Case Study: Marli Rusen goes from book idea to book platform


Marli Rusen, author of The Mirror Method

I would like to set up a call to canvas your potential services in more detail and obtain an estimate of costs. I am a lawyer/entrepreneur who has developed a model of “workplace accountability…

That is how we first met Marli Rusen in June 2015 after she found our website. She understood almost immediately that the Brilliant Idea Books approach to hybrid publishing fit her needs perfectly. She didn’t quite know what her book should be. And we had a lot of steps to take before we could deliver what The Mirror Method is today.

First meeting—go to the bookstore!

Our first course was to determine what the book should be. Marli has a very successful legal practise in Victoria, BC, Canada specializing in workplace behavior and methods. She acts as a workplace investigator, mediator, arbitrator and education. Marli gives a number of workshops throughout the year and rightly felt that her audiences would benefit from a book as a takeaway. In addition she wanted to make sure executives and decision-makers had access to her book.

After a long phone conversation to determine what she wanted in her book, I asked Marli to do what I ask every prospective BIB client to do—go to a bookstore and find 5 books they like.

The books don’t have to be in their specific category but we want to see what appeals to the author from the book jacket design, the trim size, the interior look to the overall feel of the package. This list helps us determine what the author is looking for in their own book – but also gives us an idea of time of style and approach they want. Here’s Marli’s list:

  • Power of communication by Helio Fred Garcia
  • Becoming a Better Boss by Julian Birkinshaw
  • First-time Leader by George Brady and Gillian Davies
  • The Leader’s Guide to Influence by Mike Brent and Fiona Elsa Dent
  • Stop Workplace Drama by Marlene Chrism

Next—build a team

Now, we had some examples of the style Marli wanted. This helped to give us a sense of the book and how to proceed. We contacted each of our talented freelance team for individual quotes on their services know what the book might probably look like.

Each submitted a quote for services and we gave Marli an overall price for her Brilliant Idea Book in late summer 2015. Marli delivered an outline for the book and chapter descriptions. This gave Catherine Leek our editor a very good feel for the concept of the book how to would flow. They worked together on the manuscript and it was completed in late December. Parallel with that process, Kim Monteforde the designer at Heidy Lawrence and Associates our designer team started working on cover concepts and interior layout. Everyone gets involved with suggestions and points of view and the first concepts started to float around in early spring 2016.

The fun stuff—cover designs

Here are some of the early concepts and then the final cover:

Marli Rusen, Book covers for the Mirror Method

After Marli signed off on the front cover, the interior design was also approved. Now, things started to move more quickly; the back cover was designed, quotes from Marli’s many business contacts were obtained and by early August the final file for the printer was signed off and it was off to press. Marli had two conferences scheduled for early October so it was crucial they were ready for these events.

The books were delivered to Marli at the end of September 2016 and air shipped to the conferences.

List on Amazon & launch

The book was listed on Amazon and the e-book was converted by Leanne Tremblay for Kindle in mid-September 2016. Marli was thrilled with the results:

It looks amazing! Informal reviews have been great – one client just called it a manager’s bible which is flattering! A number of clients are in the process of preparing formal Amazon reviews – we are launching it on the 14th. I’ll keep you posted! Thanks again for everything.

Check out Marli’s book on Available on and

What’s next? More books

Since her first book Marli has asked that Brilliant Idea Bools help for produce The Mirror Method Workbook which she will use as a companion for her workshops. We are trying to get that ready for fall 2017. And her energy knows no bounds – she is mapping out a new book Walking on Eggshells which will offer practical strategies on addressing workplace dysfunction – for every member of the team.

We love working with Marli and look forward to building on this winning relationship.