APTLY wrote a book. Yep, you read that right. In this post, we grant you a look behind the scenes of what we’ve been up to.
Throwback to October 2015: A customer request sparked something in the APTLY marketing team – something that was to shape the upcoming new year 2016 entirely. Once it became clear that the project that started out as a plain text PDF guide had the potential to be more than that, slowly but steadily a plan developed in our heads: “We’re going to write, publish and market a book! Let’s do this!” All this led to what we can now call our first ever self-published book.
Now that the project is finished and the book has officially been released, we thought we’d grant you a look behind the scenes of the production process. But first, let’s talk about the obvious question all of you are asking yourself right now: What book are you guys talking about, for heaven’s sake?
We’re happy to finally announce: Our HubSpot Certification Guide.
Sweat, tears, not necessarily blood but definitely a whole lot of coffee were shed during it’s production, and we’re proud to finally present it to you. This Guide is meant to be your mentor and best buddy on your way to becoming a certified HubSpot Tool Expert. It’s small, handy and you can easily take it with you wherever you go* – which is great, because all you have to do is attentively read two chapters a day and within 8 days you’ll know everything you need to know to pass HubSpot’s official Tool Certification exam. But more on that later.
(*Actually, thinking about it, maybe don’t take it to a whitewater rafting tour or into the swimming pool. Just to make sure.)
So how exactly do you write and publish a book? It’s not something you come up with just like that. It’s a process that consists of many single steps that kept us occupied for the majority of 2016. Take a look behind the scenes:
Our authors and tool experts started working on the first script – a plain text version of the book that contained screenshots as the only visual elements.
The first script was finished, translated and went through a first rough editing.
Our customers loved the result of the script so much that we thought to ourselves: why not extend this document and make a whole book out of it?
As a HubSpot Consultant I think that Inbound means transforming how we do business to be more helpful, more human, more empathetic. It focuses on the whole process of turning a stranger into a delighted customer. That is what we want to achieve with our HubSpot Certification Guide.
Yvonne Tischler, author of the HubSpot Certification Guide
We started working on the layout development. We had to decide on colours, fonts, structure, visuals and design a cover.
Our layout development process was mainly driven by one question: Why a printed book, when today we are surrounded by fragments of knowledge all around digital media? The answer: clarity. We worked with colour codes and made room for own notes to design the readers learning as clear and easy as possible.
Patrick Reichert-Young, author of the HubSpot Certification Guide
The proper copy-editing process began. Our editing team worked with the first proofs that were printed on A3 paper. Later, a second proof reading took place, this time we held the first bound book proofs in our hands – it was a surreal yet satisfying feeling to finally see it all come together.
Planning, writing and designing a book without a publisher was definitely a challenge, yet still an adventure. When I first held a proof of our guide in my hands, it surely felt a bit like becoming parents.
Jasmin Kind, Associate Editor & Copywriter
All of the corrections had been applied to the final document and on 16th of November we celebrated the final data transfer to the printing house.
Before you ask: Yes, we do have a big red button for occasions like this, and yes, we did use it!
It was truly amazing to see how the entire Team at APTLY contributed to make the Hubspot Certification Guide happen and I feel very lucky and thankful to be part of it. What started out as a Word document one year ago is now a real book! I hope that the readers will feel the same joy and enthusiasm while studying the guide that we felt during the creation and publishing process.
Matthias Rothkoegel, author and translator of the HubSpot Certification Guide
As you can see, this project meaningfully shaped our year 2016. It was exciting, fun, sometimes an uphill battle and yet we learned a lot from it.
Our HubSpot Certification Guide
Of course we want you to see what we worked so hard for in 2016: You can now officially order a copy of our book from or in your local book shop.
As a little pre-christmas present we’ve also prepared a link that will lead you to an exclusive excerpt of the HubSpot Certification Guide. Read the first two chapters and tell us what you think! We would love to hear your opinion and chat with you about the book:
Until then, keep exploring!
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