“However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” –Winston Churchill
What better time to reflect upon the strategy and results than at the beginning of a new year? Every author hopes that their never-ending pursuit of success will net a bestseller. That didn’t happen. Of course, it didn’t help that my book was not in the bookstores for over six months—and is still working its way into outlets nationwide. This is normal protocol when changing publishers. Nevertheless, I still rejoice 2008 as a successful year. (Obviously I’m not referring to my financial portfolio!)
I’m referring to the enriching experiences that money cannot buy:
· Receiving an award from the New England Book Festival for Alive the Andrea Doria. The award is for general excellence and passionately telling a story, as well as for the book’s potential to be read by wide audiences.
· Doing a presentation at the elite venue, The Explorers Club of New York.
( www.explorers.org) it was a thrill to be considered an authority on my topic, along with world-renowned marine scientists. I was also in the company of nine divers of the Andrea Doria!
· Speaking for many warm and welcoming groups, locally and nationally
· Writing and presenting a technical report called “The Loss of the Andrea Doria” with my friend and naval architect, Bill Garzke. This was one of the most challenging writing feats. I felt rewarded when I discovered that it was the first technical report written by a shipwreck survivor in collaboration with a marine scientist. Bill and I presented this report for the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (www.sname.org) in New York and at the University of Michigan.
· Meeting and dining with James Cameron, director of the film Titanic. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000116/ At the same table were Cameron’s main shipwreck consultants, including Bill Garzke. The James Cameron event on the Bismarck, was held by the American Society of Naval Engineers in DC. (www.asne.org) I dedicated a copy of my book, Alive on the Andrea Doria to the film giant and had a long chat with him.
· Receiving the “Collegian Award” from my alma mater, Wayne State University. The award recognizes my Italian book, L’Ultima Notte dell’Andrea Doria, as a contribution to the community in my field of study, foreign languages.
· Transferring publishing rights from a small to a large New York publishing house, Morgan James Publishing (www.Morganjamespublishing.com)
· Publishing my short story, Thank God for a Catastrophe: Surviving the Andrea Doria Shipwreck. (www.thankGodI.com) the story is published in book 1 of the Thank God I inspirational book series launched this fall. Its focus is on gratitude for ALL of our experiences. The book was an Amazon.com bestseller in December.
· Welcoming to my home, a southern gentleman named Jimmy Walker. He was one of the Andrea Doria rescuers at age 23, while serving as a US merchant Marine officer.
· Selling world film rights of my Italian book to a Roman film producer. (An author can’t get much luckier than this!)
As you can see, my 2008 strategies have gleaned the titles “award-winning book” and “award-winning author”. Not bad results for a first-timer. I am very grateful and humbled.
Nonetheless, I have a long ways to go before I sleep. I have only skimmed the surface of how I will continue to serve the seas—the goal for my blog and for everything I do professionally. This will be the essence of my strategy for 2009. But who knows what the results will be!