- How did you find the overall experience of writing your book for Packt?
Even though I was a first-time author with plenty of learning opportunities, the people at Packt were there to guide me through the book writing process. Writing a book was a big dream of mine and Packt helped me realize this dream.
- During the writing process, did you come across any issues/ difficulties that affected your writing and how did you overcome these?
Absolutely! It is important to take document the issues/difficulties you experience and determine an action plan to address these challenges. Packt was an important part of identifying the responses to address key challenges. Key challenges I faced during writing included: marketing, organization, and positioning of key messages.
- Whilst writing your book, did you find that it overshadowed personal life in any way? How did you deal with this?
Yes, I think I probably spent at least 2 hours a day writing for 10 months. Writing a book is an iterative process (initial draft, 2nd draft, subject matter reviews). Having a strong family and support structure is key to success. Schedule down time between iterations to reflect and enjoy your family and friends – you will be surprised by the inspiration they can give you during your writing journey.
- Was there anything interesting that happened during the writing of the book?
I am living proof that anyone can write a book if they have the knowledge, experience, and the passion to translate their knowledge into words. Every individual has a least one good book in them.
- How did our Acquisition Editors help you - what kind of things did they help you with and how did they support you throughout the writing process?
They provided a lot of support around layouts and framing the conversation. There is a vast difference between saying something and saying something well.
- Our authors usually have full-time jobs whilst writing for us. Was this the case for you and how did you approach managing your time?
Managing the time was very hard work – splitting your mind between work and writing a book is a big challenge. To manage my time I made sure that I spent at least an hour writing or researching every day.
- What benefits did writing a book bring to your specialist area?
- It brought together many experiences and tribal knowledge that were present in the minds of experienced consultants but never articulated and applied to the discipline of ERP/COTS implementations.
- It provided a challenge to the major players of ERP/COTS implementations to "think outside the box" and evolve to the next level of value generation.
- Develop implementation approaches that maximize packaged software advantages and minimize packaged software challenges
- Reduce implementation costs, increase knowledge generation, and reduce non-value-added implementation activities
- Enable customers to lead during the implementation to maximize long term success
- Follow the Ten Essential Principles for implementing a business solution and learn best practices, tips and tricks.
- Do you have any tips for other authors, or tricks that you learned whilst writing, that you'd like to share?
- Be prepared to put the time in, you need to be committed and focused to write a book and it will inevitably take more time than you expect.
- Remember to factor in research time when doing the outline and timescale. Solicit feedback from your potential audience by writing blogs or giving presentations at events.
- Be prepared to make compromises, you need to work for both the publisher and the reader.
- Have a clear aim and don’t forget it! This is probably the single most important thing; you will not create a good book if you keep moving the goal posts.
- Network – Network – Network! Word of mouth and reader recommendations are a key marketing channel and may provide you with subject matter reviewers.
- Ask your family before committing; they will need to support you through the writing process.
- Do you have any advice for other authors who may be interested in writing for Packt, but are still unsure?
Have the right purpose for writing the book. If making a ton of money is your key objective then odds are this goal will not sustain you through the book writing process. However, if you are passionate about sharing knowledge and having a positive impact on others then the book writing process is a path of significant reward.
- What projects, if any, are you working on at the moment?
The key project I am working on is marketing my book. Writing the book is only half the battle. Key marketing activities include conducting presentations, writing blogs, and connecting with key stakeholders to get the message out. Adoption is not a one-time event but an iterative process that communicates the value your book provides.