• Andrew Monroe

DxT Book Release + Behind the Scenes (#17)

In this episode, we talk about the book we're publishing on December 14th, and a little behind the scenes on the process of making this book happen, and some of the tools we used to write and create the book. We're both thrilled to be finally releasing the Dead by Tomorrow work, and as the Amazon subtitle says, the simplest way to think of what it entails is "How to Practice the Art of Today." A side-note: if you're looking to help or support our podcast or book, we don't want your money. Please, tell a few hundred friends about the show and release. Send them links to episodes you thought were interesting, or just link them to Amazon. Help us generate more reviews on this, as it's the only way we can grow. P.S. We also don't mind you checking out the book on Goodreads at

Show Notes:

Daniel Winter's Freshly Minted Blog!

Daniel has spun up his own website now that he's a father, woodworker, and author. Check out what he's got going on over there, and get some deeper, behind the scenes looks at what he's been up to in his life. Give it a subscribe if you want to keep up to date! (Andrew's favorite post so far has been Becoming and Author)

Pre-Order/Amazon Listing for Dead by Tomorrow Paperback and Kindle

The book is here! Or at least it sort of is.

Neil Gaiman Quote:

"Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving." -Neil Gaiman

Kimp.Io (Graphic Design/Book Cover Service)

These guys rock. If you need a design services, check them out.

Vellum (Manuscript Formatting Software)

Shout out to Derek Porterfield on this one, and congrats on your new book! Vellum is incredible- it took the process of uploading a kindle and paperback version of manuscripts from a couple weeks of frustration to less than a day. If you want to publish a book, this is some amazing software. Andrew's First Book, A Leaf and Pebble

Magic, swords, bromance, and a couple of airships. What more do you need to know?

Want to hear more about what Dead by Tomorrow is? Check out our redone introductions episode: Introductions Redux- Daniel and Andrew


(unedited, forgive us for the many transcription errors, we don't edit it and it's obviously not perfect).

Episode 17

DxT Book Release + Behind the Scenes (Transcript)

Andrew: [00:00:20] Hey guys, welcome back to Dead by Tomorrow. In this episode, we are going to be doing something a little bit different but don't worry, we're still going to talk about important stuff hopefully to you. But this is also going to be an announcement and that announcement drum roll please is we have written a book and it will be coming out on December 14th of this year, uh, 2020 for those in the future that are listening to this.

What we want you to know about this is on that day. You can go to Amazon, you can get it. we will have a Kindle version and a paperback version, but if you want to help us out before that, you're actually able to pre-order the Kindle version right now and before. And if you get too confused on this.

Or, want to, pre-order a paperback and not the Kindle or whatever you have going on or waiting for an audio book. There's a lot of different questions that usually come up here. And the short version is since we are self-publishing, this there's not a lot we can do up until that release date, the Kindles, the only thing we can offer for pre-order.

So if you are wanting one of the other versions of this book that will be available, You'll have to wait till the 14th to get the paperback and you will also have to wait much longer for the audio version. So sorry about that. But that's just the game we have to play whenever we're not big guys like Amazon likes to play with.

So with that all said, we hope to see you guys on December 14th, Daniel and I will be doing a live recording, kind of like an episode, kind of just a hangout session to celebrate since getting in large groups is still a little discouraged and we live in different cities. So we hope to see you there.

And we really appreciate your support in this. And thank you for being listeners and thank you for being future readers. So with all that said, Daniel, you want to kick us off with some information related to this.

Daniel: [00:01:55] Sure thing. So I don't know if you've been asked this question yet. I've been asked with, posting on Facebook and all that sort of stuff. Just trying to shout to the world. Hey, wrote a book. Have you been asked the question? Cool. what's the book about.

Andrew: [00:02:08] I okay. This is going to maybe reflect poorly upon the people in my life, but I haven't really had anybody ask me what the book is about. I have had a few people ask what I'm talking about when I. Said, Hey, we're doing a book based on the podcast and I'm like, what podcast? so that's happened a couple of times actually.

And I've had a few people in that vein, I haven't had anybody actually ask about the book itself.

Daniel: [00:02:30] let me be the first then, and sorry for, being a bad friend. Although I feel like I get a pass here. but w in your words, what is the book dead by tomorrow about.

Andrew: [00:02:40] If someone was asking that wasn't you the easy way to put this as it's a more concentrated form of what we're doing with the podcast. It is a mindset-oriented book that has a lot of the tools we talk about written in long form. Some of the things we've been on the podcast and some of the guests we've had, and some of those mindsets along with a lot of the other tools that you and I have used and developed throughout our careers and lives and we've taken it and tried to distill it down in a really short bite size kind of actionable chapters.

