On Monday, I will publish the last draft material from my forthcoming book, Welcome to the Fifth Estate, a case study from a familiar face in the online business world, but this time showing a fascinating new development. For all intents and purposes, after drafting that case study today the book will be completed and in the editing processes. Thank you to the many folks who have helped me get there.
Next up are a few things. As I am expecting the birth of my first born child over the next few weeks, there will be an intentional slow down on blogging. Next week will be my last full week of blogging, and then I will scale back significantly in November. It’s time to be present for this moment in time, one that at 38 years old, I am extremely grateful to see.
In December, I will resume a more frequent pace of blogging. Now that the book is completed, I intend to return to a once a week post on the environment, probably on Fridays. I see this as a personal commitment that I have dedicated time and energy to for the past couple of years. It’s important to resume this focus now that the Fifth Estate has been drafted. The environmental crisis is the most important issue of our time, in my opinion, and it cannot be ignored.
Reflections on the Book
I actually thought writing a second published book would be easier (actually it’s my fourth, I have two unpublished novels, too). Au contraire. After the criticism for the first book, I found myself extremely focused and even anal about how the text would be presented, and what information was included. Worse, while I was much more precise in my time usage and method, the energy was that much more intense, too, creating a personal drain.
Whether or not those measures have produced a better book will ultimately be in the eyes of the marketplace next Spring. Now Is Gone was generally well reviewed, but frankly, I think this book is much better. It’s got about five years of hardened strategy and tactical social media experience coupled with another five years of business ownership and 17 overall years of communications experience in it, most of it in the technology space. As a repeat award winner in online media, I think this kind of experience-based thought is a huge differentiator.
In private, I have been referring to it as my Art of War book. In a nutshell, it focuses on getting an organization (biz or NPO) ready to build, then though architecting and sustaining a successful social media strategy. I don’t think I will ever have to write another book about conversational media again. I left it all on the table.
And while yes, it is “just another social media book” I’m pretty sure people will put it down thinking they just got almost everything they could want from a 150 page primer. And that Welcome to the Fifth Estate is better than almost everything else out there in the marketplace.
Blogging a Book and Free
Many of you know that significant swaths of draft material are on this blog, free for your taking. Why would anyone give away their intellectual property for free?
Well, yes, I am a tenant of creative commons and free content as a means to build a business (and have done so successfully twice, I might add), I actually wanted feedback. Three different responses were actually incorporated in the book, and Ike Pigott renamed the book based on his feedback.
Also — particularly in social media — I know a lot of authors write books to build business authority and thought leadership stature. Certainly, these are great benefits of being an author. But what a successful book really does is disseminate ideas into the marketplace. When you see how this book is marketed in April, I hope you’ll note that this is my primary intent — injecting best practice ideas into the larger marketplace.
Ideas are meant to be disseminated, not owned. If people attribute these Fifth Estate blog posts or the ideas in the book to me great. If not, great. In fact, you will see well over 100 citations in the book, so many of the ideas reported in the Fifth Estate are actually other people’s ideas. The point is these ideas are meant to empower YOU to do great things!
Again, thank you for your support as I wrote the book.