Monday, August 29, 2011

Ten billion dollar disasters so far this year!

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is reporting that Hurricane Irene is the tenth one billion dollar disaster this year.  And we are just at the beginning of the hurricane season!

Despite New Yorkers' grumblings that they actually had to go out and spend money on water and canned goods, it's to be hoped that folks wise up -- as my friend Shelby says, "this year could be the new normal."

And there's more coming, so the investment far outweighs the inconvenience


Sunday, August 28, 2011

More coming!

Evidently I need not worry about missing the big storm -- there are more coming.  Just need to be sure the book hits the shelves while it's still hurricane season.

It's astounding to me that people don't pay attention to directions from their emergency management officials.  If we didn't have FEMA and local emergency management, recovery would be impossible in affected areas.  Surely the events of this past week on the East Coast has made that clear?

Take a look at this news story.  How can I market my book to these people?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene.

The earthquake earlier this week and now Hurricane Irene make me wish that my timing on publishing this book had been accelerated by a month.  Who knows how many people could have been helped with the Emergency Preparation information in the first chapter?

Making a plan, building an emergency kit, signing up for alerts on the weather and from your city's emergency management office -- none of those things take much time or money. 

In the meantime, it's worth it to read everything you can about how this hurricane is handled so you can increase your own level of preparedness at home and at work.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Eye of the Needle.

Two of seven reviewers have already sent back their comments!

Emily's working her last magic on the manuscript, managing the risk of conversion into an entire different program.  Jesse gets the hand-off very soon. Emily pointed out this morning that she never could have known when she became an ASA intern last October that she would actually participate in the creation of a book.

I'm interviewing candidates for the ASA academic year internship today and over the weekend.  We've added a few new responsibilities this year, including support and maintenance of a new Office 365 site to manage work; and (voila!) support for the book's launch and marketing campaign.

It's going to be an interesting autumn!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

On its way.

Emily worked late into the night to prepare the PDF for the book's reviewers.  I sent it on this morning, noting for myself and for Emily a few more refinements before passing it on to Jesse tomorrow.  But it's clear as today's sky that this is a real book.  Though I knew that all the time, I am sure of it now.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Earthquakes and hurricanes.

Both types of natural events come in different sizes and shapes.  Evidently our West Coast brethren have been belittling the 5.8 quake that hit the East Coast yesterday.  Once folks in New York and Washington DC figured out that we were not under attack and that it was an earthquake, it became for most merely an inconvenience.  It spread a great distance north from its origin in a small town in Virginia.

Please note that no one on the East Coast has been trained to "drop, cover and hold"  for an earthquake.  It's doubtful that you could keep anyone in Manhattan working inside a high rise when they remember 9/11.

This weekend, the East Coast is looking at a plausible second event this week and making  Hurricane Irene preparations.

If you're a business located on the East Coast, this ComputerWorld article titled  "Hurricane Earl: Tips to Batten Down IT" from last fall might be of interest.  The advice in it from me and others is as good now as it was then.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The rhythms of publishing

I was wrong when I said last week that the worst was over. There's always always more.  A bit of exhaustion accompanies each phase of rewriting.  It is as if energy rises or falls according to what I am asking of myself and others.  Intense energy was required to drive through manuscript revisions -- thirteen of them from when the counter was turned on  -- via three different sets of critical eyes.  

Molly did an amazing job on the edits, which took more than three times the number of hours I had estimated.  Next round is Emily's, to fix technical issues and prepare the manuscript for its two trajectories, described in the last post.

Jesse Brown has a front cover design we like a lot.  He will be working on the interior design, which while the book is out for review.  Then the last step before sending it off to CreateSpace will be to design the back cover of the book, selecting blurbs and nailing other details down.

We're still ahead of schedule.  I say that somewhat tentatively.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The hardest part is done.

This morning I had the pleasure of shipping off the manuscript to Molly Martin, who will do the final edit with suggestions for the book.  Lauren and I put long hours in to get the manuscript to this point, and we're grateful Molly could fit this job in.  She's a strong writer and editor, and has a good sense of my voice from the work that she did on the ASA website.  It's good to be working with her again.

When the manuscript comes back, we turn around and send it in its Word layout to the seven back-of-the-book blurb writers to read and determine if they actually want to say something.  At the same time, the manuscript goes to the book designer, who can begin on design of the interior while waiting for the blurbs. He is currently working on the design of the cover.

Once Jesse Brown, the designer, is done and has put it in PDF format, I ship it to Amazon's CreateSpace publishing division, and then sit back and wait for a proof.  Since it's not being printed on a Gutenberg press like the one in the illustration, we're almost there and the end is in sight.  All the rest of the work here is collaborative,  a pleasure.  The hardest work is over.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Writing a book.

Once you become an executive, you are prized for your ability to write short and sweet, in paragraphs that form an executive summary that other executives can understand.  In the past two years at Annie Searle & Associates LLC, I've continued to write short pieces, either monthly columns or research notes that are 300 words or so.

Now I'm coming down to the wire on a book manuscript for which I have created deadlines that back up to the Northwest's largest book event, the Northwest Bookfest on October 1-2.  The name of the book is Advice From A Risk Detective: At Home, Online And On The Road.

The book stems from a desire to influence a larger audience than I can reach in my professional work with corporate clients.I want the book to be small and handy, a reference book rather than a scholarly work. It's written for you and everyone else you know, in plain English. It discusses how to handle your personal risk at home, at work, on the Internet, and in the world while traveling.

And things are coming along pretty well, except that I can't work on it full time at this point.  Emily has been assisting me with the manuscript as a sort of zen master of Microsoft Word.   Three specialists who helped build the ASA website are back in the saddle to bring  in the best possible book -- Lauren has been working with me for nearly two weeks, reshaping some thematic elements in the book and directing the rewrites; Molly from First and Union will recommend final edits; and Jesse, who designed ASA's look and logo, will design the book cover and make the interior presentation exceptional.

When everything is all done, we'll ship the book as a PDF to Amazon's new independent publishing service called createspace.  I'll have a commercial bookpage on Amazon, and it will be printed and shipped within two business days of an order of any size.

I do have to say that writing a book and growing a business at the same time have put me right at the edge of my comfort zone.  This next month will be quite interesting as we find out whether my deadline is realistic.  Either way, I'll be thinking through how best to manage my personal risk.