***UPDATE:  Window Extended!

I think I can leave the “get your name in the book” offer open until the weekend.  See this post.

Where’s Rob?

You may have noticed a certain absence over the past couple weeks.  David Churchward has been on quite a run of guest posts, and that is no accident.  He’s been keeping things afloat here for me, as a HUGE favor, while I finish the book.

It was time

Yes, the book.  One that captures the essential lessons that I’ve informally recorded and scattered on the blog over the years in random order.  One that sequences all of those lessons properly, explains them more fully than the blog, and forces me to not cut corners.  One that captures the way I teach when I train people onsite.  Ideally, one that helps the Excel Pro in particular make the transition from Excel Pro to All-Out Data Monster.

I’ve been thinking about this forever.  Hey, it’s always sounded like a great idea.  But it’s one thing to think about it and another to actually do it.  I actually started over New Year’s this past January, but then shelved it as things got hectic at work.  Well…  August rolled around, things were STILL hectic at work, and then I noticed THIS on Amazon…  “rut roh Shaggy.”

WAIT!  If you want to pre-order, do it tomorrow, and I’ll put your name in the book.  See below for details.

WAIT!  If you want to pre-order, do it Wednesday, and I’ll put your name in the book Smile
(See below for details)

At the beginning of August, the release date was listed as September 1st.  It was quite the wakeup call Smile.

Plus, this is being published by Bill Jelen’s Holy Macro Press.  It’s a Mr. Excel title!  Bill has been fantastically helpful to me in this whole process, dating back to last calendar year.  Thou shalt not let down Mr. Excel!  So again, yeah, it was time.

I’ve been heads-down ever since, and the process is now happily in its final phases.  The book will be released Nov 10.

150 Pages?  Bah.

Yeah it’s listed at 150.  That was the estimate that I submitted nearly a year ago.  Then I dug in and quickly started realizing that I needed to exceed it. 

 

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This is the “shorthand” working table of contents
and estimated page counts – in Excel of course Smile

The final page count won’t be set until all the formatting and layout is done, so I don’t know for certain, but right now the estimated page count is somewhere between 200 and 250 pages.  (I’m not yet sure if we’ll eventually update that 150 number on Amazon or not, I have to ask Bill how that all works.)

Thinking back, it was pretty silly, estimating it to only take 150 pages.  There are now nearly 400 posts on PowerPivotPro!  And while I certainly haven’t written them all (thank you, guest bloggers, particularly David, Colin, and David!), the blog itself would probably approach 3,000 pages if it were printed out.

The book doesn’t even attempt to address everything on the blog though.  The book is all about the fundamentals and patterns that you will use repeatedly in your PowerPivot work.  It cannot begin to capture all of the millions of little tricks that emerge.  There’s nothing on “sort by slicers,” for instance.  I’m only “glancing” at cube formulas, there are no macros, no formatting tricks.  This is 200+ pages dedicated to DAX, model building, and a few pages on my other favorite topic:  how to leverage all of this most impactfully in your career.

Flash Mob:  Pre-Order Wednesday 9/12, Get Your Name in the Book!

Let’s have some fun.  If you are planning to order the book, consider pre-ordering it tomorrow, September 12, between noon and 1 PM US Eastern time (that’s 9-10 AM US Pacific, and 4-5 PM GMT).

(Of course, if you’re reading this via email or RSS, “tomorrow” might already be “today.”)

Send me a screenshot of the order confirmation page (indicating a pre-order during that 1-hour window), and I will include your name in the book!  (Yes I still have a narrow window for changes).

Click Here to Add to Your Calendar (.ics file)

If enough people participate, the book may crack the top 100 or better in the Tech category Smile

Send screenshots to:  rob.  at a place called Pivotstream.  dot com.

A Fascinating Process

It’s been an amazing trip.  The things that go into a book are surprising and yet, make tons of sense.  For instance, you don’t format the book in anything resembling WYSIWYG manner.  You edit it in something that vaguely (VERY vaguely) resembles HTML, in a format that I immediately dubbed “BookML.”  Then you hand it off to someone else for layout and formatting.  This is like the “source code” for a book.

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From the cockpit:  a glimpse of BookML
Final Result Will Look NOTHING Like This Smile

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Someone mention images??
There are over 300 diagrams and screenshots in the book.

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You know you are losing it when you take
screenshots of yourself taking screenshots.

Everyday I Write the Book

Fair warning:  if your formative music-listening years included 1983, and you decide to write a book, you will never, EVER, get this Elvis Costello song out of your head.  It’s just gonna be stamped there forever.

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Click for a Sample of the Most Common Words in My Head this Past Month

And when I say every day, I mean EVERY day, and in lots of different places.  I quickly discovered that simply sitting at my desk was no good, I had to draw a line and only work on it in relative seclusion.  I’ve been keeping a bit of a photo journal to document the process.  Here’s a sampling:

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On Vacation? Everyone else is out on the lake, you say?
Here’s your laptop, the room has wifi.  Get comfy.

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24 Hour Road Trip to Wisconsin and Back? Wife Drives, I Write.
Yes this was taken from the PASSENGER Seat 🙂

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Hey is that Lambeau Field? Hmm. OK, I can take five minutes.
But then back to the car, and the laptop.

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I’ve Become a Regular at MULTIPLE Coffee Shops.  And libraries. 

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Backyard at Home Always SEEMS Like a Good Idea, but it Rarely Works Out

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Ah the wee hours of the night.
Why does she even wait up for me?

Home Stretch

Anyway, I’ve gotta get back to work.  Just a few finishing touches left.  I’ll update you when it’s finalized, thanks for reading for the past few years Smile