Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just got my Saulo book in the mail...

It exists! The Saulo book finally exists! This is my first jiu-jitsu book and I so happy to finally see it in my hands! Before this, I had only written magazine articles, blog posts, and academic material, and this by far was my most ambitious undertaking in writing.

First of all, let me provide some insight into the creation of this book. I owe a lot to this blog. It has served as a pretty unlikely resume and has given me introduction to a key player (and great friend) in the creation of this book, Eric Goo. After I met Eric Goo through this blog, we became very good friends and training partners (along with everyone at NTT). When I told him that I had talked with Saulo about creating this book with Victory Belt, Eric was the one who drove down to San Diego with me (because he has been friends with the Ribeiro brothers for a very long time), introduced me to Saulo, and pretty much vouched for me as a writer. I really think first impressions are everything, and Eric really helped in the formative part of my relationship with Saulo (which is of incredible importance for a relationship between writers). I am very thankful for this.

Another important player has been John Danaher. When I asked John if he would serve as my editor/technical advisor, he jumped whole-heartedly into the project and proceeded to blow my mind away. Not only did John work on the technical side of the book with me, but he really helped mentor me in my first book. Needless to say, John gave me a lot of confidence when he gave me his final approval. He is a great mind, inside and outside of jiu-jitsu. Again, I am very grateful for this.

Of course so many more that I need to thank and that will come soon.

Enough of my rant, on to the book...

For the past couple/few months I have been staring at and making changes to the monster that is my Saulo Proofs. These are single sided, photo paper quality prints of each page of the book. Along with the publisher and Saulo, we have been checking, checking, and checking that this book is the one that we wanted to send to print. One thing about these prints, this is a very big book, and because these prints are one sided, this pile is HUGE!!! I only hoped that the book would be far less than half in size (I want book stores to carry it after all!). Finally, after many weeks, we came up with our final edition, reviewed it with Saulo one last time, and sent it to the printer. Then, the waiting game.

After a couple of shipping delays, 5 books were sent to Victory Belt offices midway through this week. Some may wonder, why 5? Actually these 5 are airmailed from the printer (in China) as a benefit to the authors, while the other thousands sit in a boat that trudges across the Pacific. All I have to say is that I hope that boat is fast, because people get grumpy just as fast when deadlines are missed. This I can understand, I would get pissed too if I pre-ordered something and the advertised date changed. All that I can say is that I am very thankful for all of the pre-orders (as is Saulo), it makes it a lot easier for us to gauge its possible popularity and negotiate future books. I greatly appreciate it guys!

Regarding the shipping time, here is how the publishing process has worked for me. After submitting the final manuscript (needed approval by Saulo, me, and the publisher), the book was touched up by Haley and VB (photos lightened, etc). Then the book was sent to China for printing. After a few weeks, the printer sent us the above proof and we made our last minute changes and troubleshooting. Then we gave our final final approval. Weeks and weeks later, the finished book shows up on my doorstep. For everyone else, the book still takes this path. It moves from the printer, to customs, to a freight container and ship, takes a massive trans-Pac journey, back through customs, voyages cross country to the distributor, gets sent to the retailer, and then to you. I never knew until now how long this would take. It's crazy.

I received my book this afternoon and I am elated. As I said earlier, this is my first book and it feels very good to see so much time manifested in such a nice product. Saulo really went the extra mile here and I think it shows.

This book break down the belt system by theme. Saulo includes the necessary theme that you must accomplish before moving on to the next belt.

Here are some pics from the book opening ceremony on my shabby apartment carpets!

This book is Victory Belt's biggest book to date, and likely ever (obviously a larger/heavier book is much more expensive to produce and ship). It feels like a brick. However, if this book does well, I can continue making big ones for my next three projects (Leo Vieira, Galvao, and Dave Camarillo).

Brabo time!

At first I thought Saulo was so unorthodox in this technique until he showed me how many applications it has throughout his entire system. The leg lasso pass.


Now that Saulo is finally finished, I can dive headfirst into my other projects. I am finishing three seminar DVDs (Ricardo Vieira, Leo Vieira, and Andre Galvao), while working on my new books and keeping up my teaching and training load. For the books, I am currently writing Galvao's next one. Having trained with him for quite some time now, I really believe that this book will provide the insight into why he is so incredible in competition. Afterwards, I will finish Leo's book and then Dave's. All three are photographed, transcribed, and sitting on my externals.

If any readers have any questions, suggestions, or insights into any of my books or projects - feel free to ask!!!! I will try to respond to everything here.

Happy Training!