How would you react to your first book review?


How would you react to your first book review?

It felt like I had been waiting a long time for the first review. My Wiley Senior Publicist counselled me that reviews of leadership books take longer because the reviewers invest time in thoroughly reading the books. That was helpful but didn’t make waiting any easier or go any faster.

I thought of all possible scenarios. Would it be positive or negative, long or short, academic or conversational? The burning questions was, would the interviewer like my book, or more personally, like what the author wrote.

Jim Taggart

My first reviewer is Jim Taggart, a leadership thought leader who lives in Ottawa, Ontario. He sent me a LinkedIn invitation saying he had been contacted by my publicist and was going to write a review of Change with Confidence. I was thrilled and offered to answer any questions he might have, although I guessed he wouldn’t need any help.

A week ago, Jim posted his review, “Are you ready to CHANGE WITH CONFIDENCE?” on his website, Changing Winds. It was re-posted the same day on The Leadership Hub, a “Top 30 Hidden Gem Leadership Blog” award winner. It fascinates me to see the connectivity and communication power of social media blogs and networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. This is where my book will take flight.

Jim’s review is everything I could have hoped for. He liked design decisions that were important to me and took a lot of time to get right. For example, he noted that I write “clearly and succinctly”. It took five month of editing to achieve this goal. My book needed to be stripped of jargon and complexity to appeal to a wide audience including corporate, public and academic audiences. Writing jargon was a lot easier. 

The one criticism Jim had is that there are too many Cadbury stories. This is a fair point. Fifty-five organizations are profiled in my book but there is a weighting toward Cadbury stories . It was important to me to share my experiences of good and bad change capabilities. The cost of doing so are more references to a few organizations. 

Jim offered a suggestion about an alternate subtitle. I smiled when I read it because I had thought of a similar one as I was in my writing stage. I know where he is coming from and I am delighted and thankful that after reading my review that he probably would say the same. 

Phil

 
 

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