One of our recent clients is Glenn Burkey, the owner of 5 Star Business Consulting & Coaching in Painesville, Ohio. Glenn brought us his business self-help book, The First Class Way, and we provided the full publication treatment for him: editing, paperback and hardcover production, and e-book design. Here, Craig breaks down his long history with Glenn and how he approached the design of the book's cover:
When I was a high school senior in suburban Fort Worth, Texas, one of my closest friends was Melissa Burkey. We worked on the newspaper staff together, and I was a frequent guest at her house. I adored her, her mom and dad, and her siblings. Still do. Always will.
At that time, her father, Glenn, was a builder. I didn't know much about his background or his business, just that he was an exceptionally busy guy. After Melissa graduated from high school, a year behind me, the family moved to Ohio. I made a few visits over the years—one in the mid-1990s, where I saw Glenn run a marathon, and another in 2003 when I was covering the Oakland Raiders for a West Coast newspaper.
A few months ago, Glenn contacted me and said he'd written a book. I was only moderately surprised. I'd known him to have a curious and engaged mind, a vital tool for writing. He asked me if I could help him prepare it for publication, and I was glad to do so.
The First Class Way is a fascinating book, both for Glenn's personal story of towering business success and failure (I had no idea), and for his plainspoken, actionable advice on personal and professional development. Glenn's a business consultant and coach now, helping business owners discover how they can, in his words, make their work "provide a lifestyle, not a life sentence."
Here's the cover we came up with for his book:
A few things to note:
Obviously, the approach here was businesslike, much like Glenn's book. Different choices would have been made for a novel, or a book of narrative nonfiction. Much as with writing, effective book cover design involves deep thinking about content, audience, and objective.
In the days to come, we'll have more about Glenn, his book, and his business.
In the meantime, you can visit his website here, and find his book here.
With apologies to the Talking Heads, you may ask yourself:
Why do I need a writing class when I’m not a writer?
With further apologies to the Talking Heads, you may tell yourself:
I do my job and I do it well. That’s enough.
We’re sure you do, but we’ve seen the research, and we can say this with full confidence and without reservation: A better writer is a better communicator, and a better communicator is a more successful employee, even if your business is widgets and not words.
But don’t take our word for it. Consider this article and its attention-grabbing statistic:
Nearly three-quarters—73.4 percent—of employers want better writers for the jobs they hope to fill. In fact, it’s No. 3 on the list of sought-after attributes, behind only leadership and ability to work with a team. And believe us: If you’re an effective writer, you’re likely to be a better leader and team member than you’d otherwise be.
Now, consider this quote from the article, from Basecamp founder Jason Fried:
If you are trying to decide among a few people to fill a position, hire the best writer. … That's because being a good writer is about more than writing clear writing. Clear writing is a sign of clear thinking. Great writers know how to communicate. They make things easy to understand. They can put themselves in someone else's shoes. They know what to omit. And those are qualities you want in any candidate. Writing is making a comeback all over our society...Writing is today's currency for good ideas.”
We’re sold. And that’s where we come in.
Elisa Lorello, our lead on writing workshops, built her early career on teaching technical and business writing and approaching the craft from a rhetorical-composition standpoint. That means she can tailor workshops to the specific needs of employers and employees. Whether it’s writing more effective memos, organizing information and ideas, or establishing the proper tone, she can lead workshops that meet your objectives in a stimulating, fun, interactive way, and at a cost that’s affordable for the individual or for an entire firm.
We bring up cost for an important reason. Whether you’re an executive or a frontline worker, your company is already losing money. Consider this, from David Grossman’s report The Cost of Poor Communications: Among businesses with 100,000 employees, companies reported an average annual loss of $62.4 million attributable to miscommunication among employees.
Maybe you don’t have 100,000 employees. Maybe you have 10. That’s still $6,240 a year, lost to an inability to communicate well.
We’d like to help you recoup some of that.
Interested? Contact us today.
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