When Pushing the Pencil Pays Off

Man writing in notebook at deskHow I became an accidental author.

By Ed Mendlowitz
Call Me Before You Do Anything: The Art of Accounting

I’ve written about publishing a firm newsletter and the opportunities it opened for me. However, I really became a published author when I met Martin Edelston, the founder of Boardroom Reports and Bottom Line/Personal.

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About two years after we started the S&M Newsletter, Marty was publishing Boardroom Reports and was shown one of our newsletters and called asking if he could meet me. Before we met I picked up a bunch of his Boardroom Reports publications to get an idea of what was included and the style.

We met and during lunch I mentioned a different treatment of an article he had published, and he asked if he could tape what I was going to say. That led to an editor making that into an article. Afterward I started calling with ideas and soon became one of their most prolific writers.

I was also asked if I would like to join their Panel of Experts. Like yeah and WOW!!! I was now published (by someone other than by me) and on an editorial board. I cannot express the great impact Marty had on my success.

A few years later I was in the Boardroom office when I was asked by Boardroom’s book editor if I would like to write a book for their readers to be called Successful Tax Planning. I was stunned but said, “Sure.” Not having a clue what was involved or if I could do it, I wrote up an outline that night along with a sample chapter. The next morning I went over to their office and gave it to the editor, asking him if this was what he had in mind. He said he would look it over and get back to me.

What I did not know was that another person was asked to write that book, but he had done nothing in six months and the editor wanted to get rid of him so he asked if I was interested in doing it. Well, two minutes after I left, Marty asked the editor what was happening with the book. He replied that he had heard nothing from the suggested author, had asked Ed if he would do it and that Ed put together an outline and first chapter. He asked Marty if he could proceed with me and got the go-ahead

I took the opportunity that crossed my path, did something to get a feeling of what I was getting involved in and if it seemed possible, and became an author.

The book had four editions, 12 printings, was on sale for four years, was promoted with a few million mailings (with my photo) and was a great big boost to my reputation, in addition to earning substantial royalties.

And it all happened by accident and by my pushing the pencil right away.

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