And that's really all the book is it's a lot of little chapters with a focus around one or two mindsets that we think are really important for people nowadays.

Daniel: [00:03:18] That sounds good, but I was confused. You have a podcast?

Andrew: [00:03:21] Unfortunately, yes. I have a podcast. Uh, you would not believe how often I get that and no offense to anybody listening or recently that has asked me that, like, it is totally cool that you did not know. And I'm more of making fun of myself here for being afraid of direct self-promotion and leaving it up to the fates on social media to tell people.

So it's really on me. It's not on, you don't feel bad. . Anybody who's asked that.

In your mind, what have you been telling people that have asked you, how have you described it to, maybe non listeners?

Daniel: [00:03:57] So I think I definitely touch on some of the things that you covered. And a lot of times, whenever I'm describing the book, I talk a little bit about where the idea came from, why we decided to write a book because that question also comes in is, Oh, what's the book about. Why would you write a book?

And so from there I really kind of lean into, my friend, Andrew and I, we wanted to essentially at the start of it, write ourselves a letter. If we had, had the chance to go back right after we left college and give ourselves some advice on, Hey, here are things that should be important to you that you should think about that.

I wish I knew now at 30, Wish I had known back at 22 and as we started going through that process of writing what those things would be. A lot of it boiled down to being really intentional and, the things that are really important, the goals that we have finding ways to really make sure that you're getting the ball rolling on that and that you don't wait for it.

There's not a guidance counselor. There's not, a core curriculum. There's not any of that sort of thing to move you forward like there isn't school and that's also sort of what inspired the title of dead by tomorrow is, okay, you've got things that you want to achieve in your life. in order to start doing that, you need to be doing it today because you're not guaranteed tomorrow.

One, like you could literally die tomorrow. It could happen. And so don't waste time trying to do the things you want to do, trying to build into the relationships you want to build into. But also if you put off. The goals that you have. If you put off the desires that you have and these relationships you want, if you continue to put those things off until tomorrow, they are going to die.

If you don't feed into that sort of stuff now, if you're not paying attention to it, it's going to be dead by tomorrow.

Andrew: [00:05:47] Absolutely. And for those people who think the sounds grim, you know, Hey, these guys are telling me I'm going to die tomorrow. Screw them. I want to go party. This isn't necessarily supposed to be a scary thing. This is really a tool that the idea of being dead by tomorrow. It's a tool for you to realize that you need to take action today because a lot of us will, without that idea that this could be the only time I might be able to take action on something.

We find excuses to push it off into the back burner and let it rest till tomorrow or next week. As soon as you get in that mindset, where, what is important to me, or what you say is important to you doesn't actually have enough import to be tackled today. You aren't going to ever have that day where you're like, Oh, today is the day.

It's the gym habits, the nutrition habits it's doing better work in your career. Or trying to find that new job moving, asking the girl out, having a better relationship with your wife or husband, all that kind of stuff. If you aren't working on it right now. You're probably not going to work on it tomorrow, no matter what you tell yourself.

We're not trying to scare tactic. You necessarily is what I'm getting at, but it is a really important thing to use to keep in mind, because it's easier to say dead by tomorrow. Then I have that whole train of thought. Do you just have to listen to me, spell out?

Daniel: [00:07:03] Totally.

Andrew: [00:07:09] So Daniel, what was the most interesting part of this writing process for you?

Daniel: [00:07:14] I think for me personally, it was probably doing research and trying to find kind of different studies that, That sort of would add some credence to maybe your life lessons that you or I had learned. It was really encouraging and really cool to, you know, go through, write a chapter, write an anecdote, write a story and kind of go through and say, this is, maybe what I think about this and my take on this and to go through and say, okay, first of all, why like, why should you listen to me?

There probably should be some more basis behind the words that we're saying. And so , as I started to look more into that, there were a lot of really interesting, really cool studies that sometimes were, a direct backing to a claim. And then there were other things where, as we dug into the research a little bit more dug into studies and just different examples, it gave a different perspective or a different lens to maybe a story or experience we had.

And it, it really made the book better. And I feel like that's where the podcast was especially helpful because that's when I really started getting more into, let's see what's out there. Let's see, what other ideas, what other studies have been done. So I think that was something that was really cool for me.

