Ed Barks's Reviews > A+ Strategies for C-Suite Communications: Turning Today's Leaders into Tomorrow's Influencers

A+ Strategies for C-Suite Communications by Ed Barks
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Finished Reading
April 2, 2018 – Shelved
April 2, 2018 – Shelved as: books-i-ve-authored

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message 1: by Ed (last edited Oct 15, 2018 08:49AM) (new) - added it

Ed Barks *** This is my forthcoming book, so I won't review or rate it. Rather, I'll post occasional updates here to give you a window into my writing and publishing adventures. I hope you'll accompany me on the journey.

Space limitations have come into play, so scroll down to the bottom to continue reading the latest news. ***

October 1, 2018 Update:
It's here. The edited manuscript is back from my copy editor. I've given it a quick look and don't see much red, so that's a good sign. I'll be digging into it over the next two weeks, making necessary changes. Once those are made, it's final!

September 21, 2018 Update:
The manuscript went off to the copy editor earlier this week. Once I have that feedback in hand then make the desired changes, the content will be in final form.

Now comes, for me, the harder part -- design, both for the cover and the interior. I want the cover to be consistent with that of my first book. It won't be identical, of course. But I do want the same professional look and feel. Why do I find this difficult? I'm not an especially visual person. The writing comes easy. The rest of the process not so much. Still, I'm the final arbiter so do need to dig in deeper than my comfort level normally permits. Wish me luck.

Oh, one other piece of big news: I received a generous testimonial (often called a blurb in the publishing game) from a well-respected and well-recognized name in communications and public affairs circles, with more on the way. All will be revealed in due time.

September 12, 2018 Update:
I now have a final draft manuscript and must say, it’s a wonderful feeling. Copy editor, here we come.

The beta reader comments were pure gold. My readers talked me down off a few ledges, caught some errors in both context and grammar, and gave the book better structure. In fact, at their suggestion I slightly rearranged some of the chapters, which makes for a more useful resource.

I’m still on target for the publication date later this year—to be announced soon, so check back regularly.

August 29, 2018 Update:
The last few weeks I’ve been burrowed away editing comments from my beta readers and organizing publishing aspects for A+ Strategies for C-Suite Communications: Turning Today's Leaders into Tomorrow's Influencers.

This is my first experience using beta readers. All I can say is…where have you been all my life? These wonderful individuals dedicated their time and expertise to make this a far better book. Some of the comments are on the macro level about chapter size and order, for example; others are micro critiques about specific passages. All are valuable and accepted with deep gratitude.

What are you doing Labor Day weekend? Me? I’ll be pleasantly absorbed learning from my beta readers.

August 15, 2018 Update:
Yes, we have a winner. Congratulations to Brian Sansoni, Vice President, Communications & Outreach, American Cleaning Institute. Brian submitted the idea for the book’s title, A+ Strategies for C-Suite Communications. That means he receives a complimentary copy of the book upon publication. Plus, he also collects a copy of the new second edition of my first book, The Truth About Public Speaking: The Three Keys to Great Presentations, to be published concurrently.

August 9, 2018 Update:
It’s official. I unveiled the title for my forthcoming book before a National Press Club audience this morning.

The title, A+ Strategies for C-Suite Communications: Turning Today's Leaders into Tomorrow's Influencers, is a mashup of two choices that polled well in the crowdsourcing poll. Thanks to all who voted, and to those who suggested titles.

I’m confident the title chosen through the crowdsourcing route will give an added boost to the value of A+ Strategies for C-Suite Communications: Turning Today's Leaders into Tomorrow's Influencers.

August 1, 2018 Update:
The last few weeks have been consumed with logistics -- the hows and whys of marketing and publishing. That is, for me, more daunting than the actual writing process. There certainly are a lot more moving parts. Along these lines, I encourage you to get in touch with me if you have any suggestions for:
-- Professional societies and civic groups seeking presentations on the subject
-- Publications in need of articles related to this topic
-- Book clubs that may want to center a discussion around the book

The crowdsourcing poll to help choose the book's title is now closed. I hope you had a chance to cast your ballot. Am I going to unveil it now? Sorry. The big reveal is set for next week, so stay tuned.

July 19, 2018 Update:
And it’s off. The second draft, that is. I just shipped it off to my beta reading team. The manuscript may not yet have the look of a book format-wise (the design stage comes later), but it sure is starting to feel like the real thing.

By the way, the survey to crowdsource the book’s title is still open. It’ll only take you a quick 30 seconds, so vote today at https://form.responster.com/opJAKL. Thanks in advance for your opinion.

July 13, 2018 Update:
Big news. I've completed my beta reader lineup. A huge and heartfelt thank you to these five individuals. Each offers different insights into communications and how it affects the C-suite, so the feedback will come from varied perspectives. I am confident their participation will make this book a better resource for communications and government relations executives who counsel their C-suite leaders.

