Sorry! We're Closed - From Idea to a Published Paperback Book
Written by Gareth Milner
30 Minute Read (including Tips)
Over the last 3 years I have been reading many Books. From Self-Help Books, Story Books, Funny Books to Business Books. Concerning Business Books I have read all of Daniel's Priestley's remarkable Books including Oversubscribed; Richard Branson's collection including Losing my Virginity; Dan Norris' Content Machine; Jordan Belfort's Way of the Wolf; Gary Vaynerchuk's Twelve and a Half and more.
Of all these Business Books, Daniel Priestley's Oversubscribed gave me the most inspiration, especially concerning how I manage, develop and grow my Business. After reading 24 Assets for the second time, with the awareness gained that writing a Book related with your Business was the path to take, armed with the personal and professional confidence gained from 12 years of being in Business, and specifically the Manual Handling Risk Management Business, I decided to put pen to paper and give Health & Safety Professional's a new Book to get their teeth into!
After reading 500 Social Media Marketing Tips by Andrew Macarthy, I felt this type of Book style would suit my first jump into Book writing. Dividing 500 by 10, I decided on 50 Manual Handling Risk Management Tips. After reading Kevin Rodger's The 60 Second Sales Hook and with this, understanding the importance of telling stories to engage the reader, I decided on interviewing 7 people who had suffered an Injury at Work (and been successful in a significant claim), telling their personal stories, as well as their former Employers' stories of Business Regret.
So I knew how I would structure the Book, but what was I going to call it? After mulling over a few dry and uninspiring names to Emma Farrell after giving her the Book's brief, luckily for me she had the inspiration of Sorry! We're Closed. With the Book's Title decided and the structure planned, in September 2022 I took myself somewhere new (and warm!) for 4 months and got writing!
The front cover needed its design first. As you can see its theme is an employee hurting his back lifting a heavy box. He sends his Boss a message that he can't come to work. The Boss forgot to book his employees Manual Handling Training. The now ex-employee put in an Injury at Work Claim; won and started to travel the world on his payout. The small business then closes due to the effect of their insurer not paying out due to a clause in the small print. This brief was again given to Emma who put her new digital design skills to Canva.com and did her design magic, and lo and behold we had our cover!
The first part of the writing started with me coming up with the subjects of the 50 Tips. At this stage I came up with the majority of the Tips' titles. My personal favourite titles are:
Tip 2 - Take Manual Handling F@@king Seriously
Tip 3 - Do a Branson!
Tip 16 - Gather Hardcore Intelligence
Tip 17 - Open your Eagle Eyes
Tip 35 - Call on Me ... Call on Me!
Tip 39 - Give a Happy Ending!
As you can see they have some fun titles. And that's what I tried to create for this Book, a degree of fun and humour. If I am honest there are sexier subjects than Manual Handling Risk Management ... aren't there? Of course there is expert content throughout but at the same time I wanted readers to have a laugh, and find the Book entertaining.
Tip 4 - Beware the Legal Shark
Here's an extract ...
These scummy fish swim around appearing to be so caring, so helpful, so passionate about your case, and so very aware of the minute by minute overly exaggerated financial outlay you will be soon suffering on their next invoice.
In Tip 4, I investigate 5 Legal Shark 'No Win No Fee' Solicitors who are waiting with razor sharp teeth to win your hard earnt Business profits. Click the illustration to the left to read the full Tip.
The structure was to include the Introduction (click to the right to listen to the AudioBook recording of the Introduction); 7 True Stories of Business Regret; the 50 Tips, finished off with Making it Happen.
For the 7 True Stories of Business Regret I interviewed 7 people who had suffered a serious Musculoskeletal Injury, who then contacted a Legal Shark, and won in Court. In most of these cases the Businesses had failed in Manual Handling Risk Management ... and in each case the Legal Shark bit their arse! After the Introduction, the first 3 True Stories are written and the 4 other stories are spread out through the Book to give the reader a break from the Tips, but mainly to remind them the reason for reading the Book, front to back, and implement the themes.
True Story of Business Regret - Story 7
'Mr. Wilkinson' a 28 year old Maintenance Department Officer employed for 4 years by ‘The Winterborne School’. Mr. Wilkinson’s roles included working in the woodwork department; Manual Handling tasks included lifting and carrying of wood sheets, boilers, doors, tool boxes, ladders, metal poles et cetera.
'Mr. Wilkinson' was awarded in Court the sum of £120,000 after suffering a Herniated Neck Disc caused by his tasks.
Click the illustration to the left to read Story 7.
After completing the Introduction and the 7 True Stories of Business Regret, each day I wrote 1-2 Tips. Over the last 4-5 years I have been writing Blogs for the website and our Social Media platforms, and through this I was finding I quite enjoyed writing. And this was the same in writing Sorry! We're Closed, but this time I will add a 'really' before enjoyed. It gave me an insight to what being a professional Author is like. Trying to be creative. Brainstorming ideas. Working the language. I will be honest, at school I was a B-Grade student at GCSE for English Language and Literature. Although a B-Grade is pretty good, I didn't really embrace the study of the English language and the Books we were made to read (my least favourite was Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare ... I mean, what is a eunuch?!).
Tip 10 - Recognise Experts from the Jack of All Trades
Here's an extract ...
