In my last post, I began the story of how my new book came to be written once Kathy and I realised that we had the beginnings of something potentially very useful in the notes we had made pre, during and after a team dynamics workshop in Belfast. I also promised that I would provide you with the final part of the story, how we achieved the seemingly impossible and how I made a solemn vow to never, never, never do one particular thing ever again!
So there we were, with some very interesting notes but we realised quite quickly that it wasn’t enough in itself. We had one of those frightening ‘so what’ moments. The notes were a good starter but they weren’t going far enough to explain what we had in mind. We had to create a reason for people to want to dive in, to identify themselves from among the animal types we were offering and to use that knowledge to move themselves forward in their careers. Our next inspiration was to ask a colleague to produce some illustrations for the animal types. What came back changed the mood of the book entirely as they were simply brilliant, using humour to highlight the various personality characteristics we were discussing.
After that, things moved quite quickly, allowing us to add further ideas, rearranging chapters until we created a useful ‘flow’ of information about how we all approach, and are affected by, the people we meet at work; how we could and should deal with any issues which arise; how we can look after ourselves and deal with the stress we impose on ourselves and others; how we can develop our work abilities and develop our careers until, finally, we had a completed manuscript. That meant we were ready to publish.
The illustrations, of course, provided opportunity and challenge in equal measure. It seemed perfectly obvious to use the dinosaur illustration with the title on the cover so this meant finding a professional cover designer. Not too difficult with sites like Elance and, although Transatlantic conversations were not my idea of heaven, we got a great result and the cover is brilliant. The content set-up for the paperback version also went fairly smoothly but then the real problems began. Which brings us to the thing I will never, ever do again. If I ever mention that I might do another book with illustrations please ask the nice men in white coats to come and lock me away. The nightmare of getting the book set up as an e-book with those illustrations was not one I will ever forget or willingly repeat.
However, after oodles of grief, we finally had our print copies in hand and arrived at launch day and sending out complimentary copies. As the book deals with animal types, we had made our dedication to the great Carl Linnaeus and were lucky enough to be able to launch the book at The Linnaean Society in London.
So there you have it, eighteen months in a few paragraphs and you might be wondering how the book is going. In a word – great! – with 5-star reviews and some very kind words being said about it. Putting the completed work out for other people to see is always a worry but that’s another story…….
I hope you will check out the ways in which ‘How to Spot a Dinosaur’ can help you with your workplace relationships and also help you to thrive at work. You can check out our 5* reviews or look at some sample chapters here on Amazon or some alternate ones here on the website. If you do decide to buy the book then please accept my grateful thanks and I know you will enjoy it.