More news: I'm crowdsourcing the book's title, and have set up a 30-second survey to gain input. You can participate, too. It's as easy as visiting https://form.responster.com/opJAKL and casting a ballot for your favorite. Get out and vote!

July 5, 2018 Update:
I just put the finishing touches on my beta reader guidelines, so they’ll be ready to roll out in the next two weeks (which means I’d better have that second draft finished by then). BTW, if you have interest in becoming a beta reader, drop me a line via Goodreads.

If you’re not familiar with the concept, a beta reader’s job is to review an author’s manuscript and make suggestions. It’s more about things like flow and comprehension than finding grammatical or spelling errors. That’s up to the copy editor, a step that occurs later in the publishing process.

Also, this morning I settled on the book’s bonus content. How will readers get these extra goodies? Easy. The book will include links at the end of each chapter. Sign up and the bonuses are yours.

June 27, 2018 Update:
I'm still in the process of buffing and finishing the second draft. This has been the least exciting phase. As I was sharing with a colleague this morning, progress now is incremental. The vast majority of the writing is complete, so it seems as though things are moving as slow as molasses running uphill. That's not to say that the process is uninteresting; just that it's moving slower and in a different way.

Among the items up next: Forming the discussion questions that will conclude each chapter. Since the book is a practical guide for communications and government relations executives who counsel their C-suite, it occurs to me that questions designed to spur ongoing progress and dialogue are appropriate. Plus, it reinforces one of the book's main tenets -- improved communication comes as a result of sustained professional development. Another to-do item is the creation of bonus content readers can access online. I have some content that I think you will find beneficial, so it's a matter of deciding what to include and how to format it. Then there are the videos to accompany each chapter and . . . oh, well . . . more on all that later.

June 18, 2018 Update:
It's all about the flow. That's where my editing process stands now. I'm going through the manuscript, examining how it moves along, and doing my best to avoid a choppy, segmented text. The aim is to create a holistic book with transitions that are as seamless as possible. It brings to mind my old radio broadcasting days, where segues mattered.

Section headers are also receiving some attention. The way my brain works, I've always found it much more of a challenge to create headlines than to actually write, so it's somewhat laborious. It's worth it in the end, however, to achieve a more reader-friendly book.

June 7, 2018 Update:
This morning I finished all the red line edits to my manuscript, so the second draft is well on its way to completion. The length is down to something nearly manageable (there is a bit of work to do there, though it's close). Next, I'll turn to some of the transitions within chapters and to spicing up the verbiage where needed. All that said, I'm generally pleased with the manuscript status. The acid test comes once the second draft is complete and it goes out to beta readers for review. Does that make me nervous? Yeah, a little. But I'm a pretty good writer and based on past experience I don't anticipate having to pull everything apart and start over. It's all part of the process of making a better book.

May 25, 2018 Update:
Memorial Day weekend. Some people pack up for the beach. Others head for the mountains or the lake. Me? I'm spending the long weekend with my manuscript. I've left the first draft to sit and bake for a spell. Now comes time to print it and edit it by hand (I edit better on hard copy than on screen). I find great pleasure in writing, so shed no tears. All I ask: While you're enjoying the first taste of summer, have a cold one for me.

May 9, 2018 Update:
The rough first draft is complete! I have lots of polishing to do in weeks and months to come, but it feels good to have this progress under my belt.

May 1, 2018 Update:
Happy May Day! Coming soon: You can become a member of my Reader's Group. More details (and a periodic e-newsletter) coming soon.

April 18, 2018 Update:
I'm finishing up the research process, having spent yesterday at the Library of Congress again. I'm estimating one or two more sessions there and I'll be done with that aspect of the writing process.

As for the writing proper, I'll be rearranging chapters -- moving some up, others down, and ditching others.

I'm also cotinuing to advance my understanding of the publishing process. Still many miles to go. Stay tuned.

April 9, 2018 Update:
My writing process got derailed by a day or so, but for a very good reason. A producer for the CBS Evening News contacted me for an interview about Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's upcoming Congressional testimony. They wanted to know what sort of challenges he might face and what it takes to prepare for a Capitol Hill encounter. Chief Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes and her production team could not have been nicer or more professional. More proof that reporters are often very nice people.

I was pleased to help them out. The package aired both on the CBS Evening News and on the next day's broadcast of CBS This Morning.

April 2, 2018 Update:
Last week I gathered my raw material -- including research I've done at the Library of Congress Main Reading Room (one of my favorite places in all of DC) -- and organized it into chapters in a three-ring binder. This is the same process I used when writing my first book, The Truth About Public Speaking: The Three Keys to Great Presentations .

Over the weekend, I began using the program Scrivener to actually write the manuscript. I'm liking Scrivener a lot so far. It's really easy to write, edit, pull in research from disparate sources, etc.


message 2: by Ed (last edited Dec 11, 2018 12:13PM) (new) - added it

Ed Barks December 11, 2018 Update:
The big news of late: I’ve received testimonials from some very nice (and very well-respected) people.

