Publishing My Second Book, For Struggling Small Business Owners, Is On The Horizon
While I failed to complete my goal of finishing the Jump by end of 2018, I still made significant progress on my second book, getting me most of the way to the finish line.
During my December blogging break, I was inspired to continue working on the project after making significant progress on the cover (see below).
My goal now is finishing the manuscript, and reading through it numerous times digitally and in-print by the end of March 2019.
I'm also seeking small business owners and friends who are willing to read the book before its completed to provide feedback on making it better, and a review when it's eventually published. If you're interested, shoot me an email and I'll connect with you when I'm ready to share.
Let’s talk about the cover.
The Jump Cover
This cover is designed to convey a sense of energy and movement while also remaining simple and clear. The icons are designed to plant a mystery box to encourage the reader to flip the book over and learn what it’s about (Their meaning is revealed inside).
The headline and write up on the back is designed to personally and specifically connect with the overwhelmed "end of the rope" small-business owner. Ideally, this cover inspires them to open the book and scan the table of contents (Think Russian nesting dolls). From here, they should have enough to decide if this book is worth purchasing.
Book Title Tagline
I’ve had a few iterations of the slogan. The primary slogan initially was, moving the perpetually small business forward. While this phrase flows well, it’s also more ambiguous and confusing than I expected.
After exploring multiple options, the best flowing and the most accurate phrase is what’s on the cover above.
From chaos to clarity for your stalling small business.
Both the chaos to clarity and stalling small business flow really well. Unfortunately, I’ve had several folks have an issue with the word stalling. What business owner wants to acknowledge their company is stalling?
But, the phrase is super clear about the content inside the book so I’ve got to decide if this nerve striking word is going to help me reach my audience or push them away.
Other contenders in the mix are below.
- From surviving to thriving with your small business (good flow, too generic)
- From chaos to clarity for your struggling small business (faces the same challenge as stalling)
- From chaos to clarity for your striving small business (flows well, is positive, and mostly accurate)
- From chaos to clarity for 'end of the rope' small business owners (spot on, too wordy)
- From chaos to clarity for your small business (omitting the descriptor all together could work)
I’m still open to changing it, but I want a phrase that accurately depicts the content, flows well, and connects with the audience. Regardless of where we land, I know I'm close.
Here's another variation of the cover without the dotted black lines and using the word striving instead of stalling.
The Back Cover Summary Writeup
Rebuild Your Entrepreneurial Hopes & Dreams
Years after enthusiastically launching your small business, you've hit a wall. Feeling like every day is the same (or getting worse) as you frustratingly face the same challenges, you hopelessly drift away from a growing and sustainable business. The more you give, the more your company takes. What you believed would be a vehicle to help you fulfill your hopes and dreams has mercilessly done the opposite. And for the first time, you're seriously considering shutting down (or selling) the very company you've given everything to make work. Is there a future running your small business?
Several years after launching my company, I faced the overwhelming chaos of my life and small business, and began seriously wondering if I'd ever make it out alive. Imagining a thriving business seemed like a pipedream. But, with the help of others, I found and forged a new path; One that transformed our reactive and chaotic company into an intentional, proactive, and effective organization. We moved the business forward with an amazing team, solid offerings, wonderful clients, and a profitable operation.
In The Jump, I share your options as you look over the cliff's edge (as I once did). You can turn back, or make the leap. For those who choose to jump, I show four key steps, a transformational strategy, and a growth plan to empower you to successfully land on the other side. So what do you say? Will you make The Jump?
Wrestling With The Content
While a majority of the content in this book was already written (from blogging), it's been challenging mashing up all these sections into a coherent structure. Through the process last year, I was able to create the skeleton. The process of working on the cover gave me additional inspiration for the substructure within the larger skeleton.
Now, I’m working through harmonizing the sections. I’ve completed about 60% of this unification process. Once it’s done, the entire book will flow well, and it’ll simply be a matter of reading and re-reading it to make it better.
During this step, I'll also identify the gaps that need filling.
Goals For Publishing This Book
With Path of the Freelancer, my primary goal was to publish my first book (while helping other freelancers at the same time) as an act of worship (hence, the dedication to my heavenly father). It was God's grace, generosity, and abundance that made for a powerful and positive freelancing experience.
Back to the writing a book.
One of the hardest parts of authoring a book is thinking through the content inside. With Path of the Freelancer, most of what I wrote was already in my head, which is why I chose "freelancing" as my first book topic. I simply had to mentally pour it out and shape it into a compelling read.
With my second book, I'm in a similar position with a small variation. With The Jump, much of it was in my head, and I blogged it along the way. Where 10-20% of Path of the Freelancer was blogged prior to writing it, The Jump was 80% blogged before I began the process. It's a low hanging fruit that's mostly been written! And, it acts as a powerful experiment for blogging a book.
For The Jump, my publishing intention is two-fold. For those interested in working with me, this book is a great read for them to understand who I am, my approach, and how we'll be tackling their small business challenges. Simply put, it's a prospecting tool for my freelancing business. And, its one that generates income along the way.
Additionally, there are numerous people I've talked with over the years that have been unable to work with me because of the cost, my availability, or some other factor. This book allows me to help them when the context doesn't allow it.
Book Launch Date & Publishing Approach
With my goal of completing the book manuscript by spring, I anticipate publishing sometime in the summer or fall of 2019. With our student loans set to get paid off this summer, 2019 is shaping up to be another monumental year.
Also, while my intentions are to self-publish, I'm planning to reach out to a literary agent about the project. Now that I've published my first book, written my second, grown an online platform, and intend to publish many more books, there seems to be a strong case for exploring traditional publishing channels. While I suspect it may not lead to anything at this time, it will at least move me forward on that road.
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