Day 1 Update: No Plan Survives

by Aaron on December 8, 2011

I had what I thought was a pretty rocking plan to get the book moving. We’d find the core posts, and start up editing those. While that was happening, we’d find the secondary posts and then give those to the editor. The editor would edit them and send them back to me, and I’d start arranging them. Then I’d give the arranged posts back to the editor and we’d have a book.

So I sit down to execute, and that doesn’t happen. Like, I quickly found out that that was a bad idea for a few reasons.

  1. Core posts are hard to find without the themes thought about
  2. It’s hard to have a feel for what we have to work with without going through all of the posts
  3. It’s hard to decide on the themes without a feel for the content that’s there
  4. The guy who’s doing editing is busy in the beginning, and then has more time

Luckily, I started doing something that makes more sense.

I went through the archives and did a first pass of the posts that I thought were good. I started figuring out the buckets of like, what content we have that relates to each other, and then I went to sleep.

When I woke up, I talked with the team members and got to know them. Everyone is super great, and it’s nice to now actually have a team together.

Sachit’s going to help with Marketing, and Louis is going to help me make sure that the book is useful to people.

Then, I pared down my first pass into a second pass with buckets, and halfway through that decided that I was letting too many through. So I buckled down, got more selective, and assembled a first round of core posts.

That was 57 posts, which is definitely too many. I trimmed it down to 47, then renamed that file to Good.

Then I wrote a script to rip the urls out of the Word document I had been working with (turned it into an xml first, then just used regexes, it was pretty easy), and another one to turn lists of URLs into a simple web page that’s just a bunch of links. Because copy/pasting URLs into my address bar is a waste of time and more importantly momentum.

I combed through Good’s links to make Core with 37 posts, and then combed that to get 23 posts, currently called Best.

Then I talked with Kendall, the editing/kindle guy.

We decided that the better way to go about this was to roughly put the posts in the order we want them (still companion posts organized around a core) and edit from there. Basically, rather than edit and then organize, organize and then edit. Duh.

Glad I didn’t try to make that work. Now I have something that works for the team, and seems like it should result in a tighter book.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Home Elliptical December 17, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Strongly suggest adding a “google+” button for the blog!


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