The popping of a champagne bottle is the hallmark of most celebrations. This week we had such a fine moment in Amsterdam. We popped a bottle after signing our very first book contract at publisher Business Contact. It was an exciting and instructive journey to arrive to this day. But why did we decide to write a book? And why did we choose to work with this particular publisher?
Why we are writing a book
From the moment we started to share stories about our Corporate Rebels adventures we received plenty of suggestions and questions about a potential Corporate Rebels book. At first we laughed at those remarks. But over time, we became more and more enthusiastic about writing a book. So why did we decide to do it?
First of all, we are convinced that sharing the unique stories of the world’s most inspiring workplaces can inspire a significant change in the way we work. Currently, we use the blog, media articles, talks, workshops, and transformations to share the beautiful stories of amazing workplaces. The book is going to be another instrument to realize our mission to make work more fun. It has the potential to reach an even broader audience.
Secondly, a book is a great way to summarize, condense, and share the main findings of our research on progressive workplaces. It allows us to provide a clear overview of the trends, do’s and don’ts, best practices, myths, and other aspects of the organizations we’ve visited.
Thirdly, we love new adventures and writing a book certainly is one. There was, however, one tiny little problem. We didn’t know a damn thing about the publishing world or how to get a book published! Therefore, a few months ago, we started from scratch.
The search for a publisher
At first, we were in doubt about the way we wanted to publish the Corporate Rebels book. We were unsure if we wanted to publish the book through an established publishing house or if we wanted to publish it ourselves. We started our search on internet to learn more about the pros and cons of both approaches. After learning a bit, we talked to some writers who either published themselves or through a publishing house.
Still very much in doubt, we decided to contact a few publishers to gather more information. At that moment, the second problem arose: there wasn’t a manuscript. In fact, we didn’t even have the outlines of the book yet. How on earth could we find a potential publishing house if the content and ideas of our book were almost entirely unknown?
We decided to just give it a go. We made a list of five potential Dutch publishing houses that, in our opinion, would be the best match. After we identified our top targets we dropped them an email explaining our vision, our story (tip: namedropping helps!) and one simple request; would you be willing to meet to discuss the possibilities of publishing our future book?
Getting to know the publishers
Within no-time we received the answers in our inbox. Happily surprised we realized that there was interest to make the Corporate Rebels book come to life. Four out of the five publishing houses responded positively and invited us to discuss the possibilities. We decided to meet all four.
In a period of about two week we drove across Holland to meet with the publishing houses. We had pleasant talks, asked loads of questions and learned lots about the publishing world and about our own misconceptions. For example, for all of them not having a manuscript turned out to be an advantage, not a disadvantage. This way the publishing houses were able to contribute to how the Corporate Rebels book would be shaped.
In the end, we decided to work together with a publishing house for the Dutch market while self-publishing the English version (and potentially other languages). Why? Well, we can certainly use the help of experienced editors while writing our first book. Also, we had a great connection with the editors and we feel the collaboration will result in a higher quality book.
At the same time, we have a great platform and starting point to share the English version of our book. We’ll therefore have it translated ourselves to English and then publish it ourselves. Collaborations with other publishers are still a future option.
After talking to the four publishers it was time to make a choice. We shortlisted our two favorite candidates, and visited them once more to get to know them better, to explore their vision on our future book and to discuss the terms and conditions of the contract.
We made the final call and chose for the publishing house that gave us both the best feeling, and the one that we were most aligned with. We chose to publish the Corporate Rebels book with publishing house Business Contact. A firm that also publishes the works of Bucket List heroes and authors like Simon Sinek, Daniel Pink, Yuri van Geest, Stephen Covey, Malcolm Gladwell, and Peter Thiel. Pretty good company!
Into the writer’s cave
So far we have chosen our publisher, signed our book contract and celebrated it with champagne. This means we finished the easiest part of getting a book out there. Now, it’s time to start the writing process itself. With the book we aim to share our own adventures, but more importantly, the most important lessons we learned from visiting highly inspiring workplaces. We will combine beautiful stories of unique organizations with our own adventures and reflections. At the same time, we will focus on providing practical tips and ideas on how to create more engaging workplaces.
We expect the Corporate Rebels book to be in stores in March 2018. If you’re excited to receive our book, you can already put your name on the list and ensure you receive one of the very first copies. And of course, we’ll keep you updated on the progress.
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