October 2013 – The World is Getting Smaller

In 1988 I had a lot of airplane time as part of my consulting practice and started thinking about crazy or funny stories from my somewhat spastic planning career. I put these stories together in a book, What Your Planning Professors Forgot To Tell You, and sent it off to APA who immediately wanted to publish it in 1999. They sold the book for 10 years and then decided it had run its course and gave me back the copyrights.

This is where it gets interesting. The same week I received the copyright back from APA, I received an email from South Korea wanting to buy the Korean rights to publish the book. My original thought was some kind of a scam but I responded anyway. Shortly thereafter I was offered a contract and an advance on publication. The rub was that they only wanted to send the advance by directed deposit to my bank account. Did I really want to give my banking information to someone In Korea that I didn’t know? My wife had a small checking account, so we took the money out of that account and gave them the number. The advance arrived and was cashed.

This was followed by a series or requests for graphics and illustrations used in the book. And, to my surprise, the Korean book has just hit the market. What a strange and wonderful world we live in. By the way, I think this was the best of the six books I have written so I bought 100 copies from APA when they closed it down. If you missed getting a copy, it is available at my web site, www.Zuckersystems.com.

Or, you can always buy it in Korean, Click here.

Think big,

The Management Doctor

Reader Responses

We have a copy of your book in our Planning office.  I really love it!

Tammy A. Lyerly

This has nothing to do with planning but I think you’ll find it interesting…a true story.

In a previous life I was Executive Director of the American Water Ski Association (now USA Water Ski).  After I left AWSA, I wrote and published a water ski instruction book.  Years later, after the book was out of print, I was taking a bath one night when the phone rang. My wife came into the bathroom, handed me the cordless handset and said:  “This guy from Korea wants the rights to print your book in Korean.”  There I was, sitting in my bathrub talking to someone half way around the world about a water skiing book.

The caller was a professor at a Korean university and an official with the South Korean Water Ski Association.  He spoke broken English but I was able to exchange email addresses with him which began our negotiation.  I settled for about half what the publisher thought it was worth but I wanted to help the guy out and I just wanted to see it published in another language. It’s strange to have a book with your name on it and you cannot understand a word of it.

Strange and wonderful world indeed.

Bruce Kistler

From the Management Doctor: What’s up with Korea? Maybe it’s time to learn a new language!

Great story, Paul, and congratulations on your global expansion!

Lisa Walsh

That’s a GREAT story! I clicked on the Korean link – loved the graphic!
Thanks for making me smile.

Connie Cooper