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The World Works Better: From Idea to Published in 2 Months, 22 Days

The World Works Better feature imageThursday, August 31, 2017 at 9:38 am.

An email pops up in every Mirasee team member’s mailbox.

A project memo from Danny Iny, Mirasee’s founder and CEO.

The World Works Better Project Memo

“I’m really excited about this, Danny,” I emailed him back, “but the timeline is TIGHT!”

Others weren’t so subtle:

“No self-respecting illustrator is going to agree to this deadline!” they warned.

'No self-respecting illustrator is going to agree to this deadline!' they warned.Click To Tweet

While we speculated about whether or not we could pull it off, Mirasee’s content editor, Sophie Lizard, had silently gone to work and polished Danny’s text.

“Hey guuuys, here’s the first draft for your comments,” she pinged.

Say what?!

We couldn’t stop then. We had to make it happen.

So on November 17, five days before the deadline, this happened:

We had done what everyone said was impossible!

How did we do it? Read on.

Challenge #1: Find an Illustrator as Crazy as We Are

The World Works Better mockup

Granted, it’s a children’s book, so it doesn’t exactly have a lot of words.

Danny already had a solid idea of what he wanted to convey in the book. So it took almost no time at all to finalize the 142 words that made it to the final book.

Our first challenge was finding an illustrator. Someone who shared our vision. Someone whose style we love. And someone insane enough not to run the other way when they saw the deadline.

We began by reaching out to a handful of children’s book illustrators we knew personally and whose styles we loved.

“You’re kidding, right?” said one. “It normally takes me 4 to 6 months to complete a project like this. I’ll accept it if you move the publication date.”

But we didn’t want to give up yet.

Having struck out on the artists within our circles, we cast a wider net. We turned to Upwork.

It was a big risk, putting Danny’s “baby” in the hands of a stranger.

So Ashlee “Tree” Branch, the project manager in charge of this seemingly insurmountable task, used a more scientific method.

She drew up a short list of candidates, sent them the book’s text, and asked them to come up with their proposed cover for the book (we paid them for the spec work).

Our criteria were clear: (1) We had to absolutely love their style and vision for the book; and, (2) They had to accept our deadline.

And this is where fate, God, the universe—whatever you call a higher power—smiled upon us because one of the artists turned out to be The One.

Luca Mendieta, a graphic designer and illustrator from Spain, had the vision and style that we fell in love with!

You have to admit, the book looks terrific:

The World Works Better hardcover

One challenge down, how many more to go?

Challenge #2: Ensuring a Smooth Book Illustration Process.

Our troubles were far from over when we found Luca.

If you’ve worked with artists before, you know that the back-and-forth exchange of studies (or visual drafts) and feedback can be interminable. We couldn’t afford to nitpick over every little detail, but we didn’t want to compromise our own vision for the book, either.

Tree implemented a work process to balance both. Luca first submitted the first five pages of the book, to make sure he had the visual concept down pat. Once Danny approved that, Luca designed the rest of the book. Getting feedback on the early pages guided him to create illustrations that were on-point.

And then the book went through two rounds of revisions. Since we were already on the same page with our designer (pun intended), these revisions were minor ones.

“We were intentional in baking in the appropriate times for Danny to see and approve drafts,” says Joey Gourdji, Mirasee Project Manager. A common mistake is asking for everything at once because course corrections would be more complicated. It’s better to set milestones to track your progress.

Thirty days later, we had a fully designed children’s book!

Next up: publishing!

Challenge #3: Publishing the Book

According to Amazon, Danny has self-published a total of nine books. We should have the entire process down pat by now, right?

Well, we do. Except that, for the first time, Danny wanted this book to be available in hardcover.

Tree soon discovered that Createspace, our usual self-publication platform of choice, doesn’t publish hardbound books.

“Finding an illustrator was a tough challenge,” Tree recalls,”but it was easier than finding a publisher of a hardback book without charging us an arm and a leg.”

To streamline the process, Tree used Fancy Hands, an online service we use to get simple tasks done. They compiled a list of hardback publishers and made a price comparison.

After looking at our options, we decided to go for Ingramspark.

Unfortunately, Ingramspark doesn’t offer a done-for-you service. Which is fine, except that it’s a whole new platform, with a whole new publication process for us to learn (and by “us” I mean Tree).

