Case Study #7

Coloured Square creates outstanding business book series


Customer testimonial

"What SilverWood gives me is the confidence that my book is going to happen. I know they'll complete the process professionally and I don't need to worry about it. That's what I value very highly about SilverWood. Not just the end product, but their patience with me while keeping the process moving. Our needs are quite specific and they work hard to make the books the way we want them."
Mark Dando | children's author and founder of Coloured Square
 

Author profile

Mark Dando is a mentor, coach and trainer who prides himself on doing things differently. As co-founder of Coloured Square, a coaching and training company, he gets plenty of opportunity to put his ideas and approaches into practice. Mark's early career was in HR and management development. In 2000, he and colleague Doug Richardson combined their experience and set out to form their company.
 
During their years of working together and forming Coloured Square, Mark and Doug have developed a particular approach to learning and development, delivering this in workshops and coaching programmes for individuals and organisations to help them change their mindsets and improve their working practices. Always learning from their findings, they have developed ideas and concepts around ways of talking with people and ways of thinking, formally registering many of them as protected designs.
 
One of the topics that has piqued many of their clients' interest is the use of time and their personal productivity. Mark has always felt ready to write a book, and it was from this theme that the idea for their first business book evolved.
 
Mark and Doug have co-authored two books for business - Squeeze Your Time and Kill The Robot - with Mark responsible for most of the writing, and the ideas and thinking attributed to them both. Don't Strain Little Brain is Mark's third business book as a solo project.
 
Mark has also written and published two children's books, The Boy Who Yawned and The Boy Who Kidnapped Father Christmas. He writes these as a creative indulgence with little ambition to sell many; "They're just for fun and a way to explore the creative process," he said.
 

Searching for a publisher that could deliver a quality product

When Mark started his search for a self-publisher, he wasn't convinced he would find one that could produce the quality he was looking for.
 
"I never valued self-publishing," said Mark. "I'd always thought of it as vanity press and an amateur way of doing things. Doug and I didn't want to do that. We wanted it to look like a proper book."
 
Coloured Square delivers development programmes based on a unique approach to learning. So as well as looking for a high quality product, it was vital that the book could reflect their techniques, and Mark was aware that this could be a challenge. Mark was also certain that he didn't want the cover to look like a standard business book.
 
"Our learning is provocative, colourful, challenging, often counter-intuitive, sometimes even silly. We show people how to externalise the things they have to learn by turning them into objects. In our workshops we cover the floor and walls with brightly coloured paper with the relevant ideas on them and help people learn by walking through them. We wanted the book to have pictures and colour, just like the training we offer. It means our needs are very specific and we're demanding about formatting, and the overall look of the books."

 

A flexible approach to create a suite of business books that stand out

Without a clear idea of how to get started, Mark went back to basics with Google Search and found SilverWood Books.
 
"When we first approached SilverWood, Helen showed me a lot of the products they'd already published and I was impressed."
 
To set the cover design apart from other business books, Mark had commissioned a cartoonist. "What we had from the cartoonist didn't quite work - instead of a business book, it looked like a children's book. Doug wasn't keen and we needed help. It took us a number of attempts before we'd come up with a cover design which we were happy with. SilverWood coped well with this trial and error thinking while we completed it."
 
Together, Mark and Doug worked with SilverWood to get the formatting working well, and produce a layout and structure they were happy with. Squeeze Your Time was published and released in October 2013. And the book sales continue at a steady rate to support their workshop attendees and coaching clients with more information for home study.
 
"SilverWood was really good at making it look like a real book. They do the vital things that make the difference, like giving it an ISBN, and producing the Advance Information sheet. They worked really hard to make Squeeze Your Time the way we wanted it, and they're always prepared to work with us when we've got something clear in mind and help us when we don't."

If you're about to start your publishing journey, please get in touch with us. SilverWood can help you create a professional quality book and will support you every step of the way.


5 results found.
The Boy Who Yawned

The Boy Who Yawned

Mark Dando

Paperback

£8.99

Don't Strain LittleBrain

Don't Strain LittleBrain

Mark Dando

Paperback

£9.65

Kill the Robot

Kill the Robot

Mark Dando and Doug Richardson

Paperback

£8.99

Squeeze Your Time

Squeeze Your Time

Mark Dando and Doug Richardson

Paperback

£8.99

5 results found.

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