Through the Eyes of our Editor

Time was up. We had less than a week before the draft was due to our publisher. It had only been five weeks since Tony and I were in Lake Tahoe (when we first sat down to take it from outline to book form) and we were already blinking at the deadline.

It was a little daunting since Tony still had several sections to write, I had yet to add the third party content and we were both wondering how the whole process would end. But our psychic editor, Will (aka The Book Whisperer), flew to Vegas for the last days before we had to hit SEND. This was the 3rd week of October, 2009.

A couple weeks ago, Will sent me these camera phone pix he took from the trip, so I can’t help but post a behind-the-scenes blog of the images captured through his eyes, now through my vantage (how’s that for teamwork).

#1 Triathlon. Writing, editing, imbibing. Our wake/sleep cycles came out to a rough 20:4 ratio. It was intense, but we had unforgettable moments and this was one of them. Tony had to record a live session with CNBC in the morning. Before he went live, he texted us “Do you guys want In-n-Out for lunch?” We wagged our tails yes, watched him on TV and 45 minutes later he appeared like a genie with this in his hands. Yeah, talk about delivering happiness.

#2 House guests. Tony’s the consummate host, always welcoming whoever might be visiting Vegas at the time. Holly just happened to be there that week to celebrate her birthday. We of course wanted to celebrate with her and took a break from the triathlon. (Fast forward six months later, Holly’s joining the Delivering Happiness team after making the leap of leaving her old and pursuing the unknown new.)

#3 Paper trail. Up until this point, Tony and I had a rough outline of the book — he kept writing, I kept chipping and plugging away. But now, I wondered how we could tie everything up in so little time. Lucky for us, Will introduced us to the paper trail approach to creating a cohesive book (on the floor, as it was). Unlike post-its on the wall, it seemed that much more important since we had to walk over it to get things like water, food or Grey Goose.

#4 Aftermath. By the end of our sprint to the finish line, this was the carnage left behind. But we made the deadline. And we didn’t have too many more edits, other than fact checks and minor typos. Given what I know, it’s probably because Tony wanted to get it right the first time and Will got his hands dirty with us throughout the process, not after.

Thanks for the pix Will! They gave me a nice jog down Memory Lane.

Hm. Now I feel like we should talk about what happened in Tahoe…

  • http://www.mikestenger.com Mike Stenger

    Awesome story Jenn! All I could think of was “Down to the wire!” which was probably going through everyone’s head at the time. Thought it was pretty funny that Tony delivered In-n-Out after his live session with CNBC.

    I could so picture him munching on a burger while they’re interviewing him live on TV…

  • http://www.facebook.com/timstorm Tim Storm

    Is Grey Goose sponsoring happiness? 3rd pic is quite an endorsement!

  • Jenn

    thanks mike! yep, that was pretty much running through our heads. good thing tony didn’t get the in-n-out before going live or he might’ve been…

    good question tim…grey goose, if you’re listening, about time to sponsor some happiness? :]

  • http://icebergcommerce.com Mike

    Jenn, I’m a member of Zappos insights and much to my surprise i received my pre-release copy of Delivering Happiness signed by Tony.

    All I have to say is WOW! Tony’s child hood entrepreneurial exploits remind me of my childhood so much. The worm farm story is hilarious. I like how Tony writes in a narrative (just like he would be talking). Nice to see a business related book that doesn’t follow the conventional template.

    cheers,
    Mike

  • http://healthyshouldbeeasy.com diane

    I’m just glad I’m not the only one who leaves things to the last minute! =D

    It was all worth it, I’m sure. The result is amazing – love the book (I was fortunate enough to receive and advance copy and I read it immediately). It really played a big role in me making changes in my life – and hope it has the same impact on others!

  • Jenn

    hey mike, glad you enjoyed the book! we’ll be growing our site in the future (“The Movement” at the top of this page), you should sign up to be a part of it! you’re already a ZI member, might as well be a DB member too :]

  • Jenn

    thx for your feedback on the book! we’d love to hear how it’s impacted your life — in the near future, we’ll be expanding on “The Movement” link you see up top (in the middle of the main navigation). would be great if you could share your story when we launch that section! (we’ll send you updates on when if you sign up)

  • Jenn

    woops, that last one was supposed to be addressed to diane :]

  • http://icebergcommerce.com Mike

    Hey Jenn, I just signed up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/holmac3 Holly McNamara

    Thanks for the shout out Jenn!!!! That weekend was truly inspirational to witness and to be a part of…meant so much to me that you guys could take time to help me celebrate! I will never forget walking into the house Wednesday night seeing all of the papers out on the floor and being scared to walk on them! It really was priceless to see Tony delivering the food minutes after being on CNBC…it put everything in perspective. It all comes down to being happy ;)

  • Jenn

    mike, AWESOME. thanks.

    holly, but of course! more good memories to come…