Streamline Books Year-in-Review Part 1: Writing Books, Building a Team, and Lessons Learned from an Integrator

For our last two blog posts of 2022, we wanted to write a two-part series from our perspective of Integrator and Visionary, respectively. The language is taken from the book Rocket Fuel written by Gino Wickman and Mark Winters. If you are reading this, we are so grateful for your support in some form or fashion with Streamline Books. We believe we’re just getting started, and look back on 2022 with a certain fondness and healthy exhaustion. We’re ready to build on this year for an even more exciting next few months ahead!

When Alex and I reconnected in the fall of 2020, we had some catching up to do about life in general. But little did we know we were on the verge of a new endeavor to come alongside dozens of individuals over the next two years to help them write, edit, publish their books and set them off on a journey to share their message and expertise with the world.

Our first client and published author, Colin Holba, released his book in July of 2021. And by the end of 2022, we will have worked with 35+ authors to do the same. We have been continuously learning about how to help others write a book they’re proud of while building systems and a team to support authors in the process. We are still learning so much each day, but it’s the “Why” that drives us in that mission.

Starting with our why, I’d like to share what largely got me out of bed every morning, from a work perspective, over the last 18 months, and how I’m excited to transition roles within our own company so that others might shine using what they are gifted and skilled in.

Our Streamline “Why” is More Than Writing Books

Around the fall of 2022, two years after Alex and I first reconnected after about six years from the time we had first met and worked at a summer camp together, Alex and I landed on our company verse that comes from the book of Proverbs:

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Alex and I had done enough research about the writing, editing, and publishing industry after about a year to realize so many people are bent on not just writing a book, but on writing a bestseller. In short, we know that desire aligns with the deepest longing of the human heart: to be recognized. But you don’t need to write a bestseller to be recognized, you simply need to open your mouth.

However, what Alex and I know full well is that there are many that have an incredible voice to share with the world . . . but they’re just on mute! With Streamline Books, our goal is to help authors find their voice, articulate their voice through the written word, and utilize technology to publish their words for many to read and hear—even if “many” isn’t millions. We believe the world needs your book, even if it means a world closer to home. In other words, we don’t think having an embedded platform should prevent you from sharing your voice and area of expertise with the world.

Building a Team to Meet the Task at Hand

For me (Will), the year 2022 felt like it came in three waves for Streamline. The beginning of the year—Q1 and Q2—felt like a big “will it fly?” moment as Alex and I conducted many intro calls with individuals who have wanted to write a book for a long time. Through those discussions, we know that God led us to some incredible now-authors with Streamline, and we’ll forever be grateful to those first few authors that believed in us and our ability to bring their dream to life. This first wave of the year led to a moment where we knew we’d need help on the writing and editing side, but soon it hit us that first and foremost, we needed to focus on project management.

The second wave of Streamline in 2022 was setting up a real system to help make our 16-week process that much more of a reality. During Q1 and most of Q2, we hardly had an online system set up to hold us accountable to bringing someone’s book to life in 16 weeks. But that’s where our first project managers came into play. Together, we utilized various software (namely Google Drive and Basecamp) to create and iterate on systems that we’re very proud of today! Once we made progress on these systems, we eased into Q3 and knew it was time to go back to that question: where can we find help?

Externally, our process is focused on serving a core audience: prospective authors who desire to share their message and expertise with the world. Internally, we found we had an opportunity to serve writers and editors who could get paid for their gifting and skill set. This third wave of our Streamline year takes us to present day, as we’re currently having discussions with wonderful individuals that have expressed interest in bringing others’ books to life!

An Integrator’s View of the Future

In Rocket Fuel, an Integrator is defined as “a person who orchestrates the major functions of an organization.” When Alex and I first read Rocket Fuel in the summer, it was plain to us who was the Visionary and who was the Integrator. In his “Part Two” of our year-end wrap-up, he will discuss a bit of 2022 from his point of view. But from where I sit, I think about how far we came this year in terms of those “major functions of an organization.”

Ultimately, we have found that success doesn’t mean fool-proof systems as much as it does constantly refining those systems to best serve the customer. What works today might not work tomorrow, and if that’s the case . . . give yourself grace! No business is ever perfect, yet the moment a business gets complacent is the moment I think it’s in trouble.

That is my view of the future: Streamline Books will continue to iterate to best serve the customer. We are grateful that, in our business model, we not only get to serve wonderful authors (external) but also talented writers/editors (internal) as customers. As an Integrator, it’s an honor to work on systems every day to make each of their lives a little better.

Here is to 2023 and a fresh new start to the year with greater systems in place and a more words to write! We hope that in some way or another, you join us in the journey. 2022 was so much fun, but we strongly believe Streamline Books is just getting started.

Picture of Will Severns

Will Severns

Will is the Co-Founder of Streamline Books and author of Gouge. He and his wonderful wife, Lauren, live in Kansas City, Missouri with their son, Branch, and daughter, Wynnie.