I met Shane Mac two years ago via Twitter, when serendipitously we both remarked on the strange olfactory sensations of shopping malls (we commented wryly about the stench pouring from Abercrombie and Fitch stores)–and followed it up with a beer (maybe several beers, in fact) in San Francisco. He was one of my first twitter-to-real-life friends, and I’ve followed his work at Gist, Zaarly and other places with admiration and respect. Along the way, we’ve become advocates for each other’s work and when I came across his manuscript, Stop With The BS, I asked him if he wouldn’t think about publishing it beyond a PDF E-book.

Nah, he said, I just had to put it up there.

“I believe in shipping things, and I wanted to make this and ship it.”

I’m so glad he did–it’s how I stumbled across the book. But I thought it could be a little bit more. And over the last year, I convinced him that we should design the book and get it “really published,” (whatever that means in today’s publishing world).  And so, as a side project, I designed one of my first print books–learning more about layout, typography, and e-books than I ever thought possible. We’re finally launching the book today, and as part of the book launch, I’m sharing a couple of excerpts from the book, as well as a sneak preview into the layout. More importantly, as the designer of this book, I have a completely-biased recommendation to offer you:

“I think you’ll love this book.” – Sarah Peck

Stop With The BS: The Story.

Sometimes the corporate world drives me nuts. The hours, the schedule, the expectations, the posturing, the need for perfectly-crafted resumes. It’s enough to make someone–many people, in fact–scream. Where did this culture come from? What can we do about it? Why do people march along for 20 or 30 years and then wake up so unhappy? What are we missing?

On Friday, March 5th, 2010, Shane Mac got onto a train from Seattle, Washington and took it down the West Coast to San Francisco, California with one goal: to write down all of his thoughts and ideas recorded in his notebook and business, careers, work, and life. What results is a collection of 75 different essays, thoughts and rants about how people work, the problems of corporate culture, and how to make your own path–or business–by being different.

Or, in other words: Stop With The BS.

Design and Layout Preview:

This project was fun for a number of reasons–one of which was because I got to design a layout for a book that I loved. Here are a few snapshots of the book layout that we created. It features a map documenting the travels on the train, cover design by Mike Rohde, a font created with the cover sketches, and images taken on each stop along the train ride. There’s even a spotify playlist capturing the (cheesy to country to amazing) songs that were playing at the time of the book’s writing. Here are a couple of previews of the print book: 


We published the book through Amazon’s CreateSpace with both a Kindle and Print version (I’m biased: the print version is the most fun to read), as well as a PDF and an iBooks version.

Ten Thoughts From Shane Mac

I asked Shane to talk about some of the themes of the book–and here are just some of the nuggets contained within. (If you want to share it, I’ve made each one a tweet, too.) What does it mean to “Stop With The BS?”

  1. Work is Life. How you work, where you work, what you do each day? This is your life.
  2. Don’t Settle. If you’re not happy, work harder to get where you want to go.
  3. Learn, Learn, Learn. Never Stop Learning. 
  4. Corporate should become “Community.” We need to regain a sense of community. Let’s do this.
  5. Politics is Recess.
  6. Suits, Ties, and Lies = Fake.
  7. Never Say Never. You just don’t know. 
  8. Smile At Strangers. Say Hi. Start a conversation.
  9. Shortcuts Don’t Work.
  10. Respect. Above All Else. 

Launch Week Love: How You Can Help

So, with all the goodness above, and as your designer-publisher extraordinaire, nothing would make me happier than if you wanted to pick up a copy of the book! Some of our goals this week and next–and how you can help–include helping us share the book, reviewing the book on Amazon and writing a review or a post about it. A book only goes so far as your network, so I’d love all of your help: the success of this book (and my publishing ventures, I suppose!) will be as successful as your participation. So, in advance: Thank You!

We’re also looking to have at least 100 people review the book this week (audacious, huh?), so if you want to help us out on Amazon after you’ve read it,that would be AMAZING. (There’s a ton of advice in the publishing world that says once the book reaches a certain number of reviews, it is then featured in more marketplaces and has the potential to reach more distribution channels than just this blog alone. There’s a tipping point that happens once enough people share–but we have to reach that critical tipping point first). The publishing world is undergoing massive disruption and we’re bombarded with self-publishing ventures, tips on publishing, and “The Tim Ferriss Effect.” While there’s lots to be said about the publishing world, suffice it to say: we would love your help. 

If you know someone who would like to review the book and share it (or if you would like to review it), please send me a note and help get the word out!

And of course this goes without saying: Review it honestly. If you hate it, let us know. If there are ways that it can be better, tell us. We only get better with feedback, and that includes your honest review. (And not so secretly, I hope you love it!)

I’m crossing my fingers because our early reviews look fantastic. If you want to share any of the following, please do:

Shane has some stuff figured out that lots of people never get. What he wrote on this train ride, you’ll be thinking about for much longer.” — Julien Smith, NYT Best-selling Author of Trust Agents

This book is a swift kick in the ass. It makes you want to get up and go make things happen. Do yourself a favor and grab a copy of this book today.” — Neil Patel, Co-founder of 2 Internet Companies: Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics.
“This book is something that everyone needs to read the day they graduate college. Anyone looking for a career change or who needs a quick dose of inspiration and motivation. The way the book is written, on a train, in real-time makes you feel like you’re right there along for the ride.” — Scott Gerber, Founder YEC and Best-selling Author, Never Get a “Real” Job

And A GiveAway Special!

As with almost all of my November Posts, I’m giving away a free things for the month-long gratitude experiment. Naturally, I’ll be giving away a copy of the book “Stop With The BS” in this giveaway. To win a copy of the book, answer one of the following questions in the comments before 9 AM PST on Thursday, November 15th. I’ll pick a lucky winner then!
  • What do you think should change about the corporate world? 
  • What’s one thing that surprised you about the corporate world, and how did you manage, overcome, or change this? 
  • What areas of work, careers, life, or corporate America need to be disrupted? What will your role be in this disruption? 

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