A Miracle in the eBook World

How fast can an eBook be published?

Our ebook “Exploring the Practice of Antifragility” went from conception to published in about four weeks.  Here’s how that happened.

For many months early in 2015 the topic of writing a book covering the practice of antifragility would come up. These occasions were around the timing of the “Antifragility Panel/Webinar: Practice Beyond the Rhetoric!”.

On many occasions over dinner during 2015, Si and I would discuss doing a book together.  We were searching for a way to make it happen.  The demands of the work in which we were engaged were so extreme that they prevented much more than wishful thinking.    However, ultimately something triggered us to make traction and below is the timeline that resulted in getting the book published.

Oct 2015 – Discussed spending a long weekend cloistered to work on the book. Of course since both of us have spouses with whom we are very madly in love (Milad Alhir and Cat Gould) some insight from them was required.  The plan was to remain near the client site, hole up in Si’s hotel room and work out the outline, draft content and basically get a publishable version done — a 72 hour writing marathon.   That plan also meant a weekend away from the source of our sanity and vitality. That idea didn’t survive.

2nd week Nov 2015 – Having been thwarted with our previous plan and with book publishing ardor still running high an alternate plan was needed.  In true antifragile style the conditions or reality required us to adapt or not publish. Somewhere during one of our evenings the idea came up of creating an eBook that would contain a brief description, reference the recordings from the webinars, initial contributions from us and at least a few from those in Si’s network that might be interested. The response was magnificent. Seven wonderful contributors provided answers to the basic questions.

  • How have you interpreted Taleb’s concept of Antifragility?
  • How have you translated your interpretation into practice?
  • What are the results and impacts of your efforts?

15 Nov 2015 – Exploring the Practice of Antifragility site created.  During the previous week when it became clear that we could get enough content from contributors to get a viable eBook completed, Si reached out to all the webinar contributors to ensure everyone was “in the know” and created a site to house the details.  A stroke of genius.  Here you can get access to the recordings from the webinars and see all the ebook contributors and when their work was added.  Of course, this site will be updated as new contributors participate.

21 Nov 2015 – Published.  Si did the “heavy lifting” to get the book organized and published while provided the “sounding board” for anything he wanted to discuss and explore.  Though I’ve written several books none are published yet so I don’t have the immediate experience. Our ability to work together is deeply rooted in how much we respect each other and how we have demonstrated to one another that we take the necessary initiative and actions to meet our commitments — we make a good team!

To say we were excited to bring the book to the world with the concept of accumulating the insights and wisdom of so many would be a gross understatement. When the book became available I was at Edisto Island for our family’s annual Thanksgiving get together. Needless to say I showed everyone. I purchased two books. I couldn’t help it.

25 Nov 2015 – I was floored. Nassim Taleb bought our book. What else is there to say.

25 Nov 2015 – I was too excited to keep track of the actual date. On Amazon Best Sellers One-Hour Business & Money Short Reads we went to #2.

26 Nov 2015 – We went to number #1 on the same list. Shortly after we went to #1 Hot New Releases

28 Nov 2015 – Three new contributors were added.

5 Dec -2015 – Five new contributors were added.

What we learned:

  1. There is a lot of interest around the world in the concept of antifragility.
  2. Practical application of the concept is nascent.
  3. It is possible to go from concept to published quickly with a bit of preparation but a lot of passion and care.
  4. The process we’ve experienced is antifragile. We encountered unknown roadblocks, stress to adapt, and challenges from which to “grow”. I know I’ve gained from the experience and will continue to do so.

One of the direct results for me is learning that allowing evolution of an idea or making progress toward the goals is more important than having perfection out of the gate.

As Si and I continue to reflect on our experience, we are gently reminded of Ray Bradbury’s quote:

“And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right.”

As many writers have echoed, “Just Do Something”.


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