Random Thoughts

Book Release – June 15th

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Honestly….I can’t believe I’m writing this blog post. My 4th grade teacher would be so proud of me right now (I might have to look her up and send her a copy).

Many readers to this blog who have been following me for more than a year probably realized that I’ve not blogged as much this year. That it seems like at times I forgot about blogging. I wish I had a better excuse other than you’re right.

In August I started writing a book. After being contacted by Corwin Press late last year, I started working on an outline and eventually working on the book itself. To know that there was a publishing company that might actually consider publishing something I wrote was an honor, and the motivation I needed to take that thought of “can I do this?” and make it a reality. Along the way Corwin Press and I parted company. It was a mutual parting of ways as we had different ideas on the direction of this book. Maybe I’ve had too much of the Seth Godin Kool aid, but this book was never meant to make me money. No, this book has way more meaning than that.

It was September 2006 when this blog turned 1 year old, and I, for the first time publicly, talked about my learning disability. It was a big moment for me in so many way. In writing it down in public, in the amazing response I received from my readers at the time, and the connections it would lead to in meeting, talking with, and communicating with students around the world who were dyslexic. That moment changed me, and I have a feeling releasing this book will do the same.

I’m not a writer, never claimed to be one, I write what I think, how I think, which is tough to put into a book format. It’s not a master piece by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s mine, done the way I see it, in my voice, and in my words….and that to me is enough.

The book is on schedule to be released on June 15th. I wanted to mention it now because…..well I can’t hold it in any longer. Very few people have known that I was working on it (just in case it didn’t happen) and even fewer (10 peer reviewers) have seen the finished manuscript, but on the 15th of June that will all change.

I am so glad that I decided to self-publish this book through Lulu.com. I’ve learned so much by self-publishing and at the same time, and more importantly to me, I remain in control of the content, meaning I’m free do to with it what I please. What do I want to do?

Give it away!

That’s right I’m going to give it away to everyone, and anyone who has made this book possible. I’ve never had a way to give back to the community that has supported me and taught me so much these past 5 years, until now. Now I can give something back to all of you who have made me believe I could write this book. The 700+ blog posts that are housed here are a large part of my growth in this field of educational technology and all of you made this book possible. Even if you just have my blog in a forgotten RSS reader, it was still a reader. It gave me a reason to post and reflect…..a reason to continue to grow and learn.

Of course you’ll be able to buy the book (and of course I hope some of you do). It will be available in a number of places online in a number of formats. But for anyone reading this it will be free.

I have decided to give away a DRM free PDF copy of the book to my community and network. To my followers and friends. What does this mean?

If you follow this blog and are around on June 15: Free PDF for you

If you follow the U Tech Tips Blog and are around on June 15: Free PDF for you

If you follow me on Twitter on June 15th: Free PDF for you

If you are a fan of my Facebook Page on June 15th: Free PDF for you

If you are a connection on LinkedIn on June 15th: Free PDF for you

If you are a subscriber to the On Deck Podcast or SOSpodcast: Free audio version for you (coming in September)

If you come to any presentation I give after June 15th (ISTE2010, BLC, EARCOS): Free PDF for you

On June 15th when the book launches, I’ll post a PDF copy of the book online for download via a password that will give you access. Once you have the PDF you can do with it what you like. Share it, trash it, give it away, make copies of it for your school. It’s yours to share. If you feel like leaving a review on Amazon, or lulu.com or another site, I thank you, but there is no obligation.

Next September after I get back here to Bangkok and get back to my podcast studio upstairs, I will record and release for free an audio version of the book via my podcast site On Deck (iTunes). I am an auditory learner and it’s important to me to release the book in as many forms for different learning styles as possible. That is something I’ve always promised myself I would do.

So that’s it…..if you are around on June 15th the book will be yours. If you happen to miss it, the first 3 chapters of the book will always be free on the book’s website (still under construction) for download. Again DRM free PDF.

As for the paid copy of the book, I’m hoping to be able to sell it for around $10. That’s the goal anyway, we’ll have to see what Lulu says about that when I upload the finished copy of the book.

I feel so much better spilling the beans! I’m excited, and I hope you’re excited too! I thank you for your support and making this possible by being part of my online community and learning network.

(Picture is the cover of the book. A thank you to woodleywonderworks on Flickr for giving me permission to use his photo for the cover.)

I started blogging in 2005 and found it such a powerful way to reflect and share my thinking about technology, this generation, and how we prepare students for their future not our past.


  1. This is amazing Jeff! Congratulations! I know your 4th grade teacher will be proud and I am so proud to know such an amazing educator. Can’t wait to read it!

