During the Summer of 2013, a book publisher approached me to write a book about Digital Asset Management (DAM). At the time, I was Director of the Digital Asset Management Practice at Marlabs and this would be my third book on DAM…if I were to accept to write it.
After reviewing the details for this book project, including the sponsorship from Intel, it sounded interesting. This would not be the first nor last book about Digital Asset Management, but more focused on the people, process, technology and information involved. Many aspects were not covered in any book before this one. A few other people had been approached to write this book before I was asked, but they pointed to me since I had written a blog about DAM for over 4 years and I follow the DAM market closely. I spoke to the publisher and a few DAM colleagues about it over a few days around July before making my decision.
Writing a book is not an easy task. It is pretty hard if you are actually going to contribute something meaningful, original, understandable and possibly even useful to others who read it. I knew who my audience was and this book would expand it. I was not going to simply copy work from others and compile it all like authors sometimes do. Creating original content is a labor of love…and hate. I am my own harshest critic when it comes to my work and I actually do not like a lot of my own original content because it could be better. On the other hand, we cannot aim for perfection because there is no such thing in this world. Why do I say this? Because that fictional bar of perfection keeps changing. Do not aim for perfect. Do aim for the best you can and move forward. Otherwise, we dwell in doubt, which yields nothing. I prefer to actually refer to others who will provide truly honest feedback and constructive criticsim. In my years of blogging, I still find editing harder than creating original content. With everything we want to share with the world, we just need to start it, work on it and then ship it.
I was debating whether to even start this project by first weighing all the pros and cons. The challenge was not the topic, which I know well. It was not a lack of ideas to write about which I had plenty of. It was not an issue of energy needed to do this because I have plenty of that. I was really wondering if this was worth my time as a side project. What were the benefits, aside from the small fee upon completion and some royalties? I was prioritizing among my other projects and willing to walk away if this project did not sound worth it to me. How long was this project realistically going to take to complete? How time consuming was it going to be and could I realistically fit it in my 168 hour weekly schedule? After all, no task gets done without time. The answer from the publisher was months. About 6+ months from start to finish. These were to be intensive months with lots of back and forth.
At the same time, I was still completing the delivery of a separate book project titled Another DAM Podcast Transcribed by Henrik de Gyor which was pre-funded through Kickstarter. That separate book project is now available as an eBook and Print on Demand.
I finally declined to write the book and notified the publisher… due to the time commitment involved. Within a month, another author I know named Elizabeth Keathley accepted to write this book. This author realized the time commitment involved and decided to actually quit her job to focus on writing this book full time. A few weeks later, I was approached by that same author and publisher to be the technical reviewer for this new book.
What was that going to involve? During Fall 2013, every chapter drafted by the author would be forwarded to me for review, comment and constructive critique. Sometimes this involved thorough dissection to improve the clarity or expand on a point seen by the subject matter expert acting as a technical reviewer. That is exactly what I did with as much regard for her work as if it were my own. I believe we can critique thoroughly as long as it done respectfully and patiently. This process also takes a certain level of maturity to keep all emotions in check by realizing how would you take the same criticism of your own work. The review process is not about being nice nor accepting, but remaining professional when telling someone what they need to hear. Not for the faint of heart nor the shy. My feedback was very well taken though. The technical reviews took a total of a few days (not months).
The result was book released in late March 2014 titled:
Digital Asset Management: Content Architectures, Project Management, and Creating Order out of Media Chaos
by Elizabeth Keathley
If the topic of Digital Asset Management interests you, I hope you enjoy reading this book.
By Henrik de Gyor