Mission & Core Values
Don't waste the reader's time
Write no more words than necessary to articulate the idea
Provide current, real-world examples
Focus on showing people how to apply the principles in the book to their business
Having been a business school professor for over a decade, and having founded, run, and sold my own businesses, as well as consulted for companies from the Ivy League to the Fortune 500, and individuals who have won Grammys, and Oscars, I've lived, eaten, and breathed business.
My motivation has always been to help creative people build sustainable, impactful businesses on their own terms.
To this end, I've read hundreds if not thousands of business books and articles — from text books to blogs to the business best-sellers that litter airport book stores. I've also assigned many of these books to my students, and given them to CEOs. There are only a handful that I feel truly offer value.
By value, I mean that the ratio of length to actionable/useful information is something approximating 1:1. Too often we might read 250 pages and come away with two ideas that we can put in place. A 125:1 ratio is not good, and not a good use of time.
Most (though not all) books do have some value, but most would better respect the reader's time if, rather than being book-length, they were magazine-article length.
There is an obvious economic reasons why these books that could be distilled down to a few thousand words are instead expanded out to a few hundred pages: it's hard to justify a $20 price for a 15 page book.
Of course, in an age of digital books, there simply is no reason I can think of (beyond greed) that anyone would continue to write books that milk a single idea (good or bad) for hundreds of pages. Few professionals have the time to read books of this length that only contain an idea or two, and even fewer students have the inclination to do so.
It's waste, pure and simple.
With 9GiantSteps Books, we're taking a different approach. We'll publish books at the length sufficient to express the actionable idea, and not a word more. This may mean the end result is a 35-page book, or it may be a 200-page book. We will not be constrained by or adhere to outmoded publishing practices; even if this means pricing the books at a significantly lower price point than if the books were "fleshed out" with non-value-adding chapters.
Most importantly, We will respect the reader's time.