Books We Can’t Wait to Read in 2019

Here are the emotions-at-work related books we’re most excited to read this year. There is so much to look forward to!

From the Ground Up: A Journey to Reimagine the Promise of America by Howard Schultz (January 2019)

We open our book, No Hard Feelings, by sharing that when Howard Schultz returned to lead Starbucks in 2008, he cried in front of the entire company. Schultz is a great example of an emotionally intelligent and selectively vulnerable leader. In his upcoming book, Schultz examines what a leader’s responsibilities are to both their organization and to society. The book is “part candid memoir, part uplifting blueprint of mutual responsibility, and part proof that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.”

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport (February 2019)

We love Cal Newport’s writing on how to reduce work stress: “Minimalism is the art of knowing how much is just enough. Digital minimalism applies this idea to our personal technology. It's the key to living a focused life in an increasingly noisy world.” In his new book, Newport introduces a philosophy for technology use to improve our lives by deciding what tools to use, for what purposes, and under what conditions.

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A look at how to launch a book

Our book launch is only a month away (February 5th!), so, with the help of our team, we’ve been busily preparing. Our team at Penguin includes our publicist Alyssa Adler, marketing lead Madeline Sheffield, and our editor Leah Trouwborst. We’re also working with Callie Schweitzer, a freelance creative strategist and publicist. We have a weekly planning call with these three, as well as with our agent, Lisa DiMona.

We use author Jenny Blake’s 15-tab Marketing Spreadsheet to organize all our plans. We began our publicity push by writing articles to pitch to magazines, newspapers, and websites, and asking that they be published around February 5th. We thought about which topics or excerpts from the book would make sense for which outlet, and then pitched to them with the help of Callie and Alyssa. We heard from other authors that podcasts can sell a lot of books, so we emailed 50+ podcasts. We’ve recorded a dozen so far, and have another dozen to record in the next month.

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Behind the book: Working with our editor

One of the parts of the book writing that we were most curious about (and quite honestly, most worried about), was working with our editor. We’d heard stories from writer friends about editors who were either too engaged (re-writing large portions of the manuscript) or not engaged enough (being incommunicado for large stretches of the process and then only giving minimal guidance). We’d also heard of editors who had very different visions for the book than the authors did.

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