One of the best things about old vinyl records is the liner notes. That's where the recording artist writes about what went into the making of the album. That's why it's so cool Lee Silber will share his "liner notes" on what went into the creation of his latest books.
[click here TO SEE A COMPLETE LIST OF BOOKS BY LEE SILBER]
What Would You Do For Your Art!
Homeless for a while. . .
"Well, I now know what it would be like to be homeless . . . and it was awful. I spent a few days and nights on the streets of San Diego to research my new novel and I had no idea how hard life could be. I learned so much from good people (and bad) about what it takes to live in your car or under a cardboard box and much of what I discoved made its way into my book. Researching it was trying (but worth it), and writing it was a labor of love." —Lee
Video Book Trailer? Yes!
Without Fans . . .
"Do you ever Google yourself? It's okay. Really. I just searched for videos with my name in them on YouTube and lo and behold found that someone had just made an amazing video trailer for my novel. This is so cool, and not just because it is really well done, but also because someone did it on their own because they liked the book. To me, that's the best part. I am over the moon." —Lee
Runner-Up . . . Again
"Wasn't it Susan Lucci who always finished as a runner-up in the Daytime Emmy Awards? I'm starting to know what that feels like. For the second straight year one of my books was a finalist for an award, and for the second straight time finished second. I should be thrilled, right? I have won ten awards for my books so far, but it still stings to get so close, but not be quite good enough. Think about it, who lost in the World Series two years ago? I know, you really have to think hard to remember. On the other hand, this time it was my first novel that was recognized for literary excellence and to be included with books by others who write fiction full time was pretty cool." —Lee
Runaway Best Seller
Tales From The Tropics Publishing, 2012
"To complete a novel is a major accomplishment. If it sells, that's a bonus. I was happy to have finished my first novel and pleased my friends read it and loved it. The next step was to enter the manuscript in a writing contest. My spirits were lifted when it scored high marks. Only then did I sent it to my agent. She didn't think it was ready for prime time—so I shelved the book for five years. While I was cleaning up my office one day last year I came across the manuscript and began reading it—and couldn't put it down (and I knew how it ends.) I figured what have I got to lose if I make the book available on Amazon.com as a Kindle version. I did, and the rest is history. 'Runaway Best Seller' is the title of the tome and that's exactly what's happened. It's selling at the rate of 150 copies a day. I don't know what to say (and that's saying something.) This experience has taught me to trust my gut and never give up on a book." —Lee
Show And Tell Organizing
Deep Impact, 2012
"It's funny how we discount the things that come easy to us as nothing special. We will say, 'Oh this little thing I made, it was nothing.' But, in the eyes of others, it's amazing. Now I am not saying I am amazing (see, there I go again) but organzing comes very easy to me. I didn't come from a family of neatnicks, so it's just something that I have an innate ability to do—and apparantly others find it fascinating. When people first walk in to my home or office they usually gasp and say, 'Oh my God, you are so organized.' When couples see my garage the wife usually hits the husband in the arm and asks him why their garage doesn't look like this. (The husband then gives me a dirty look.) I've had an ongoing bet with family and friends that if I can't find what they ask for in under a minute, I will take them to dinner at a restaurant of their choosing. So far, I haven't had to pay for anyone's meal. This all leads to why I wrote "Show And Tell Organizing" my latest book—which was a labor of love, by the way. It seemed to me people loved looking at my creative organizing ideas in action, but didn't know how to apply them in their own lives. So I went around my entire home and office and took pictures of everything and explained both the theory and reasoning behind the form and function to show others how to do it. Once you see how things could and should look and can read up on how to do it, organizing is easy." —Lee
Deep Impact, 2011
"People write books for a number of reasons—from wanting to be rich and famous to a deep desire to make a difference and help others. My reason for writing 'Ripple Effect' was simple, to show others they can accomplish just about anything—including losing a lot of weight like I did—when they set a goal, stop making excuses, and go after it with desire and discipline. When they do that, it will create a ripple effect in their life. For me, losing 75 pounds changed my life in more ways than one, and I wanted others to become empowered to make improvements in how they look (and feel) so I started taking notes about what I was eating and how I was exercising because it worked so well. It's all in this simple 50-page book (and guide) to follow along with, and find inspiration from." —Lee
The Wild Idea Club
Career Press, 2009
"The original title for this book was The Crazy Idea Club, which I dropped for obvious reasons. That title was actually given to me by Doug Vance, my co-author on another book called Creative Careers—which is still languishing at Prentice-Hall, but that’s another story. When I told Doug I had been meeting on a monthly basis with two other creative types to brainstorm ways to build our businesses—and all the great ideas we were getting—he wondered aloud if this would make for a good book. Of course I said, 'Brilliant.' Being this book encourages collaboration, I reached out to my brain trust (Andrew Chapman and Linda Krall) and invited them to become co-authors. From the very beginning, I didn't want this book to be boring and thought about the first and best business book I ever read (The One Minute Manager) and why I loved it. The reason I read it cover to cover was because it was written as a story. After tons of research, we turned what we learned into short stories—one for each chapter—so it reads like fiction, but is based on fact. Our publisher insisted on including a step-by-step guide at the end of the book to help managers start and run a club, which we quickly agreed to, and a new book was born. The Wild Idea Club is an unqualified success and we hear story after story of how the ideas in the book have been implemented by everyone from DC Shoes to The U.S. Treasury." —Lee
