I am really, really happy that this week my book is finally going to be published. The digital edition has been ready for a while and the first proof of the print version arrived this week, so it’s starting to feel real. Yesterday I added the ISBN to the cover design and ‘BOOM!’ – it felt like a proper book.
Publishing a book feels scary. It took me nearly two years to write, although I started with years of blog posts and presentations to draw on. I rewrote pretty much all of the material I already had, cutting and editing along the way. If you have followed the progress of the book or read any of the draft chapters I published along the way, you will know just how much of an evolution this project has been through.
Even after the editing process was finished, I found an error in the introduction, and fortunately there was time to get it fixed and the files updated. I am sure the print edition will include some typos, too. So I am making a list of things to fix in the 2d edition.
It’s not perfect, that’s for sure, but I am proud of this piece of work. It’s useful and interesting and an attempt to grapple with issues that many in leadership roles will be familiar with. Obviously I want it to be well-received and reflect positively on ALT, as so much of the inspiration and case studies are focused on my work there. I appreciate it enormously that the book’s digital edition is published by ALT as an Open Access publication. Sharing knowledge is after all what this book is all about.
I also feel a little sad, to let the book enter the public domain. Since I started working on it, it’s been my project, mine to nurture and progress. It’s been my focus on days off, evenings and weekends and a writing holiday. Sure, I have published extracts along the way, and I have shared some of the resources from the book on radio, in my podcast and the Hacks for Hybrid Working course. And the book has bee read by colleagues and Trustees who helped review it. In some ways, there is little in the book that isn’t already out there.
Once the book in its entirety is out, then it belongs to all who read it. It becomes lots of different things to many people and they make their own meaning, shaped by their experiences and context. I am excited to see how the book may be used or interpreted by others and I hope that the related resources, blog posts and podcasts will help make it a valuable resource.
Meanwhile my thoughts have started to turn to the course which I will run in spring 2023, offering a practical approach to leading virtual teams #excited.