So today Wednesday 26th January 2011 is the day that I become a published author! Back in mid-October I got an email from TED’s Chris Anderson asking of I wanted to write a short book for TED. The deadline was late November. I thought that it must be some sort of mistake – firstly TED do not publish books and secondly no one – not even TED – just give someone four weeks to write a book! But it was not a hoax – or a mis-sent email – but a new venture by TED into publishing short to the point books for download only.
TED were picking up on Amazon’s decision to create a new type of book – a Kindle Single – I guess mimicking the idea of the relationship between a music single and an album. I actually think it is a genius idea as some many non-fiction books are full of padding out chapters simply to make up the work count that makes a real book seem like good value. I often find I have got the main thrust of the argument by the end of chapter one. So TED’s brief was to write between 10,000 – 20,000 words as compared to 50,000 – 100,000 for a normal book.
I have been planning to write a book for – well too long – but incredibly I had put November aside to try and start. So I switched writing plans and set to creating a short to the point book based around by TED talk. It was an exceptionally intense period – and a steep learning curve as it actually turns out that a short book is not that easy to write as it is quite unforgiving – you can’t go off on tangents at all. Anyway the long and the short of it is, well a book – The Happiness Manifesto: how people and nations can nurture well-being. I hope you like it – and if you don’t have a kindle, iPad, iPhone or other eReader – then I am not sure I can help you there (perhaps borrow someone else’s).