Andrew: [00:08:23] I meant to mention this the other day, but you did an awesome job at finding those studies. I know I had, I'd set the book down for probably a month or so on the edit and I was working on my other stuff and, working on the podcast and everything with you, and you're off in the background, just knocking out these studies, putting in footnotes.

And I come back through to start editing some more like, whoa, this whole thing. I think it ended up being like, You found probably 40 or 50 studies, and knowing them all throughout this book. And it was very impressive. So for all you people out there that like sports commentary or, watch really anything where there's that dual commentator, voiceover for whatever you're watching, that's a thing where they get a color commentator where somebody, talks about the sport and does their kind of thing.

And it's just. a voice and a personality on it, and then they usually have a technical and I can't remember what the exact word is. Where they give technical, actual information, it's usually like a pro that has turned commentator or something like that, or someone that really digs into the science of the sport or the subject you're watching in this case.

I am definitely the color commentator on this book. And Daniel was by far the technical observation. There's going to be a lot of stuff in there that is just me spouting opinions and things that have come to my mind. And then you're going to have a lot of the section by Daniel where it's like, Andrew's kind of dumb here's the science and what's going on here. So he did a lot more work on making sure the information that's coming to you guys is solid and not just anecdotal experience. So props to you, man, that, that took a lot of time and I'm very impressed.

Daniel: [00:09:54] Well, and it was, it was a joy to do. And like you said, most people actually prefer to listen to the color commentators. you're just. giving me a chance to share some of the studies with the masses by, uh, bringing the entertainment kind of keeping people from falling asleep.

Andrew: [00:10:10] it takes a village or something like that. I hear.

So what was the worst part for you? what was the toughest part of this process?

Daniel: [00:10:22] I think the toughest part was. Saying that it was done and ready. I felt like as I read through, there were a lot of moments where, maybe narcissistically, I was like, Oh, this is interesting. Or this is good. I would probably read this book. But for every moment, like that, there'd be another moment where I felt like, I don't know if this completely works or I feel like I can envision a way that this would work so much better, but that could entail rewriting everything from the ground up. And so that was just hard to feel like, okay, no, like this has value as it is. It's good as it is. That personally, that was that's I'm still wrestling with that.

Andrew: [00:11:02] That's funny because. There's a quote from Neil Gaiman that I live by because I have the same problem on just about anything I'm doing, especially when it comes to writing. it's something along the lines of you at some point, have to just say, it's done. You just have to say yes, this could get better, but you can't chase perfection.

You have to just let your writing, see the world and let the world see your writing. And. It's his advice for a lot of beginner writers like us, because we consistently, you read through your stuff, like I can improve this, I can improve this. And next thing you know, it's been eight years and you've been working on this book and it's a jumbled bunch of bits because you keep improving different things and changing the structure and everything.

So I'm impressed with how. We got the improvement done, but there wasn't a whole lot of no need to stop and release this. I think we might've missed our original desire. I think we were wanting to publish in June or July of this year. And you know, we missed it by like six months, but that was also, the podcast took up more time than we thought it would.

We did pretty good, I think. And that is definitely something that not just you or I deal with, but enough people do that. A famous writer actually puts it as one of his number one pieces of advice.

Daniel: [00:12:11] Totally.

And so you have published a book before though, which is a pretty big deal. And that was actually, a big factor that led to this book even coming about. And I wrote about that, on my blog, but just how, the fact that you did that. And then I got to play a small part in helping edit a little bit, or just read through and give you some thoughts.

It was one of these things that it was just really exciting. And ultimately, you challenged me into writing this together, but for you going through it the first time around. What were some of the things that this time you were like, Oh, okay? I learned my lesson the hard way. I know how to do this now.

And you were able to save us some heartache.

Andrew: [00:12:48] So it's funny again, that you all, this is funny to me because it's. It's almost like a mirror, but a lot of the stuff that I probably learned from on the last time, you might not have seen because it was a lot of the way we formatted the document and the way we directed the chapters. And some of the way we actually.

Followed the process that was some of the big mistakes I made was the process of writing and how I interacted with it. So things like where we, how we develop the chapters and how we drill developed the subheadings and the content within it and the formatting along with it and all that kind of stuff.

I kind of set in place before we really got the ball rolling. And then tweaked as we went by and made sure everything matched, two guys, like we kept using stylistic differences and it would just be like little tweaks like that. Like making sure that we match style and matched the way that we were writing paragraphs, writing sentences, writing chapters and everything like that.

