The "Moose" on Writing, part-3

The "Moose" on Writing, part-3

Continuing on with my guidance for prospective writers…

Not for the $$$

I think my first bit of advice is that, unless your Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, you probably don’t want to focus on the money your book(s) will generate. Particularly if you have narrow markets for your subjects.

Basically, generating revenue isn’t the goal.

However, don’t let that deter you. There are incredible advantages to being a published author. Some that quickly come to mind include:

  • Establishing yourself as a published author and subject matter expert

  • Building your brand

  • Ability to provide classes around topic(s) within your book

  • Adding credibility to your consulting practice

  • Leveraging the book to gain speaking engagements

I guess my point is, your writing of any sort builds your personal brand. And I think that can be priceless in your professional journey.

Traditional Publishers

I haven’t had broad experience across multiple publishers. I’ve published one book with a traditional publisher Dorset House. I’ve also submitted manuscript ideas to 4-5 more publishers and advanced quite far in their selection and approval processes.

The "Moose" on Writing, part-2

The "Moose" on Writing, part-2

Continuing on with my guidance for prospective writers…


When I wrote the first edition of my Scrum Product Ownership book, my target audience was the beginning Product Owner. Someone who had literally no experience in the role.

Consider this my persona for the book.

I defined this focus very early, even before outlining the book. And it gave me a clear vision for flow, topic coverage, and literally every word I wrote.

In fact, I continuously asked myself – how is this section going to help the novice Product Owner? And – am I missing anything they need to know?

I can’t tell you how useful creating a primary persona (identifying your audience) is when writing. It helps keep you focused an on-point with your writing. It also helps keep the book lean, because as you edit, you always connect back to your persona. And if the content doesn’t align, then cut it.

Finding your Personal Style

I started public speaking in the late 1990’s. As I said in the introduction, I’m an introvert and I started doing it to improve. One of the early mistakes I made was copying another speakers style for my own. I’m embarrassed to say that I mimicked Johanna Rothman initially. And it didn’t go well.

The "Moose" on Writing, part-1

The "Moose" on Writing, part-1

I remember is as if it was yesterday. It was 2000 – 2001. I was working at Lucent (Bell Labs) at the time when the telecommunications bubble burst and I was laid off from my job. Along with thousands of others across the industry. 

Lucent had a development center on the campus of NC State here in Raleigh, NC. There were ~300 folks that worked there and we were all let go.

But it was a protracted departure, as the process took about 3-months for everyone to pack up and leave the building in waves. I was one of the leaders who stayed until the very end and turned off the lights. Lucky me.

I had a lot of idle time and I started to write a book to fill that space. It wasn’t something I’d planned, but it was a topic that I had some passion around (and thoughts to share). The book became Software Endgames, which was eventually published by Dorset House in 2004.

Since then, I’ve self-published three books related to agile topics. One of them, Scrum Product Ownership, is in it’s 3’rd Edition.  

People often ask me for advice around writing. Usually, it’s related to how to get started. Sometimes the discussion is around their ambition to write a book. While I don’t consider myself an expert in either space, I decided to share my learnings in this 3-part article series. I hope you find some value in it.

Journaling – How to get started?

Journaling – How to get started?

If you’ve attended any of my leadership talks or workshops, you’ve heard me espouse the value of journaling as a leadership skills growth exercise.  

In my Certified Agile Leadership classes, I even give out a copy of my (current) favorite journal by Dingbats. It’s really an outstanding daily journal AND I encourage you to read the backstory about the company as well.

Since I talk about journaling so much, I’ve inspired a recent CAL class attendee to try it. But recently he sent me the following –

I've never been very good at journaling consistently and reading generic blog posts haven't really motivated me. I was wondering if you'd be willing to share the types of things that you journal and the benefits that you find from the practice? 

Which I journaled about and then it inspired me to write this post ;-)

Scrum Product Ownership, 3'rd Edition

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to share some great news. I’ve just completed the 3’rd Edition of my Scrum Product Owner book.

It’s been a true labor of love that’s taken far longer to finish then I’d originally expected. (sounds like software products, right?) But, to quote a common agile phrase…I am now…


Stick a fork in it, Baby!

E-copies (PDF, EPUB, and MOBI) are all available immediately on LeanPub. What’s nice about connecting via LeanPub is that I plan on continuing to evolve content & ideas in the PDF, so it will be a way to “stay in touch” with any future developments of the books’ themes.

Also not that I’ve published several short PDF, blog link books that make it easy to explore my blog posts on 3-specific topics:

  • Agile Coaching

  • Agile Leadership

  • Product Ownership

More information on ALL of the LeanPub copies can be found here: https://leanpub.com/bookstore?search=Robert%20Galen


You can find the paper version here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/098850264X/

And the Kindle version here: https://www.amazon.com/Scrum-Product-Ownership-Navigating-Forest-ebook/dp/B07PBGN5NW/

And here’s a link to my Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B00287V534/

Previous Owners Offer

I’d like to make the following offer for ALL Edition 1 and Edition 2 book owners. If you’ve previously purchased a paper or e-copy of my two previous editions, I’ll give you a free e-copy of the 3’rd Edition. All you have to do is drop me a note and I’ll forward you a coupon for LeanPub to get your copy.

Wrapping Up

It’s been a long time in coming, but I’m incredibly pleased with the results. I hope you pick up a copy of the new book and hope even more so that it provides value to you.

And if you do read it, please consider leaving a review on Amazon. It means so much to me to gain feedback.

Stay agile my friends,


IP Awareness

As an independent agile consultant, I’ve found that my IP is something that I’ve got to be aware of and careful with. While it’s not something I often think about, I should.  

You’re IP is sort of like cash in your bank account. You should be aware of it and take care of it with that same intent.

Johanna Rothman recently wrote an article that speaks to aspects of your IP, including:

  • Your writing (books, articles, blogs)

  • Your podcasts

  • Your videos/recordings

  • The materials you use in your classes

It’s also important to manage these during your career journey. For example, if I were to choose to return as a full-time employee for a company, there would be IP language in my employee agreement. Usually that language isn’t just a forward-looking. Instead, it often attempts to cover all of your IP. So, you have to be careful in reviewing and negotiating different language that narrows the IP.

For example, what if you’re blogging while under employment. Whose IP is it? Anyway, if you’re producing any IP that covers anything about agile, this is food for thought for you.

Stay agile my friends!