So you want to publish a book: part one

This series was originally posted in 2008.

As a lot of you may or may not know, I spent the better part of the last twenty years as a scribbler for newspapers and magazines. But since the early part of this decade my career – and I still can’t believe I actually have one – has taken me in directions I never imagined.

The most striking departure is that I’m no longer singing for my supper as a freelancer. Increasingly, I’ve moved from the editorial to the marketing side of things. And I have to admit, I don’t feel half as dirty as I thought I would.

Before striking out on my own, I was with Jim Clemmer at the CLEMMER Group, where I toiled from the confines of my home office as the Marketing Director. It’s a postion with as many challenges as opportunities. During my time with Jim, I was fortunate to work on two book launches. This series with deal with my experience with his fifth book, Moose on the Table: A Novel Approach to Communications @ Work from rough manuscript to reader-ready masterpiece.

As this was the first time I’d ever done something like this I was very happy with the way things turned out. I should point out that The CLEMMER Group is a consulting agency specializing in leadership and management issues. Because of this Jim’s books have been, to this point, instructional bibles for bosses looking to transform teams and organizations.

With Moose on the Table, he decided to go in a completely different direction to provide insights using a business-fable approach. So unlike the other books, the meat of the moose is a fictional story about a middle age manager struggling to overcome poor communications in his work and personal life.

That’s all you need to know about the book. But if you are interested in finding out more, you can visit

When word started getting out about my involvement in this project, a few friends wanted to know what it took to get a book published. As the book is now at the presses, the web site is up and running and a distribution confirmed, I think I can pass along some wisdom to everybody out there who’d like to finally take that MS Word document and get it out to the world.

As I write this on the plane from Calgary to Toronto, I realize that as one blog posting, it would be a very dense read. So I’m going to split it into short blurbs over the next seven days.

Here’s what I’ll cover:

  • To self-publish or go with a one of the big guys
  • Project management (printers, typesetting and contacts)
  • Professional editing and illustrations
  • Distribution
  • Web site
  • Audiobook and ebook
  • Publicity and marketing

Where I have a website or contact, I’ll provide it. And if you use it, please drop my name. Hopefully you’ll find this series a helpful start to getting your book to your audience. And if you have any more questions, please ask them and I’ll do my best to answer.

Aidan Crawford

Aidan Crawford is president of Short Circuit Media. His main job is helping consultants, trainers and professional speakers get their marketing in order by creating and implementing strategies to help them reach their target audiences.


Let’s have a quick chat about your marketing goals and see how I can help.