On November 1, 63 days after Danny sent the project memo, Tree was uploading the book on Ingramspark… a decision she now regrets. It was definitely a case of when rushing to get things done actually causes you to take longer.

“I should have spent two days to go through every help resource Ingramspark has on their website,” Tree says. This way, she would’ve avoided a lot of frustration over using the platform, submitting materials that didn’t meet their specifications, and other hiccups.

“Understand their system first before you start,” is Tree’s advice to anyone who’s considering publishing their book on Ingramspark.

When it comes to Ingramspark, understand their system first before you start!Click To Tweet

Lesson learned!

Next time Danny gets the idea to publish a hardbound book, Tree’s ready to say, “Bring it!”

Challenge #4: Promoting the Book

World Works Better bookstore

If you write a book but nobody reads it, does it exist?

If you write a book but nobody reads it, does it exist?Click To Tweet

All this hard work would be for nothing if nobody knew about the book.

Once again, we’re in unexplored territory. Yes, Danny has self-published a number of books, and, yes, he knows how to market a book to get bestseller status on Amazon… but The World Works Better isn’t about marketing or online courses or business. It’s a children’s book!

While Danny doesn’t have a network in children’s book publishing, he does have an existing community: students of Mirasee’s courses, email list subscribers, private coaching clients, mastermind colleagues, social network connections, friends, and family members. We’ve definitely been telling everyone about the book.

Certainly, quite a number of them must have children in their lives. They’re parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and teachers. Fortunately, The World Works Better has something for everyone.

Astronauts and spaceships and aliens and erupting volcanoes. And insights for entrepreneurs, too.

That’s why within days of being up on Amazon, The World Works Better already had more than a dozen reviews.

The World Works Better Amazon customer reviews

And Danny’s children approve:

Incidentally, the video book trailer above is just one of the promotional materials we produced for the book. Here’s everything we’ve created:

  • video book trailer on YouTube
  • video read-through on YouTube
  • slides on Slideshare
  • book webpage
  • emails (coming soon in your inbox, if you’re one of our subscribers)
  • mockup images (you see a few of them sprinkled throughout this post)
  • Amazon listing
  • this blog post 🙂

We’ll know in a week or so if we did enough for Mirasee to break out successfully in the children’s book market.

The point is, we set out to publish The World Works Better in less than three months, and we did it. The next step is spreading the world so it can touch the minds and hearts of anyone who dreams of a better world.

We set out to publish the book in less than three months and we did it. Click To Tweet

Mirasee’s Top Tips for Accomplishing the Impossible

The World Works Better imagination

“The world works better… when we use our imaginations.” A page from The World Works Better.

What can you learn from our experience?

Faced with the task of attempting to achieve the impossible? Click To Tweet

If you’re ever faced with the task of attempting to achieve the impossible, keep these in mind:

1. Don’t take “no” for an answer.

I once had a supervisor who used to say, “Don’t tell me something is impossible unless you’ve done everything humanly possible and failed.”

If people tell you something can’t be done, turn it into an experiment and find out for yourself whether they’re right or not. (I, for one, enjoy proving people wrong when they tell me I can’t do something.)

2. Get help.

As you may have noticed, Mirasee team members work together and help each other. It doesn’t matter if a task is in our job description or not. If someone needs help, then we do what we can to help.

Don’t try to accomplish the impossible by yourself. You may not have employees, but you have friends and family. And you can outsource help, as needed, or even barter services.

3. Be organized.

What was Danny’s first step in this whole process? He sent a project memo. That document sets things in motion at Mirasee. Responsibilities are assigned. The project gets created in Asana. Milestones are identified. Deadlines are set and tracked.

When you’re attempting an incredibly difficult task is not the time to be flying by the seat of your pants. Set out a clear path for yourself, so you know if you’re on track or not, and can adjust accordingly.

4. Keep your eye on the prize.

It’s easy to get discouraged because setbacks will happen. What kept us going was knowing how important the book was in light of our bigger goals. It’s a fresh way to communicate Mirasee’s values and personality, as well as to share a different aspect of Danny and his wife Bhoomi’s lives as parents.

