General

My Journey from Ideation to Publication

The following are the words of John Regep, author of Rowing with One Oar. For more information on John or his book, find him on LinkedIn. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.

I published a business book about management and leadership with the guidance of Archway Publishing and would like to share my journey from ideation to seeing my work, “Rowing with One Oar, Lessons in Delivering Greater Value While Remaining Competitive”, available at all major online booksellers.

The Inspiration for the Title

It started with a phrase I used at work to describe the struggles my team was going through. “It’s like rowing with one oar,” I said out of frustration. We were tasked with an important assignment but didn’t have all the tools we felt were required to be successful. We eventually accomplished what needed to get done, but only after performing many workaround steps and many trial-and-error attempts.

That phrase kept running through my head during a family vacation. When I returned home I sat down and wrote a short parable “The One Oar Rowboat” about an employee that one day gets a new oar that’s supposedly three times better. Even though he protests that the boat was built with two oars in mind, the boss disregards anything the employee has to say and only complains that the employee is rowing in circles.

The story continues with the boss hiring a consultant who solves the problem by adding a rudder, a helmsman, and navigator. Let’s just say that costs keep rising without adding value.

I posted the story on LinkedIn, which was met with many ‘likes’ and comments but really didn’t get the attention of the people who could benefit from the story. An inner voice compelled me to expand on the story and discuss each part to create a conversation that can help companies perform better.

From LinkedIn Post to Published Book

I felt I wanted a wider audience than my connections on LinkedIn, so I put the expanded version in the form of a book. I contacted some former leaders that I worked with in the past to solicit their honest opinions, with their suggestions and encouragements I refined it and set out to get it published.

I was very naïve. The first thing I learned was that publishers no longer read manuscripts for possible publication, they only work with authors that have agents. Agents only work with authors that have a ‘platform’ (a new term for me that I think means already published and/or is already famous in one way or another.) After spending 6 months writing “query letters” (another new term) and getting nowhere with agents, it occurred to me that if I believed in my work then I should be the one investing in its publication. Why would I expect strangers to invest the time to read my manuscript then invest in editing, design, and publicity when I wouldn’t invest in it myself?

Finding Archway Publishing

What do I know about publishing? Nothing. That’s far from my expertise and experiences. I researched self-publishing and am very fortunate to have found Archway Publishing. Right from the beginning, reading their web page, I felt they were the ones for me. There are many firms out there, but Archway’s model is open, honest, and affordable. They present the options and pricing right up front, in a way that is understandable to a new author and they follow through in a timely manner.

I took the option that included a concierge who guided me through every step, from the initial manuscript review, multiple editing options, cover and interior design, all the way through to publishing. I am now an author of a book that is available at all major online booksellers. I couldn’t be happier.

Of course, my family, friends, and coworkers are excited, their interest and great reviews are encouraging, but the real test is with the general population. Here too, Archway is guiding me. Not only with the Author Learning Center and their advice on marketing to increase sales, they also arranged the advertising with a major online retailer that should reach half a million potential readers. All my work in social media has only produced 1,500 views, not quite the 500,000 I can get from working with Archway.

Obviously, if my inner voice ever dictates another book, I will turn to Archway Publishing again.

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