How Writing a Book Can Boost Your Career and Your Income

August 25th, 2011

My work continues to get awesome media mentions.  This one is from Meridith Levinson at  She titles it How Writing a Book Can Boost Your IT Career and Your Income.

She starts:

“Jason Alba always wanted to write a book. When he started his own business, a service for job seekers called JibberJobber, in 2006, he finally had the time. One night in January 2006, while dining out, Alba shared his book idea—an explanation of how job seekers could use LinkedIn in their job search—with some friends who had books published. Alba says they loved the idea, and one of them offered to introduce Alba to his publisher and serve as his executive editor.”

This is really a fun story… you can read the article here. I know many of you are interested in writing a book. My advice? DO IT!

One of my favorite quotes from her article:

“Even if your book sucks, even if it’s small, even if it’s lame, just being the author of a book … gives you credibility.”

Even if it SUCKS?

Yes, even if it sucks.

I’m not saying to write a sucky book, but don’t put it off for years, while you get to “excellent,” when you can get it published sooner, at “good enough.”

Meridith, thanks for letting me share my story with your readers :)



Eight Lunches Endorsements/Thoughts

August 19th, 2011

Here are some thoughts and endorsements I received for Eight Lunches. I find this part of the process so interesting – crowdsourcing feedback from smart people is kind of hard.  There are a lot of great ideas to pursue.  First, a testimonial:

“A great concept back by great content! Small business owners will relate to the conversations in this book. As entrepreneurs, it’s hard sometimes to carve out the time to work with a mentor live, but each of us can find the time to pick up this book and take its content and Jason’s advice to heart.”

Laurie Berenson, CPRW
Sterling Career Concepts

From Kim Bilawchuk, a professional career coach. This is a great, fair assessment, and mostly what I get from this is that I need to better define my target audience, which wouldn’t necessarily include her (as an experienced entrepreneur).  I would love to sit down with her for eight Friday lunches and have deeper conversations.  From Kim:

Here are my thoughts on 8 Lunches:

  • Very quick/easy read (about an hour).
  • Seemed very similar to the format of The Go-Giver (Bob Burg) – series of meetings re: sales.
  • Paul’s business seems vague (intentional, I’m guessing), but some details might make a more interesting story (I understand that more details may disconnect some readers).
  • Not sure I learned a lot that I didn’t already know, but some good refresher points (most profitable source of income, post vision statement in easy-to-see locations, etc.) Relatively generic sales, marketing, networking info. Not sure there’s anything that makes this stand above the rest. No a-ha moment for me.
  • Not sure who your target audience really is – new business owners? experienced ones?
  • Seemed like there was a fair bit of Jason Alba self-promotion (all your links at the end of each of the emails, vision statement). Should you be you or just an experienced business owner?
  • At the end, found myself wanting a series of worksheets to work through some of the suggestions presented during the lunches.
  • What’s next? Do you want people to contact you as their business coach (which you’ve said isn’t your forte)?

You asked for criticism! Overall, it could be a good resource for many.

Marc Wolfsfeld is The Technology Pro, and professional speaker, who said:

I read most of the book and I like it.

I might suggest that you find an alternative to the word ‘stuff’.

Since we are selling our ‘stuff’ at a premium, we should show it a bit more respect.

Isn’t it interesting how ONE WORD can change the meaning? I agree with Marc. My casual style slipped over… which is okay, but I do need to be more careful on stuff like… stuff :)

It’s fun to get past the first draft. Rosemary Mark, a professional recipe creator (!!), had some great comments that are not overwhelming me:

I really like your book for its clear step by step format. These are the areas I liked best:

  • The numbered sequence, or lunch dates is convenient and logical organization.
  • Blogs and SEO section is really helpful. (for me personally I learned about putting the post title in the permalink – Thank you!)
  • SMART vision statement
  • Emails after each lunch are great review and practical application

Liked least:

  • Too much narration. Ie: “Paul said with gratitude” ‘Jason happily replied’  I know it creates the conversation but it is wordy and makes the document long
  • Though I liked the blogging section, it is long and overwhelming.  Blogging could be it’s own book!  Maybe just tighten up the points.

From Chris Dennison (The Job Search Coach), of Dennison Career Services (a JibberJobber Partner), some great encouragement:

Just finished reading the draft — great concept! The book is long enough to be useful, short enough to read quickly.

You or one of your other commenters suggested inserting “workbook” pages between each chapter – I agree. It would bridge the gap that tends to exist between the “training session” and the “change of behavior” — the normal tendency for people to leave a motivational session fired up with good intentions…that get lost back in the daily grind.

I thought for sure I’d have suggestions to make it more concise, but I think you’ve managed to keep it beautifully simple. The conversational structure makes it so much more compelling and interesting than a straightforward “how-to”. Every time I read yet another mainstream article about the job search process, I think, well that’s lovely, but the job seeker still isn’t going to know HOW to solve that problem specifically. Of course, that keeps us in business :-)

Can’t wait to see the finished product…and evangelize it.

There’s more I’m sifting through, but I thought I’d share this with you. Enjoy your weekend! I have some rewriting to do!

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Eight Lunches Update: Interested in starting a business?

July 28th, 2011

A few years ago I had a vision of a super cool book that would allow you to be the proverbial fly on the wall, listening to two entrepreneurs discuss their businesses, and what they are doing to be successful.

I introduced the first draft on my JasonAlba blog, and had a bunch of people ask to review it.  Unfortunately, I got overwhelmed by all the feedback and had to let it sit for a while.

I recently got the second draft done, and have been getting reviews, testimonials and feedback (click here if you are interested in seeing this second draft).

Karin Hermans, a wood floor expert in the UK, and author of the Wooden Floor Installation Manual (and many other wood floor manuals), wrote this:

Read it in one go; I’d buy it, promote it, rave about it 😉

Really big improvement on the first draft, Paul now has 3 dimensions and it turned into a two-way conversation.

(Picked up two ideas from the story myself, I’ll be working on them over the coming weeks ;-))

One small idea to perhaps add at the beginning of the book? Suggest to the reader to read one chapter at the time, per week even. Then, because every lunch ends with “home-work”, the reader should do the dame home-work as Paul will do, turning it into more than just a business/guide book.

You could even add a few blank pages between the chapters for notes/home-work execution?

It’s an honor to get this type of feedback from someone like Karin, who already runs a successful business. Here’s another awesome snippet of feedback from Ellie Cook-Venezia (on Twitter / on LinkedIn):

Grab EIGHT LUNCHES, the perfect primer for solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, small business owners, managers and the like and head to your favorite sandwich shop and start reading! Be a fly on the wall as you witness two business owners engaged in conversation in this easy read that not only serves as a reference guide, but provides actionable ideas for you to implement. People at your favorite sandwich shop watching you read EIGHT LUNCHES will start the conversation – so get reading, get talking, and start you own eight lunches and their actionable ideas!

I am getting more feedback, and hope to have the book in print in the next few months.  From here it is:

  1. clean it up based on the feedback,
  2. send to the editor,
  3. have layout done, and prepare to go to the printer,
  4. send to the printer
  5. mail out the orders :)

Not all feedback is as positive (although it’s all good, to help this be a better, stronger book). More on that later.

It’s a dream… are you living your dream?

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