If you don’t lose sight of why you’re attempting to overcome a gargantuan hurdle, you’ll just give up. Constant reminders of why it’s important to you will keep fueling you long enough to reach the finish line.

Nobody can guarantee that you’ll succeed every time you try to accomplish the impossible. But you’ll definitely attain more than you would have if you’d never tried in the first place.

What about you, have you ever tried to do something that others said was impossible? How did it go?

Make the World Work Better

The World Works Better 3D

Grab your copy of Danny Iny's brand new book!

"We can all dream and imagine the kind of world we would live in if the wise words in this book became our daily practice. It's a gem!"

Lisa Bloom,
Storyteller and Professional Certified Coach

About Lexi Rodrigo

Lexi Rodrigo is Content Writer and Blog Editor at Mirasee. She crafts content that sells, builds authority, and engages community. Get her free email course, 5 Tweaks to a Website that Makes You Irresistible

16 comments

  1. I love reading about how you got “The World Works Better” to print. There is so much work that goes into publishing a book! It almost feels impossible someone’s thoughts that was once on a flash drive could be brought to life for everyone to experience to live in. It’s true that you’ll never succeed if you never try in the first place and that’s the best motivation.

  2. Yay that is SUCH wonderful news, so proud of you team Mirasee! So looking forward to having your book for my kids. Thanks Danny as always for your inspirational work.

  3. Thanks Danny and team for boosting up my confidence. I have always dream of having a Big house with big Green Garden but the I had lack of confidence. Thanks for the articles and I love reading them

  4. Danny… this is an amazing book and something the world needs. Plan on getting for my grandkids.
    One question… do you offer a real coloring book (vs digital) with this? As a grandparent, and quintessential old fart, I am interested at every opportunity to keep my grandkids connected to the real world or pen, ink, paper, crayons, colored pencils, watercolors and all that good stuff cuz current research shows the importance of that and habits are formed when kids are young. A real life coloring book would be welcome in my family. Do you have one or any plans for it? Don’t ask me to print it. It’s just not the same.

    Arthur
    PS. I have a large list (5 digits) and many are grandparents who would love to learn about this book. Not at all interested in an affiliate thing but would promote it for you because of the message it contains. If interested get in touch.

    1. @Arthur – I hear you about having something printed vs digital! We have no plans of making a printed one available. However, I believe you can bring the PDF to a copy/printing shop and they’ll print and bind it professionally for you. Also, thank you so much for offering to promote the book with your list of grandparents. I’m sure they’ll find your enthusiasm for the book infectious 😀

  5. Hey Tram Mirasee! Great job!
    I find my biggest obstacle in any undertaking is believing in myself enough. I take myself out of the running before I’ve even started. Advice?

    1. @Penny Hawes – Thank you! Your obstacle is actually a common one. I can definitely relate. My advice? I don’t feel comfortable giving it (disclaimer: I’m not one of the Mirasee coaches), but since you asked, I would say try taking yourself out of the picture. It’s not about you, it’s about the people who need what you have to teach. It might also help to sit down and write about all the times you’ve made a difference for someone, all the things you know better than the layperson, your training, experience, etc. Do you think any of those ideas will help you?

  6. Great job and teamwork! I haven’t published a book in over a decade, and that took forever and was too expensive. It’s so easy to get discouraged and set these dreams on the back burner. What drove the November 22 deadline?

    1. @Elizabeth Saunders – Thank you! I think November 22nd was just the best time given the other things we wanted to get done within the year. It wasn’t a make-or-break deadline, but we really wanted to make the book done before the holidays. So, we just had to go for it.

      By the way, what was your book about? Did you self-publish or have a publisher? What’s stopping you from getting published again? (I’m asking because Danny’s really good at this stuff, so I’m sure he’ll have some great advice for you.)

  7. What’s the rush to publish the book? The answer is : Every second is precious to the children, parents, teachers, school, bureaucrats ( government) to start the grassroots of our education to be ” NOW” …not before nor after….Danny and your team are all earth Angels…CONGRATULATIONS!!!!

  8. BRAVO DANNY and team❣️ You inspire me to keep dreaming and taking steps to make the world work better. I am so thankful for your heart and determination to leave everyone you touch enriched and lifted up.

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