Fawlty Towers* needs a new door. Basil wants his go-to provider Mr. O’Reilly, whereas his beloved Sybil wants ‘Stubbs, Basil!!’. Always wanting to save a penny, Basil instructs Mr. O’Reilly and his team who somehow get the job wrong and block off the dining room doors. O’Reilly returns to rectify his bad workmanship ... ‘lick of paint, lick of paint’. The result is even worse as he puts a door in a load bearing wall. Sybil (the female domestic abuser) takes over and calls in the Expert ... Stubbs ... who does what Experts do and gets the job done well, at a higher cost, but first time round and to the highest standard. Not only did this cost Basil more money, taking on the Jack of All Trades in Mr. O’Reilly (and then having to pay for it again with Mr. Stubbs), but it also caused him much anxiety and stress.
In Tip 10, I give Health & Safety Professionals more awareness in detecting whether a Supplier is a Manual Handling Risk Management Expert ... or not.
Click the illustrations to the right to read the full Tip.
At the same time as writing, Emma was working alongside me putting my ideas for the illustrations to life. As she is an Artist, she was like a duck to water producing remarkable illustrations that truly enhanced my concepts. You can read her Blog post '' My Illustration Project for Sorry! We're Closed '' at the bottom of this page. We worked as a team to produce 80 illustrations with many having a real humorous twist!
The Book is there for the reader to become a Manual Handling Risk Management Expert. In line with the fun element of the Book, when you receive your paperback copy, in it is this Certificate. You won't be able to write your name on it until at least 2 full reads of the Book.
Rewinding back to my reading of Business Books, I have read all of Daniel Priestley's series 3-4 times each. As each time I see something new and come up with a new idea. And that's what you need to do with Sorry! We're Closed. Embrace its content; follow up the links that have been written in it. Investigate the subjects in more depth. Only then can you write your name on the Certificate!
Tip 16 - Gather Hardcore Intelligence
Here's an extract ...
Two words that you already know the meanings to (we’ll leave hardcore alone), however let’s still define them.
Gather ... come together; assemble or accumulate. Bring together and take in from scattered places or sources.
Intelligence ... the collection of information of military or political value ... and the other side of its meaning which includes ... the act of understanding
So ... now! How are you going to capture that hardcore intelligence?
In Tip 16, we are going to look at two ways and two ways only (remember War & Peace?) but I call upon you to brainstorm more intelligent ways that you can gather intelligence. Is that an intelligent request?
Click the illustrations to the left to read Tip 16.
Throughout the Tips I included stories, both fictional and true, as well as some funny mock ups. I especially enjoyed writing Tip 6 - Get All Managers on Board where I bring back Air Boss Johnson from the original Top Gun film. You remember? '' I want somebody’s butt. I want it now ''. You can tell what decade I was born in and what films I loved growing up as in Tip 7 - Morph into the Business Owner I bring back Teen Wolf where the reader will picture themselves standing in front of the bathroom mirror ... changing into the Business Owner. In Tip 17 - Open your Eagle Eyes I take the reader to Mumbai, where they are an eagle driving in the manic streets. Emma added her expert illustration for Tip 17 shown to the right.
In Tip 22 - Teach Yourself to be a Teacher I do a bit of reminiscing and go back to my school days where I take the good (mainly), the bad and the ugly from my teachers' teaching skills. To the right is one of the most remarkable teachers I was blessed to receive tuition from ... Mr. Peter Blagrave at the European School of Osteopathy. In becoming an expert teacher you need to have his qualities of respect from your students, and you gain their respect by simply being a true expert in your subject matter. To the right Emma brings back to life in my mind when Peter was demonstrating a hip technique on me in front of my fellow Undergraduate Osteopathy students back in 2002.
Tip 35 - Call on Me … Call on Me!
Here's an extract ...
With Tip 35 - Call on Me … Call on Me! I am not saying you need to put on a leotard, although you can in your own time. If you don’t already, I want you to learn some Pilates! And with that, spread the Pilates word across your Workforce.
Click the illustration to the left to read the full Tip.
In Tip 38 - Invest in a Gym I re-enact the Dragon's Den where you, the Health & Safety Professional pitch to the Dragons for investment in a gym at your Business' site. This was fun for me to write and you the reader will find it funny. Which Dragon will give you the dosh?
From the title of Tip 39 - Sign on the Dotted Line I wouldn't blame you to think this Tip would be a bit boring. Unless you are watching Meghan Markle in Suits, all things legal are very boring aren't they? But in Tip 39 I brought in Judge Rinder where in Court he delivers his verdicts on the same Injury at Work Case.
In Making it Happen I bring the 50 Tips and 7 True Stories of Business Regret together to inspire you to literally make it happen! With that I mean armed with your paperback copy of Sorry! We're Closed, you can aim towards zero Manual Handling Lost Time Accidents and Injury at Work Claims and with that leverage Business growth ... and with that your Business Owner might buy his Princess Yacht and you might buy your Porsche (or maybe you like the GT86 like me)!
Connect with me on LinkedIn and you will go into our Monthly Competition to win a FREE paperback copy, and with that you might just receive the image below in your LinkedIn messages! Or if you aren't a risk taker you can simply purchase your own copy. Enjoy the read!