My Back Pages

Ah, but I was so much older then

I’m younger than that now

This is how someone considers buying a book.

A physical book.

They look at the cover.

They turn it over and read the back cover.

If compelled to, they’ll open the book to its frontmatter, starting with the table of contents.

And take it from there.

For a truly brilliant step by step guide to quickly and effectively size-up a non-fiction book, read this or better yet, revisit Mortimer Adler’s classic, How to Read a Book.

With the front cover set, here we’ll turn to the back cover copy.

Because the back cover copy is used to describe the book on online bookselling sites such as Amazon and in catalogues.

Get the back cover copy wrong, and you’re pulped.

Over 2 years in the making, my soon to be published book, BIM and Integrated Design: Strategies for Architectural Practice, is busily being tended to by Wiley’s publishing pros.

There’s nothing more disheartening to put your heart and soul into a 300+ page book only to discover on such venerable sites as Amazon,  Borders, and even John Wiley and Son’s own site, and a score of other random sites, that the marketing copy – the book description – doesn’t match the book you’ve written.

Amazon’s site currently describes my book thus:

Building Information Modeling (BIM) software combines 3-D elements and information in all aspects of the design of a building.

While many books are published on BIM related to technology and computer programs, this one focuses on the practice-related information needs of architects, showing them how BIM and integrated practice can transform their practices. It features:

  • Methods for addressing the obstacles and challenges to implementing BIM
  • How to implement it in an efficient and effective manner
  • How to use BIM as a tool to transform the role of architects

I came across this description posted at Amazon and I didn’t recognize my book.

So I spoke up.

Grateful to the good people at Wiley to provide me with the chance to more accurately – and enticingly – represent the arguments put forth and subjects covered in my book, I presented them with a completely revised back cover copy.

I’d like to share it with you today.

Hopefully this text will be not only readable, but strike a chord in readers.

And compel them to open the book, explore its contents and benefit from the contents herein.

Let me know what you think.

 …

[back cover]

[bookstore category:] Architecture/Professional Practice

[headline]

Discover how BIM technologies and collaborative work processes bring about critical, necessary changes in the architecture profession

The first book devoted to the subject of how BIM affects individuals and organizations working within the ever-changing construction industry, BIM and Integrated Design discusses the implementation of building information modeling software as a cultural process with a focus on the technology’s impact and transformative effect—both potentially disruptive and liberating—on the social, psychological, and practical aspects of the workplace.

BIM and Integrated Design answers the questions that BIM poses to the firm that adopts it. Through thorough research and a series of case study interviews with industry leaders—and leaders in the making out from behind the monitor—BIM and Integrated Design helps you learn:

  • Effective learning strategies for fully understanding BIM software and its use
  • Key points about integrated design to help you promote the process to owners and your team
  • How BIM changes not only the technology, process, and delivery but also the leadership playing field
  • How to become a more effective leader no matter where you find yourself in the organization or on the project team
  • How the introduction of BIM into the workforce has significant education, recruitment, and training implications

Covering all of the human issues brought about or exacerbated by the advent of BIM into the architecture workplace, profession, and industry, BIM and Integrated Design shows how to overcome real and perceived barriers to its use.

Randy Deutsch AIA, LEED-AP is an architect, design strategist and speaker responsible for the design of over 100 large, complex building projects. Recognized as a BIM strategist and IPD advocate, his writing and design work have appeared in DesignIntelligence and Architectural_Record among other industry periodicals. Recipient of the AIA Young Architect Award – Chicago, Randy has been an educator at one of the nation’s top graduate architecture programs, leading an integrated building science/design studio and professional practice course. He is recognized as a professional thought and practice leader, contributor to the industry’s leading social networks, and keynote speaker on the subjects of technology, innovation, lean construction, knowledge management, employee engagement and collaboration. Randy blogs at bimandintegrateddesign.com and architects2zebras.com, both featured in ARCHITECT magazine.

Feel this book description still needs improvement? Let me know by leaving a comment.

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2 Comments

Filed under BIM, collaboration, IPD, modeling, process

2 responses to “My Back Pages

  1. We are a not-for-profit educational organization, founded by Mortimer Adler and we have recently made an exciting discovery–three years after writing the wonderfully expanded third edition of How to Read a Book, Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren made a series of thirteen 14-minute videos–lively discussing the art of reading. The videos were produced by Encyclopaedia Britannica. For reasons unknown, sometime after their original publication, these videos were lost.

    Three hours with Mortimer Adler on one DVD. A must for libraries and classroom teaching the art of reading.

    I cannot exaggerate how instructive these programs are–we are so sure that you will agree, if you are not completely satisfied, we will refund your donation.

    Please go here to see a clip and learn more:

    http://www.thegreatideas.org/HowToReadABook.htm

    ISBN: 978-1-61535-311-8

    Thank you,

    Max Weismann

  2. Thank Max for your comment.
    While your comment is according to my filters spam, and Mortimer Adler – had he lived to experience the internet firsthand – would have frowned upon its widespread use, with the AIA Convention in full throttle today I’m hard-up for comments so I’ll let it slide this time. Thanks for stopping by!

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