  2. Congratulations! And thanks for your work on this – I’m looking forward to the read.

  3. Hip, hip hooray, Jeff. I am so excited for you. You are such a great motivator and sharing this book with us is a wonderful gesture. Thanks for all that you have taught me. I look forward to the continuing conversations at ISTE10.

  4. Teryl Magee Reply

    Congrats, Jeff! It’s been so wonderful to become part of this amazing network of educators that we share; all I can say is THANK YOU for all that you share with everyone. See you at ISTE!

  5. Jeff, congrats on this accomplishment. I’m sure you put in a ton of work on it and those of us to have been learning with you for the past few years will certainly enjoy it. I’m looking forward to getting my hand on a copy.

    • Thanks Chad…..and thanks for hanging around for so long. Not sure how long you have been a reader but I know it’s been a couple years. I always appreciate your comments and feedback. Glad I can give something back.

  6. Hi Jeff,

    This is FANTASTIC!!!! I am so amazed and proud to know you! Okay, I thought you were pretty amazing before too. But I am so glad that you finished a dream. And I am so proud that, once again, you are following your passion, not the money. ~Heather

  7. Congratulations Utecht. Finally, years of reading this thing is finally going to pay off 😉

  8. Doug Johnson Reply

    Hi Jeff,

    Congrats! Writing books is more work than it seems, eh? I look forward to reading and reviewing it.

    All the best and hope to see you at ISTE.


    • Way more work. The writing part was fun, the formatting it into a book part was a headache. I have to say I hate Microsoft Word after this. It’s horrible at formatting, especially with text boxes for images, and sidebars. Just a pain.

  9. Jeff,

    Congrats on publishing. I cannot wait to read it. It is always refreshing to see your posts as well as challenging to me as an educator. You continually inspire me to question and challenge myself as an educator.

    Thanks for the many questions and challenges you have provided to me as well as the community.

    Good luck on the book.


  10. David Warlick Reply

    Congratulations. Your blogpost reminds me of the young adult who complains about how fat he/she is, and I would love to be that small again. You have contributed enormously to a very special community. We all know what we want to see, we just don’t know how to describe it. We are desperately looking for the language. This is what you do. You help us find the language.

    On another note, I use to hold up my book at presentations and say, “I’m showing you this book on the chance that on day one of my old English teachers will be in the audience — and I’m going to delight in the sound of her hitting the floor.”

    I’m looking forward to reading, and I’ll buy the old fashioned version.

    — dave —

  11. Lori Dobler Reply

    Jeff you were one of my first RSS feeds and one I always look forward to reading. Your guidance has made my classes more engaging and slowly I am finding my way to start presenting my own ideas to other colleagues due the courage and knowledge obtained from educators like you. Once again you are modeling such exceptional giving for others to follow … thank you many times over.

  12. Congratulations Jeff! I knew you were a wonderful teacher, mentor, etc.. but now I can add a wonderful author to everything I think of you! Can’t wait to read your new book. So happy for you!

  13. Congratulations! I published on Lulu, and it was a good experience. You can set the price, but you may need to do some experimentation because Lulu tacks on the fees to print the book. If you play around a bit, you can sell it for $10.00 if you want. I agree with you that laying it out yourself can be a pain, but to have it look exactly the way you want in the end is satisfying.

  14. Ashley Johnson Reply

    Hi, my name is Ashley Johnson. I am taking EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama. I was assigned to follow your blog for the next three weeks and I will be summarizing them in a post on my blog for my class on June 30th. Here is link to my class blog Class Blogor my blog page is Ashley Johnson Blog Page.Congratulations on the accomplishment of publishing your own book. I will look forward to reading it on June 15th. You are inspiring to many people in a special way. Thank You for sharing your thoughts with everyone.

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  16. Congratulations! Very well done!!! I really appreciate the fact that you will be releasing your book in multiple formats–for learners and fellow travellers who face challenges with the written word or who “learn differently”. There are many who will benefit from your thoughtfulness!

  17. Congratulations! from all your old friends from your stompping ground grounds of Shanghai. Very excited to see you in print (as opposed to pixels).

  18. Teresa Belisle Reply

    Bravo–an impressive accomplishment. I look forward to the read and some discussion about it in August!! Thanks for sharing! T

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  20. Jeff, you’re a model for the rest of us on how to get some buzz quickly for a new book or e-book! You’ve got to be pushing at least 1,000 downloads in the first 24 hours of this book’s release. I hope you’ll post a reflection in a week or two and share the download numbers that you achieved through various channels (as well as how many people have paid for the book). For example, right now I see that downloads from your blog post are about twice as many as from your Tweets. I’m guessing that eventually your conference presentations will give you the most downloads.

    Good stuff. I’m looking forward to reading this and your e-books!

  21. Pingback: Jeff Utecht’s New Book ‘Reach’ is Free Today! | Daily latest freebies information

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