Thank you to Barb Sawyer for this
Why I love listening to you
One of the most fun and fruitful parts of revamping Write Llke You Talk--Only Better has been hearing what people think: about the bigger and better draft, how they used the first edition, the million and one possible subtitles, cover art and more.
When I started to revise, I changed the positioning to reflect comments from readers and workshop participants. I thought about how our web 2.0 world has supersized how much we write and read while transforming how we communicate. I thought about how this affects people whose careers and businesses are built on their expertise.
Because I wanted to make sure I was accomplishing my goals, I asked my newsletter subscribers to preview the new draft. I was thrilled by the many offers.
I was especially moved by the thoughtful and detailed feedback I received from people like Amy Sept, Liz Macgale and Jim Pagiamtzis.
I marvelled at the experiences of organizer extraordinaire Deanne Kelleher, whose story is featured in the new intro, and Mette Keating, who's using the book to write Waking Up the Zombies, about how the right office space can stimulate employees.
The secret to pulling ideas out of your head and onto the page, the new subtitle, was probably the most difficult group of 13 words I have ever written. I struggled with many, many catchy slogans. But people kept repeating that phrase. Thanks goodness, I was paying attention.
I also asked two groups, one professional communicators, the other small business owners, what they felt about two options for the cover blurb. Resoundingly, they went for the leaner version. Fortunately, the copy was so thin I could add a little flesh to respond to their comments and questions.
I was lucky to have Lucia Kuzminski of Outlook Research advising me on listening, filtering and responding.
Despite all these outside perspectives, sometimes I went with my gut. When I realized that the meadows and mountains of the cover templates offered by my publisher just would not do, I knew I had to head to the vanilla land of stock photography sites, where I'm usually marooned for hours.
But this time, there he was on the first page I viewed, the kid with the megaphone that you see on the upper right. The book talks about going to back to how you learned to communicate as a child. It talks about being heard above the crowd. What an easy decision.
As my designer puts the finishing touches on the cover, I'd love to hear more. If anyone has strong feelings about the photo or anything else, good or bad, please let me know. Last call.
PS Tip of the month: To improve your writing, listen.