A Myriad of Components Shape Book-Writing Process

Next year Sylvia will release a new book currently titled: “Two Minutes to Executive Excellence.” We’re following Sylvia through this journey with a series of blog posts. This post is the second in the series. To read the first blog, click here.

Please tell us about the individuals who would benefit most from your upcoming book, “Two Minutes to Executive Excellence?”

I am writing this book specifically and exclusively for persons in executive or management positions at work.  While other professionals may find some sections of the book to be useful, executives and managers will find it most valuable because it speaks directly to them.

Tell us some things you’re learning about the process of writing a book.

I am learning that writing a book requires certain knowledge about a number of things.  I have never worried about the actual writing, because I am a writer at heart and have published hundreds of articles in various places over many years.  My greatest concerns have focused on book structure, front cover design, back cover content and design, interior page design, and publishing companies.  Since this is my first book, I don’t know a lot about these kinds of things yet.  But—I am learning week by week.  For example, I now understand that business related books should probably feature red or blue (or both) on the front cover because these are the colors that prospective buyers of these types of books expect.  I’ve also learned that a powerful testimonial from someone with notoriety in my industry should appear at the top of the back cover.  Getting this testimonial requires me to follow a particular proven process to ensure success.  I want to share, too, that I am compiling a list of 50-100 possible subtitles for my book.  Eventually I will select five of my favorites and send them to perhaps 25 people who represent my target readers so they can “vote” on their preferred subtitle.  Why must I do that?  Because people buy books based upon titles and subtitles along with the content on the back cover.  It’s critical that I land upon a subtitle that truly attracts potential buyers.

Can you share something of the contents of the book? For example, the title of some of the chapters and an average page count.

Each chapter focuses kaleidoscopically on one aspect of executive/manager responsibility such as professional image, supervision/talent retention, time management, difficult people, conflict, healthy workplace culture, leadership language, stress, personal limitations, and risk management.   What I really want to emphasize here is that my intention is to provide readers with MY BEST THINKING around each of these topics based upon more than three decades of learning and experience.   Chapters will be easy to read, filled with a smorgasbord of strategies and provocative questions to ponder.   They will conclude with a call to action, a suggestion for readers to implement in order to get better or different results in that topic area.   At this point, I have not yet finalized specific chapter titles.  As for the length of each chapter, I currently envision an average of 5-7 pages.  However, this will depend upon the physical size of the book, obviously.

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