Capital Books, 2009
"Back in B.C. (before children) I was already the go-to guy for fun things to do when everyone was bored—while waiting in line, or for our food to arrive in a restaurant—because I could come up with clever ways to pass the time using the things found in my pocket or on the table. But there was one time in particular that stands out as the turning point for what would become the book Bored Games. My good friend Mark was the first in my group to have kids, and for the most part he was a single dad. Many days during the summer we would meet at Marine Street beach and I would invent fun games to play with his kids while he read the paper. One day he simply dropped the kids off and left to run errands. Yikes! That's when I knew I could either open a day care or write a book. Obviously, I chose the latter. I began keeping a loose leaf binder with the best ideas. One day I was showing the binder to my friend Mike Metz (a father of two) and he loved it—and started coming up with even more wild ideas. That's when I asked him to become my co-author, and I'm so glad I did. We had a blast writing the book (we would call each other laughing at what one of us had written), researching it (I was forced to eat pickles dipped in cherry sauce), and promoting it (we appeared on morning shows together and did several in-store events.) One of the things we didn't find funny, however, was what one publisher said about our original title, Fun With Kids. They thought it sounded a little too literal, if you know what I mean. Puleeze." —Lee
July Publishing, 2010
"They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Or as Jimmy Buffett says, 'When life gives you limes, make margaritas.' When the economy went south, many of us were forced to face the fact that bigger isn't always better. In fact, a lot of us starting looking at ways to cut back. I've always believed the best way to become wealthy (and happy) is to learn to live with less. My philosophy has always been to make the most you can, spend the least you have to—and invest the rest in things that make you more money. The problem was, before the recession nobody wanted to hear about the second part of that equation (spend the least you have to) so the concept of thinking small was laughed at. That's all changed now, and we have stopped trying to keep up with the Jones'. (I say, why bother, when you do catch up to the Jones', they just refinance.) So the time is right to talk about ways to have a more fulfilling life with a little less stuff—and a lot less stress. To prove my point, I looked to best-selling author Seth Godin for inspiration. He almost always releases an e-version of his books before they are published in a more traditional manner. To get the rights to a book bought by a publisher requires a detailed proposal, a proven platform, a really good agent, and the patience to wait around for two or three years for the book to come out in print. That's why this is my first digital-only version of a book, and once I let go of the I-have-to-have-a-big-time-publisher-to print-my-book-and-distribute-it-to-big-box-retailers-or-I-am-a-failure mentality, it was like the weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders." —Lee
Rock To Riches
Capital Books, 2008
"There is so much back story with this book, it's hard to pick just one or two to write about. So I'll share a couple of the snippets of what went into making this book—one of my all-time favorites to write. What made it so much fun was my partner, or as I am always clear to point out, my writing partner. I say this because Andrew Chapman and I are soul mates. Did I mention I am married and have two kids? Good. Anyway, Andrew came to a booksigning I did at the Barnes and Noble in Encinitas and I knew the minute I met him we would be friends for life, and work together (in that order.) We both loved rock music—and we both play bass and drums—and we each have founded a few different companies. The idea for a book about basic business lessons learned from rocks stars was Andrew's—and a good one, too. We met at the Borders downtown one morning and he told me about his vision and I couldn't stop thinking or talking about it. In fact, we often finish each other's sentences when we speak, which comes in really handy when writing together. Plus, we discovered both of us knew a lot of useless music trivia which ended up being very useful for this particular project. I hope we have a chance to write the sequel to this title sometime soon." —Lee
Organizing From The Right Side Of The Brain
St. Martin's Press, 2004
"This book was like a lot like all of my works, it wasn't just a book about a subject, it was the book about the subject . . . at least in my mind. By the time I began writing this title I had already received rave reviews and several awards for my previous books and the most common comment was how thorough I was when researching and writing about a topic. This put a lot of pressure on me, and with a topic as broad as organizing, I was overwhelmed. Most books take about three months to research and three months to write. This one took twice that long, and the stress probably took a year off my life—but it was worth it. When I was done I knew I had written something really special that would speak to a group of people who really needed to hear what this book had to say. I always say my books are like my children, you should love them all the same. But unlike with my kids, I can admit that this book is probably my best one—which is why I am so happy it is still selling and still in print." —Lee