The Buddhist CEO: The Build Up to Publication
Finally I now have in my possession a pre-release copy of my novel the Buddhist CEO. It seems to have taken a long time to get here. Some blood, sweat and tears have been shed along the way. But on the 13th December it will go forth into the world. This blog will give you an insight into what has been happening to the book during the build up to publication.
When I finished writing the book I had the naive thought that I was finished. All the work had been done. I can look back on that now and smile to myself. I now know that I was only half way on my journey.
It took some time to find a publisher and I am grateful to Koehler Books for signing my book. But what has been happening with the book since signing with Koehler and what will happen over the coming months?
Well it has been a very busy few months over the summer. The editing process has been fascinating. I always felt I had written a good book but I also felt it could benefit from professional editing. And I was not wrong. It was amazing to work with the editor at Koehler. They notice so much it is incredible. They never changed any of the chapters or asked me to rewrite any of it but they were incredibly good at noticing duplication. I have learned that I have a tendency to repeat things when I am writing and they were able to help iron out these duplications, making the book tighter. They were also great at identifying unnecessary words that didn't need to be in a sentence. The overall impact of their work is to make the book tighter and easier to read. I am genuinely grateful to them.
After the editing was finished it was then onto cover design. Again I feel indebted to Koehler Books for their professionalism. The final cover is shown above and I am absolutely delighted with it. I always had an idea of how the cover should look. My idea was of a modern man, in a suit and tie, walking through a mystical mountain landscape. I felt this would reflect the juxtaposition of the story. A modern man trying to practice an ancient tradition whilst leading an organisation as a modern CEO. This was the idea I gave to Koehler books but what they produced was beyond my expectations. Koehler also ran an online poll to ask the public to help us choose the best front cover. Thanks to everyone who voted and commented on the two choices. I read every comment and thought about them deeply.
The other main thing I have been doing is reaching out to authors to review my book and give it an endorsement. This has been one of the most unexpected and exciting aspects of this whole process. Some authors have reached out to me after hearing about my book on social media, while I have reached out to other authors. This has led to new friendships and fascinating zoom calls. I have now had zoom calls in the US, India, Oman and UK with people keen to read the book. Some of these conversations have felt profound and always uplifting. I had not expected this at all and it has been so refreshing.
What comes next? I am currently sending the book out to reviewers and book fares etc. On December 5th a three month publicity campaign will begin, with the biggest emphasis being on north America. This campaign aims to draw attention to the book with various sections of the media, from TV, newspapers, magazines, podcasters and bloggers. Fingers crossed this generates a lot of interest in the book. Time will tell.
Buddhism places an emphasis on staying humble and keeping your feet on the ground. There is also a strong emphasis on living in the moment. This sounds so easy but years of meditation has taught me that my mind often wants to think about the past or the future. It would be so easy to get caught up in how well will the book do, what will people think, will they enjoy it or not. As best I can I am trying to stay grounded and avoid building up any expectations. My hope is that my feet are firmly on the ground and I intend to let the process unfold and stay present to it all. What ever the reaction to my book.
Thanks for reading and below I leave you with some, not all, of the endorsements I have received for the book. Also the book is available to pre-order and I have provided some links to where it can be ordered in the UK and US. The book is available globally so it can be found on a range of platforms, these are just a few.
There are two worlds colliding in this wonderful novel, when the zen meditator and corporate chief executive officer in Buddhist CEO weaves a visual tapestry of the path toward enlightenment in the world of business. The fragrance of the incense in the silence of the zendo is as expressively depicted as the corporate tribunal where both sides of employer vs employee struggle to debate their positions. The author expresses a passion for his spiritual practice in every sentence, drawing the reader toward a discerning look at their own personal choices as they integrate compassion and mindfulness into the daily lifestyle.
Buddhist CEO is an evocative first novel as it takes us on a narrative journey and explores the potential for synergism between the worlds of personal and business from the perspective of a mindful zen practitioner.
5 out of 5 stars are well deserved.
___ Nora D'Ecclesis, Best Selling American Author of Zen Rohatsu, Multicultural Mindfulness and Spiritual Portals.
Winner 2022 Gold Book Award, The BookFest, Los Angeles.
Thane Lawrie’s book: The Buddhist CEO, is a rare exploration of a career in management within a people centred charity. It balances both the objective workings of the organisation with the personal and spiritual life of its CEO. It covers the very human story of what happens when good managerial intentions meet at times with some underhanded and divisive staff behaviour. Thane tracks for us the highs and lows around taking responsibility and making the hard choices that his role demands, and the price to be paid in terms of personal stress in maintaining your integrity. The book becomes quite a dramatic page turner as we travel with the author, through the complexities of this human story. The overall effect of the book is to give us an honest and even uplifting insight into the human world of managing an organisation, where the very ups and downs becomes the fuel for going deeper in our own spiritual journey.
Reverend Master Favian Straughan
Prior of Portobello Buddhist Priory
'Each of us, whether consciously or not, is simply trying to live what the Buddhists call ‘this precious human life’, as best we can. Many of us reach for the literalism of non-fiction works and/or the symbolism of fiction to guide us. This novel is unlikely to be like anything you have read before. It’s not everyday you get to read a book where Buddhist protagonists and workplace antagonists duke it out within the same pages.
The late great Joseph Campbell, professor of literature, would probably have agreed that Hamish, the lead character in The Buddhist CEO, is essentially following the arc of the ‘Hero’s journey’ Campbell is famed for popularising. But this is only part of the book’s appeal. Editors and agents endlessly advise authors to ‘write what you know’. In every sentence, paragraph and chapter, the author has done precisely that. Like all things Buddhist, experience happens on many levels. This book is no exception.
On one level, you will get to enjoy a fictional story with interesting settings, conflicts and contrasts (something else authors are encouraged to do); on another you get to relive and learn from the true life trials the author has had to survive in order to put before you the book you now hold in your hands.
Delve in and enjoy.
Matt Jardine, Author
The Buddhist Millionaire & The Hardest Path
A prescient read for everybody; for religious aspirants, committed business leaders, and for all who consistently 'over do it' in life. Read slowly as you would a sutra. It is said the Buddhist scriptures (a poetic form of conveying universal truths born of direct experience) were written at 'deaths door' that is, having had ones faith extremely and severely tested in adversity unimaginable. And lived to pass on digested truth. What greater gift could there be.
In the face of a life limiting illness (FND) Hamish, a dedicated Buddhist practitioner, is forced to change his lifestyle. What truths does he derive from entering the fires of suffering and come out the other side? Perhaps for starters, labels have to drop away? No Buddhist, no CEO.
Reverend Master Mugo White
Throssel Hole Buddhist Abbey