Managing for Happiness FAQ

In June 2016, John Wiley & Sons will release released my “new” book Managing for Happiness, which is a re-release of last year’s #Workout book. Some people asked me questions about that.

Why do you re-release the #Workout book with a publisher?

My aim is to be a full-time writer. That means I must sell more books so that I can earn a full income from writing. (Right now, I don’t.) A global publisher can help me with that. A second reason is that I want to reach as many people as possible with my message of better management with fewer managers. A third reason is that wider availability of the book (in bookstores and libraries) is not only good for new readers but also for my reputation as a public speaker. 😉

Why did you pick John Wiley & Sons?

Well actually, they picked me. I received an email from the editor who also published the famous Business Model Generation book. He somehow found my work online. He said he was impressed with what I had achieved all by myself and asked if Wiley could take over publication of the #Workout book. I checked with Pearson (publisher of my Management 3.0 book) but they were not interested. That meant the way was clear for me to switch to another publisher. Given Wiley’s track record in the business books space, it was an easy decision for me!

Why did you start with a self-published edition?

I wanted a full-color book. Period. However, no publisher in the world will agree to that, unless you’re famous or just finance everything yourself. So that’s what I did: I paid for it myself, which was quite a financial risk, but it all turned out well. Now that I proved what I could sell on my own (and removing most of the risk), it was easier to reach an agreement with a publisher. I also believe this is the agile/lean approach to publishing. I basically iterated over several editions: first free, then self-published, and then high-volume. This reduces risk and allows you to adapt (as we will be doing with the new release).

Why is the book renamed to Managing for Happiness?

My publisher’s editor didn’t like the #Workout title because physical exercise doesn’t sound like a fun activity for many readers. He had a point. He said the colorfulness and playfulness of the book requires a title that sounds more positive and uplifting. He suggested using the word happiness because there are many happiness books on the market, but none of them make the connection with management. In other words, the new title seems to fill a gap in the market.

Why does the re-release have a smaller number of pages?

My editor explained that print runs always get smaller when books are older, which means that fewer copies will be printed in the future. It’s no problem earning a profit on a 500-page full-color book when you print lots of copies. But when the print runs get smaller, such a heavy, full-color book becomes too costly to produce. I was fortunate that my print run of 5,000 copies of #Workout sold out in one year. But printing another 1,000 copies at the current book size would be impossible, financially.

Which chapters will be in the new release?

This is my current selection. It can still change!

Introduction: What Is Management 3.0?
1. Kudo Box and Kudo Cards: Motivate People with Better Rewards
2. Personal Maps: Improve Communication and Understanding
3. Delegation Boards and Delegation Poker: Empower Workers with Clear Boundaries
4. Value Stories and Culture Books: Define the Culture by Sharing Stories
5. Exploration Days and Internal Crowdfunding: Make Time for Exploration and Self-Education
6. Business Guilds and Corporate Huddles: Develop Communities of Practice
7. Feedback Wraps and Unlimited Vacations: Learn How to Offer Constructive Feedback
8. Metrics Ecosystem: Measure Performance the Right Way
9. Merit Money: Pay People According to Their Merits
10. Yay! Questions and Celebration Grids: Learn from Successes and Failures
11. Moving Motivators: Discover Real Engagement of Workers (NEW!!!)
12. Happiness Door: Aim for a Happier Organization (NEW!!!)
Conclusion: Never Stop Experimenting

Which chapters will you remove?

A. Work Expo: Explain Purpose by Collecting Artifacts
B. Identity Symbols: Invite Workers to Create a Shared Identity
C. Improvement Dialogues and Copilot Programs: Improve Performance through Collaboration
DE. Problem Time: Keep Solving Problems and Deliver Value
E. Work Profiles and Project Credits: Shift Focus from Job Titles to Reputation
F. Salary Formula: Keep People’s Trust with Fair Compensation
G. Champfrogs Checklist: Understand How to Be a Better Influencer

How did you choose which materials to remove?

I asked the readers of my personal mailing list which chapters they would recommend to new readers and which ones I should take out. I followed their advice (with one exception: I will keep Celebration Grids) and removed the chapters that were less popular. This was relatively easy because all the chapters are independent of each other anyway.

What will happen with the deleted chapters?

They will be updated, just like the other ones, and made available online. We will make sure that the new paper edition plus the extra/online chapters will be consistent with each other in terms of content and design.

Will there be new content in the re-release?

Yes! There will be new chapters about Moving Motivators and Happiness Doors because, in hindsight, I think these topics should have been in the book from the beginning. Also, it is good to offer something new in the re-release. 🙂

Are there any other differences between the two releases?

The dimensions of the new book will be a bit larger. (The book will get the same size and paper as the Business Model Generation book.) There will be some new stories from readers and every chapter will end with a new page called Tips & Variations. My editor also convinced me to trim the fat by deleting some nice-to-have theory from various chapters. I will keep those sections for publication online.

Will you make new materials available for #Workout readers?

Sorry, no. The publisher has exclusive publication rights to everything that is in the new Managing for Happiness release. I keep full control of everything that is not in the new release. I think #Workout readers will be happy to learn they got a bigger book than the new readers of Managing for Happiness, at more or less the same price. Also, the #Workout edition may now become a collector’s item. 😉

Why don’t you release the book as a series of smaller books?

I have already been working on this book for three years. Enough is enough. When Managing for Happiness is out, I want to switch to other projects.

Why don’t you make it a vertical book (in portrait layout)?

Almost all books are portrait format. I wanted a book that is really different from all the other management books. Asking me to make the book vertical is similar to asking me to remove all the colors, photos, and illustrations. If you prefer books that look boring and unremarkable, there are many others to choose from. 😉

Will there be translations of your book?

There are a few teams working on translations to various languages, but I don’t know about their progress or status. It is completely self-organized. However, they are not allowed to publish anything without a publisher. I do know that a German and Chinese publisher have expressed interest in publishing translations. But the time frames are unknown to me at this time.

Do you have more questions? Let me know!

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