Legendary White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry describes A+ Strategies for C-Suite Communications: Turning Today's Leaders into Tomorrow's Influencers this way: “In this nifty and fabulous volume, Ed Barks gives the corporate communicator tons of good advice on how to get that important ‘seat at the table’ and how to use it when there.”

Betsy Fischer Martin, Tim Russert’s executive producer on “Meet the Press,” also offers plaudits, saying, “As a leader in his field, Ed Barks has studied new methods of communication and brought C-suite communicators a present day playbook on how to help top executives thrive in an ever-changing information landscape.”

Anthony Shop, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Social Driver and Chairman of the National Digital Roundtable, adds, “Ed Barks' latest book is full of winning strategies to help communicators — whether they partner with key leaders on the inside, or provide outside counsel as consultants — build trust and offer solid advice to executives. Ed provides a common sense manual for today's communicator. This wisdom will surely light the path for tomorrow's influencers.”

It is encouraging comments like theirs that make the sometimes solitary author’s journey totally worthwhile. I am most grateful to these three luminaries for their kind and inspiring words. I hope you, dear reader, find their messages helpful as you consider adding A+ Strategies for C-Suite Communications to your bookshelf.

November 20, 2018 Update:
Hooray! I just got the draft of the print book layout from my designer. It looks like a real book (well, minus the cover, but that’s still to come). I’ll have a few tweaks, to be sure. Overall, however, it’s nearly ready for prime time.

What’s next? The designer now turns to formatting the ebook in two separate formats — one for Amazon, one for everywhere else like Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, etc. (don’t ask why two versions are required; it’s one of those publishing wrinkles that makes little sense).

Oh, then comes the same process for the second edition of my first book, The Truth About Public Speaking: The Three Keys to Great Presentations. Everything is aimed toward the January 8 publication date for both books.

November 15, 2018 Update:
Have you ever wanted to get in on the ground floor of a book launch? Here’s your opportunity to get involved in the launch of A+ Strategies for C-Suite Communications: Turning Today’s Leaders into Tomorrow’s Influencers.

One of the most important things an author can do for a book is to publish it with a bang, so I’ve established the “A+ Insider Team.” How can readers join? It’s as simple as emailing me indicating in 100 words or less why you want to become a member.

I realize not everyone has time to do everything, so I’ve developed an a la carte menu from which you can choose. You may want to do one thing or many. The three biggest ways to contribute are:
• Post an honest review of the book on Amazon.com on publication day, January 8, 2019
• Post that same review here on Goodreads
• Contact 2-3 (or more!) of your communications and government relations colleagues and tell them they need to read this book

If that’s not your cup of tea, here are some additional steps members of the A+ Insider Team can take:
• Buy a copy of the book in ebook or print format
• Share details about the book on your digital media channels
• Suggest professional societies or bookstores that may want me for an author appearance
• Recommend podcasts, TV and radio talk shows, and publications that may have interest in interviewing me
• Email interested colleagues with news of the book
• Ask your local public library system to obtain copies of the book
“Follow” my author page here on Goodreads and invite me to connect as a “Friend”
• Review the book on blogs or in newsletters
• Purchase an extra copy of the book and place it in your organization’s library

A+ Insider Team members will receive an advanced reading copy of the ebook, and gain occasional special insider sneak peeks.

A+ Strategies for C-Suite Communications: Turning Today’s Leaders into Tomorrow’s Influencers will be available for sale widely on January 8 on Amazon and elsewhere, both in print and as an ebook.

October 23, 2018 Update:
January 8 is the day. Yes, that has been revealed as the publication date for A+ Strategies for C-Suite Communications: Turning Today's Leaders into Tomorrow's Influencers.

What’s the big deal about a publication date? It’s the first day readers will be able to buy the book. While information about it will be visible on various bookseller websites beforehand, this will be the first day you can click that “Buy” button or find it in your local bookstore.

Also, the publicity campaign — author appearances, articles in relevant publications, media outreach, and the like — is triggered and goes into full swing post-publication. The planning for those efforts is already underway.

Your suggestions for speaking engagement venues, article placement, and bloggers and podcasters who may have interest in an interview are encouraged and appreciated.

Now, on to the planning and preparation for that aforementioned publicity campaign. The updates will keep coming regularly here, so check back often.

October 15, 2018 Update:
Finis! I've incorporated the edits from my copy editor, meaning that the manuscript is now in final form. I accepted most of her suggestions though, of course, any errata remains my sole responsibility. Funny, but it seems somewhat anticlimactic after months of writing and self-editing. Still, when I step back and (try to) gain some perspective, it is a feel-good milestone.

Cover design is also coming along, with the final choice to be revealed in weeks to come. I'll also reveal the official publication date soon. And there will be special opportunities to get a sneak peek at an advance reading copy, so check back regularly for those upcoming announcements.


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