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“Practicing Lean” is Now a Paperback Book!

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This Post in <50 Words:  Our collaborative eBook project, Practicing Lean, has raised over $1000 so far for the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation. The book is now available as a paperback book through Amazon, in addition to the Kindle Store and LeanPub.com. Please check it out!


Yesterday was exciting in that I received my first paperback copy of our Practicing Lean book… a book about our early days with Lean and continuous improvement, the struggles, the stories, the lessons learned.

It's almost a 300-page book… as much as I love and read e-Books, it's so nice to see and hold a paper copy and put it on the shelf.

This book started as two chapters that I published on the LeanPub.com platform that encourages “Lean Publishing” as a parallel to the “Lean Startup” idea that you should publish early and then add to the book incrementally.

Over about 16 months, I recruited a number of authors (and many volunteered).

They are:

One great thing about LeanPub.com is that they don't put limitations on what you can do with the book. You can still buy it there (as PDF, ePub format, or the Kindle .MOBI format).

If you buy through the LeanPub.com store, one cool they let you do is choose the price you want to pay. I set the recommended price of $7.99 and the minimum of $2.99). There's a slider that shows you how much the author gets (in this case, how much the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation gets, since we are donating all proceeds, over $1000 so far).

Yes, you can choose to pay more (it's for a great cause!) and some choose to do that, actually. It's much appreciated. LeanPub pays about 90% royalty.

The book has been available as a Kindle book through the Amazon Kindle store for a few months (it's an easier buying process than taking the purchase from LeanPub and manually putting it on your device).

The Kindle Store has you set a fixed price, so there it's $4.99. We don't earn quite as much per book, but that's the price they recommended to maximize revenue (ah, economics and data).

Amazon has a new beta program that makes it pretty easy to publish a paperback along side your Kindle version. LeanPub.com outputs a “print-ready” PDF that you can upload to Amazon.

So, here we go… a paperback book. With a price of $19.99, the Foundation earns about $10 per book. Amazon pays a 60% royalty, after the printing costs (which are $4.44 or so). That's still better than any traditional publisher would pay (grumble grumble).

I tweeted this yesterday, if you'd like to share it (with my typo and all).

Someone asked me why there's a baby on the cover.

The metaphor is that this book is about our early days with Lean… our baby steps. We often learn initially through books… so the baby is climbing the books.

Here is an Amazon review by Brian Kerr:

Stories from the field, with interesting voices and a variety of perspectives

Think of this book as what you'd hear if you were stuck in a long van ride with over a dozen folks who learned the hard way about many wrong-headed, painful, or failed approaches to change the culture of their workplaces–but who also learned the hard way about how to practice and spread lean in a meaningful way.

This is a collection of informal memoirs about lean leadership and transformation in a wide variety of organizations and industries. Most adults learn by doing. None of the chapters in this book are a substitute for learning to “do” lean or to practice lean, but I have already seen it give one client the courage to imagine that lean “could work here”. It is easy to find courage in a glass or in the company of a friend, but harder to find courage in a book, of all things. And this little collection does it. Highly recommended.

I hope you'll check out the book and help spread the word for this project and the cause.

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is an anthology titled Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus. His next book, to be released in 2018, is Measures of Success.

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