So there's a lot of things there. And then I use some software that honestly saved my life, for any aspiring writers out there. Uh, my cousin actually recommended this, I'm not really sure what it's called, but it's like a formatting software for getting your book ready to go into print. So I use that saved us probably literally weeks of a time, just trying to get their book ready for print and Kindle.

And I used a Grammarly for some of the softer editing on the backend, and I ran all of our stuff through Grammarly and that caught a lot of the, like the really nitty-gritty silly mistakes that you're just blind to. But in the actual writing process, it was a lot easier to have that habit of sitting down me like, Hey, I need to write X amount of words.

I need to write for an hour, or I need to knock out so much of the work in a certain period of time. That discipline that came from the first book, I knew how much of a trap it can be to put stuff off.

Daniel: [00:14:40] Gotcha. No. And I've certainly benefited from it. I'm seeing all of those things. You're right. Like even, yeah. Something like having two different authors and that voice and all of that, I feel like that could be really challenging. And I feel like it will be interesting for readers that maybe know, as trying to pick through and say, Oh, I think Daniel wrote this section.

Or I think Andrew wrote this section, but even for those that know us well, I feel like , hopefully it won't feel disjointed when it's all said and done.

Andrew: [00:15:08] No, I would love it. Actually, if people play that game, I know one of the first books I read by two authors, because when we were talking about this back in 2000 and early 2019, but writing this book together after you did a lot of editing, unlike what you said, there was a lot of editing you offered, We were talking about this.

And I was at first hesitant cause I was like, I don't want to do a fantasy book. Like this was hard enough with one guy. I can't even imagine trying to keep track with two. And I remembered reading Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's book. Good Omens. And I absolutely loved it, but it was definitely something you could tell like, Oh, this was a Gaiman part.

This was a Pratchett part. Here's Gaiman, there's Pratchett and way to go. Neil Gaiman showing up in this podcast twice. I need to read one of his books, I guess he's on a. So my mind, but anyways, I honestly, part of why I enjoyed that book, besides it being a really good book was I got to try and pick out where the authors were like, Oh, was this him?

And was this the other guy? So I hope people do try and do that. I know personally that. On some of these edits I was doing for us. And I'm sure you run into it on the, your edits too. I would hit section. I was like, Oh yeah, this was definitely like my section that I worked on and this is definitely me.

And there's going to be like, Oh, people that go, yeah, Andrew wrote this. But then there were different parts where there was a section that I honestly couldn't remember or tell which one of us wrote it. And I was like, I don't know what happened to you. So if you can tell you did better than at least I did.

Daniel: [00:16:25] Yeah, no, I feel the exact same. The reason that I think of that Is my mom, at one point, sent a comment, cause she was reading through and giving some feedback and she was like, Oh, this must have definitely been a, an Andrew portion. I was like, actually that one was all me.

Andrew: [00:16:39] it wasn't an offensive way where I said something dumb. She's obviously Andrew wrote this and you're like, no, the dumb mistake was me.

Daniel: [00:16:46] Yeah, I think it was something that was like maybe a little bit more risqué than she expected me to say.

Andrew: [00:16:52] That's also accurate. there's probably anything that's close to pG 13 in the book is probably my fault. So sorry guys. My, I did have a filter in place though, so it could have been a lot worse and that filters name was sometimes Daniel.

Daniel: [00:17:05] Yeah. Yeah.

Andrew: [00:17:12] For those of you who don't know, Or, people who are listening that thought, or, maybe assuming things about what happened here. We're talking about how the book actually came first. So Daniel said it really well. So I'm going to let him talk about it, but how would you explain the chicken versus the egg here to someone who is looking for some trivia.

Daniel: [00:17:32] Yeah. So we're talking about the book and the podcast. our two medias that share the dead by tomorrow name and in. So you and I have wanted to do a podcast for a long time. I think, I think the only like Dropbox file I have is something labeled podcasts from I don't know, 2014, but we never really got around to it.

And we never really had the content nailed down that we wanted to cover. And so fast forward a few years and you published a Leaf and Pebble and, throughout that process brought in a few friends. And that kind of sparked the latest, Hey, let's do this thing together.

And I don't know if it was just the time of the world. I don't know if it was like the inspiration was strong enough or if we'd just gotten older to finally have our attention spans where we needed to, but we actually sat down and wrote a book together. Um, and as we were going through, when we were writing it, we finished it up and we were trying to talk through what's next? do we publish this? How do we market this? and as we thought through it, where we ultimately landed was that, it could be really cool to now realize another one of our dreams and our goals, which is having a podcast and talking about that for the book and using that as a way to, hopefully drum up some excitement to , hopefully start, getting that concept out there, but also to help improve the book as we went, that was, you know, a personal exercise that I had is anytime we finished up a podcast episode, I immediately went back to the chapter that inspired it from the book and, beefed it up, added things to it.

