Opting In: Book cover I wrote a book!

Last night, I finished the draft of the concluding chapter for my forthcoming book, which I announced in July.

Opting In: Lessons in Social Business from a Fortune 500 Product Manager
now moves from authoring to editing.

Having never written a book before, I had no real expectations of how the process of drafting would proceed, especially as a nights-and-weekends project. The first few chapters unfolded slowly. I had to adjust to writing in book style and voice, rather than blog style and voice. Once I was able to turn that corner, the subsequent chapters unfolded rather quickly.

Scott Good, an IBM business partner, blogged last week that his first book was complete and now available. Scott has labored over the book for years. I said to Scott that having completed this draft of my non-fiction book, he had earned my respect, as the creative writing for a novel must surely be harder work. Scott responded that at least he didn't have to worry about being factually accurate. Touché.

I love the creative process that has brought me this far in this journey. The book's title, along with the cover art you see here, was a collaborative effort between the publisher, myself, and some friends and family. I have to say that the book first felt real the day that IBM Press sent over some sample artwork. They say you can't judge a book by its cover, but the cover can do a heck of a motivational job.

The table of contents for the book appears below. It's a draft, of course, so things could change, but this is the general outline. The audience, as I've stated previously, are product and brand managers, marketing professionals, line-of-business managers, and IT leaders. I hope to have something for all of them, though the primary focus is on product management.

Here's a paragraph describing the intent of the book:

You can increase your individual potential and success by incorporating the methods and tools discussed in Opting In on your product/brand management journey. You will influence more authoritatively and lead more effectively. You will increase awareness of your product or service and make it more successful. You will have more fun, and find new contacts and friends. And you will remind yourself why you got into product management in the first place -- to make a difference.
I am sure I will say this more than once, however, as these volunteers came exclusively through edbrill.com readership and connection, it's worth starting the gratitude right away. First and foremost, to family and friends who have enthusiastically supported this project since the start, and especially my wife and children who have put up with some late nights and a little distraction. As we move into editing, I am sure there will still be moments of apology and interruption...

Thank you to the following star individuals who volunteered to contribute and were so easy to work with. It was great to have your participation. Thank you for your timely contributions:
  • Bruce Elgort
  • Amy Hoerle
  • Paul Withers
  • Michael Sampson
  • Joyce Davis
  • Brian O'Neill

Opting In
table of contents:
Introduction
Chapter 1 Why social business?
Chapter 2 The social product manager
Chapter 3 Self, product, or company
Chapter 4 Offense or defense
Chapter 5 Picking a fight
Chapter 6 Activate your advocates
Chapter 7 Tools of the trade
Chapter 8 In real life
Chapter 9 Social inside the organization
Chapter 10 Risk management in social business
Chapter 11 Putting Opting In into practice


It was important for me to finish the manuscript this week, both because of the timeline to get the book in print -- in Q1 of 2013 -- and because of my appearance at Social Media Week in Chicago tomorrow, September 27, on a panel called, "The New Leadership Imperative: A Social CEO". There are five spots left to attend, as of this morning...

More updates on the book in the weeks ahead as the editing and production process take over from here.

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