Thursday, June 18, 2009

My New Book, The Cover Story

My new book, 52 Solutions for Those Who Need a 25 Hour Day, was listed on Amazon yesterday. Of course I'm eager to tell you about what's in it. I really do believe it should be a required reference every day for one year by every person who wants to be more effective at work or in leadership. It is a practical book. Obviously, I suggest you purchase it. But that's not the story today.

You can get that information and purchase the book at

What I do want to share today is the story of the cover. Yes, it's black. Just like the picture shows.


In fact it looks like the big version of about 125 other covers I have in my office ... the covers of my little black books.


I always thought it would be great to have one of my books look like one of the constant companions I have carried with me for so many years. My little black books contain almost any kind of information you can imagine. Notes from a meeting, measurements for a project, quotations from books, a list for the grocery store, brilliant thoughts I don't want to lose. It's all in those books. I refer to them often. I can find information from years back very easily.

When it was time to design a cover for 52 Solutions,  Sandi came up with a great idea of putting a graphic that resembled a little black book on the cover. We lived with this idea for some time. (You might be able to make out the word  "Memo" in the top left corner and an actual page of notes as background).

favourite cover large

Of course it came time to get the idea to a professional designer. We ultimately chose Lindsay Henry from Michigan. She has some really great work out there. We liked it, liked her energy and liked her.

Lindsay and I have history. I watched her grow up. She and Sandi are great friends. She became a graphic designer just like her dad, Mike Landgraff.

We have one other important experience in common. For 10 years, Alice and I were Directors of Beacon Bible Camp. During that time, Lindsay came as summer staff. She got first hand experience of Woody's little black book. Morning assignments often came out of those books. One was always tucked in my back pocket for ready use.

I guess it should have come as no surprise then, that Lindsay would suggest to Sandi that she might have an alternative cover for us to consider for the book ... a book about being more effective, staying organized and using time more wisely ... a book that had similarities to the reasons I always used my little black books.

With minor exceptions, that suggestion was the cover you see today. It looks really cool when you have it in your hand. It looks worn, thumbed, well used ... just like we want it to be when you use it for a year.

That's it. That's the story of the cover. Thanks to Sandi and Lindsay for working on it and producing something that really did achieve my original dream for a cover.

Make sure you get 52 Solutions. It should be on hand and used every day.

And as for the next book that is in the works ... it will probably have lots of color on the cover.

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