That's where a lot of those , studies ultimately came from. And so. Anytime you're, wanting to do a podcast. Anytime you're wanting to do anything like that, you've got to have something of substance first. And so that's where that book came from. I think of it like, a movie, like a really great movie, almost all of the best movies out there came from a book first and you get that more accessible media.

but it's coming from a deeper source, which is, a book or a screenplay or something like that.

Andrew: [00:19:38] Yeah, we just went ahead and started with that media first and just didn't publish the book for a hot minute.

Daniel: [00:19:42] Yeah, the book was there.

Andrew: [00:19:45] Yeah, it was there and it hasn't changed a ton. it's been beefed up for sure, but the bones are the same. So hopefully you guys enjoy it. At least we've enjoyed writing it. I think so. it's got to be a little bit fun for you guys.

Okay. So I'm going to distract you guys for just a little bit longer if you're a, not a writer or don't want to be a writer and don't know anyone who wants to be a writer, this is probably where you just tune out and then tune back in on the 14th. After you've gotten your pre-order in a hangout with us on our live session and, whatever else comes along that way.

But for those of you who think this is a cool idea. And I'm like, Hey, I want to write a book or I want to do something with a friend that's similar to that. Here is what Daniel and I did just as a technical breakdown. So you have a starting point. So first we started in Google docs. That was how we started writing this book.

And honestly, it was a great way to collaborate on something. The interface is really simple and we could leave each other comments and we're able to just kind of see edits some changes and it kept everything saved. And it was just really handy to do a collaborative project like this on Google docs.

With that said, if you want to get a little crazy, you could do the same thing in Microsoft word. And if you really want to get into a long form series of books or something really big, you could use a software called Scrivener, which is another option that has collaborative properties, but also let you break things up into a more research books slash writing tools than just a word processor. But for us, we use Google docs and then we ran it through Grammarly. Like I talked about, which is a software, but there's a lot of different softwares you can use for editing and that kind of thing. And then we also went ahead and ran it through word and did some format changes in word before dropping into Vellum, which was the book formatting software we use to actually get a finished product.

To add onto that. We ended up using a design service called It's similar to a lot of different graphic design things, but that's where we got our book cover. And a lot of the graphics we used for the book came from Kemp. And so all of this was still essentially in-house with Daniel and I, and then we use some third-party services that get you the access that a traditionally published book might have without.

Having those resources yourself. beyond that, we used Amazon KDP to put the book out there and we've used Wix. And I think Daniel just recently started using Squarespace to host the website and do a lot of the things related to our actual landing page and website for dead by tomorrow. So that was our process.

If you have any questions or want to share this with a writer, and have them talk to us, we are more than happy to talk about writing or podcasting or anything with anybody. So feel free to share this with your friends that are curious about the process, or want to write a book and want to self-publish and everything like that.

And we're more than happy to help guide them, or at least show them the mistakes we made so they can go make their own in a different way. So with all that said, December 14th, the book releases, it will be available on Amazon and probably just on Amazon, unless you hit Daniel or I up, we can obviously get you copies, both digital and paperback, but if you're looking to purchase, Amazon is probably going to be the only place that we're going to be selling through.

Now that doesn't mean you can't find it everywhere else, because once it's on Amazon, all the other websites like Barnes and Noble and any other bookstores, they will at least list it digitally. But where you can help us out on this is first reviews. If you are a fan of the podcast, a fan of the book, we would love it.

If you shared the book with your friends and left us a review on Amazon or on Goodreads, that's how books get an algorithmic boost. So it'd be really helpful beyond that tune into our live, help share the event that we have on Facebook for the book release. Anything you can do to bring in people that you think this information is good for is really great for us.

And it shows appreciation to us in a way that you might not understand how impactful it is for us. So if you want to see Daniel and I cry, sharing our work with other people is way better than actually just buying it on Amazon or something. We are happy to give it away. If you share it with people. So all that said, we'll see you on December 14th.

We really appreciate you coming by and listening to this a slightly different episode this week, this day, whatever your listening timeframe seems to look like. And we will have a new episode for you pretty soon. So thanks for coming by and we look forward to connecting with you soon.

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