041: David Grzybowski – Mr. All Around

From College Dorm Room to Barnes & Noble

David Grzybowski is the author of Mr. All Around, a book about the legendary Philadelphia basketball icon Tom Gola. Today, he talks about how he conceived the idea of writing a book, as well as his book research and writing process. Find out his journey toward accomplishing David’s passion project!

What We Discuss with David Grzybowski:

  • What got him to write a book about Tom Gola
  • His research and book-writing process
  • The hardest part he had to do while writing the book
  • His emotions writing a book about Tom and finally seeing his work on the shelf
  • Looking at other books in Barnes and Noble to gain ideas
  • Self-publishing vs traditional publishing
  • Figuring out what worked and what didn’t
  • Dealing with the accuracy of facts while doing his research
  • The appreciation for receiving feedback in order for one to grow
  • How David is branding his book
  • The book process can really take some time but just do it!

[00:55] The Research Process

As a student journalist, David met Tom Gola until he graduated from school and he met with his wife. This book was a labor of love.

In writing the book, he first got permission from Tom’s family. He also made some sort of a concept map in terms of which chapters to tackle. He started with 25 and streamed it down to 18-20.

The research process for his was the best part, learning about the stories.

[05:27] The Book Writing Process

David describes being all over the place in an unorganized but organized way. He found the writing process as frustrating not knowing how to finish it. But he took the time to really focus on each sentence and each chapter.

Working as a news reporter, finding the time to write was truly a commitment. His biggest calling to write this book is seeing the need for Gola’s story to be told.

[09:50] Seeing His Book on the Shelves

While writing the book, he’d go to Barnes and Noble to see how books are being formatted and how the reviews were being placed, and what worked and didn’t work.

Seeing his book finally on the shelf for the first time was truly emotional for him.

[11:45] The Other Pieces of Creating a Book

He wanted to get the book done quickly. The entire book production process took about 14 months or shorter. But it takes a while to really get a book printed.

Choosing a publisher, he just wanted to get the book done quickly. But his passion outweighed the monetary demands of the book.

[16:34] Balancing Research and Writing

Since this was a biography, David had to make sure things were clear and made sense. The accuracy of the facts was important. That said, one little error is not going to ruin the whole book.

[21:05] Creating a Strong Branding

David made a logo, especially for this book. He also handed shirts at his school’s homecoming event and gave free books to students.

He’s connecting with his network of people as well, even hitting up people in New York, and not just in Philadelphia. He’s aggressive when it comes to marketing his book.

David didn’t realize how long the book process actually took. Again, it takes some time and it really is a grind.

If you have an idea, just execute on it and just do it!

Episode Resources:

Grab a copy of David’s book Mr. All Around. Know more about David and follow him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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041: David Grzybowski - Mr. All Around041: David Grzybowski - Mr. All Around

041: David Grzybowski - Mr. All Around