I won’t write a book

I won’t write a book
Photo by Laura Kapfer / Unsplash

Instead, I will write multiple books. That's the short version of this newsletter.

Since October, I have released multiple versions of my crash course, teaching new managers essential skills to run their team. I took a lot of feedback, invested in a professional editor, and even designed my own cover. I also learned that people don't like covers with an axe on it.

Ultimately, I am satisfied with the outcome of the product. And yes, I am also proud.

Now that I am done with the first product, it's time to discuss the "big" book that I wanted to write for first-time managers.

The outline for the book was ready, and I still think everything in this outline is relevant for managers. But while starting to write about topics like feedback or motivation, I realized the depth of the single topics. Packing everything about feedback in one chapter isn’t right, and it also won’t be very effective for new managers. And the same is true for many topics in the book.

This left me quite frustrated and unsure about what to do with the project. I still continued working on it, but it didn’t feel right.

One day, I was sitting in the car on a long drive. Suddenly, a tweet from Hassan came to my mind.

That was the answer I was looking for: “Write shorter books”

I thought about this for a while, and it all made sense.

The initial idea was to write a field-guide for new managers. But that has already happened, I have published it. Everything on top of that would stretch the book to 150 pages and add no new value (except for bad jokes).

Everything that a manager needs after this introduction is specific to the situation they are in and requires depth. Depending on wether you build a team from scratch, take over an existing team, you will have to act entirely different.

The same goes for the cycle of a year, you require different skills depending on what you are doing. And here again, books specific to a topic like feedback or communication make more sense. As a reader, I would also prefer a 30-page book on communication for leaders over a 200-page “field-guide” that has 5 pages on communication.

Other not-so-obvious advantages are shorter release cycles, less cognitive load (for the reader and me), and faster updates.

Still in the car, I told my girlfriend about the idea, and she instantly could feel my motivation. For her, it also made sense, not only as my girlfriend but also as a reader and leader.

So, what is next?

I am already working on the next book. I took the existing outline and tried tearing it apart. Currently, it looks like I have 5 books to write, while the next will indeed be on communication in your team.

Besides that, I am working on a Squarespace site as a landing page for the book projects, as the current blog is not the best option for this.

That is it for this update.

Let me know what you think about the idea of writing several small books instead of one “big” book!

- Daniel

P.S.: I am still looking for testimonials for the first book. In return for a testimonial, all upgrades for the current book and the next book will be free.