started?

      In the beginning of this year, the Covid-19 pandemic had caused disruption worldwide.  Organizations are leaders were forced to come up with a workaround to tackle the situation.  Some companies implemented ‘Work from home’.  Other companies came up with Business continuity planning.  They split the workforce into groups and staggered the work timings so that social distancing could be maintained. 

       Here was an unforeseen event, a real-world experience for all of us.  I had this idea that I could talk to thought leaders in my network and learn from their experience.  So, I started contacting leaders and booking their time for a zoom conversation.  Every week I would have a call or two.  This went on for 3-4 months and I had talked to 23 thought leaders.  I listened carefully to their interesting personal anecdotes, their insights and invaluable advice.  Then, I transcribed the conversations, proof-read and edited them . 

Route to Publishing the Ebook

     I thought that it would be good to publish the conversations so that aspiring project managers and leaders worldwide could have a handy reference to these great insights.  I talked to some friends about publishing and after a lot of thought I decided to go the self-publishing route.    Leanpub is the best way in the world to publish a book while you are writing it. This is true whether you are writing a programming book, a business book or even a cookbook! The type of in-progress publishing  is called “Lean Publishing”. 

One of the most interesting features of the Leanpub storefront is the royalty rate authors earn: 90% minus 50 cents royalties per paid sale. On Leanpub, a $10 ebook sale earns $8.50 in royalties, and a $20 ebook sale earns $17.50 in royalties.

Putting it all together
      After putting the content together and reviewing it, I hired a graphic designer to design a cover and  illustration.  I happened to see the work of Agalya G. S (Noun & Verb) and I was impressed with her work.  After negotiating the price, she started work on the cover design and illustration.  After 2 weeks the cover design and illustration was complete.  Meanwhile, I had got my team to proof-read and edit the content. 

Review and Foreword

       I approached Sunil Prashara, CEO of Project Management Institute to write a foreword for my book.  I had my fingers crossed as he is a very busy person.  After a week, I got a mail from his office that he has agreed to write a foreword for my book.  I was really happy and honoured when I received the foreword from him

       I also approached some contacts in my network and sent them a free copy of my book so that I could get a review.  Daniel Oren from the US a reader kindly consented to write a review.

Paperback version

       Some friends told me that they preferred a paperback version.  So I worked on formatting the book and uploading to Kindle direct publishing on Amazon.  In 2-3 days, the publication was approved.  I also ordered some author copies and I am awaiting the delivery.

Marketing your book
It is not enough to learn how to publish a book and be done with it. You still have to take action even after your official launch. As soon as your book goes live, be sure to leverage your launch team and your audience to help you market your book! It may be odd to ask your fans and friends for help, but your fans are there to support your project and want to see you succeed.  I am leveraging social media (facebook, twitter, wordpress and Linkedin) to promote my book.

This journey from the conversations to print has been a very enriching experience for me.  I hope that this book will inspire my readers to lead with empathy, with purpose and holding steadfast to the values they believe in. 

Sajeev Kumar Menon is a PMP, PMI-ACP, Scrum Master, ITIL and Six Sigma Green belt certified professional who lives in Singapore. He has experience working with companies like HP, NTT Data and Seagate Technology in customer-centric roles like Project Management and Business Operations Management. He holds a Masters in Microelectronics degree from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He is a Distinguished Toastmaster (Toastmasters International), a certified facilitator and trainer and has delivered several speeches to corporate audiences and students. Sajeev has published a book of poems available on Amazon. Sajeev loves to coach, inspire and motivate people through his talks and speeches to perform at their best and to realize their hidden potential.

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