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How I Made a New York Times bestselling book for Al Gore

In 2018, I was hired by Melcher Media as an Editor and Producer. My first project was as lead project manager and editor on Former US Vice President Al Gore’s newest book. It was an ambitious project from start to finish. The timeline was linked to the release of the companion documentary which would launch in under six months. After meeting Mr. Gore at his offices in Nashville to understand his goals and expectations, we hit the ground running.

As with any project of ours, the first step is to put together a crack team. I sought out and hired three climate activists with strong writing skills, a consulting editor who worked on his previous book, a British journalist with experience doing hard-hitting interviews, photo researchers to seek out the best environmental photos, high-profile proofreaders and fact-checkers, infographic experts, and a fantastic team of designers at mgmt. Studios.


On top of about 150 pages of highly detailed infographics and writing gleaned from Mr. Gore’s speeches, videos, and essays, we also conducted and edited over 25 interviews with climate leaders such as Bjarke Ingels and Shepard Fairey, and created over 150 pages of actionable advice for taking climate change seriously in communities, businesses, and at home.

Throughout the process, I worked alongside the publisher, Rodale; Mr. Gore’s organization, The Climate Reality Group; Mr. Gore’s personal fact-checking and data scientist team; and organizations such as Solar City, the UN, the Iroquois Confederacy, and more. On the printing side, I worked closely with an expert production manager to ensure the book was not only printed beautifully but using sustainable, forest-friendly practices.

While most of the work was done remotely, Mr. Gore traveled to New York City to work with us for two weeks straight, working through the night to create the best iterations of every infographic, making sure the science was thoroughly fact-checked, working with the interviewees’ teams to ensure compliance with their organizations, running through hundreds of cover options, and collaborating deeply on this comprehensive, complex, entertaining, and beautiful book.


al-gore-publishing-bookal-gore-publishing-bookWith over 15 creatives and freelancers on my team, we pulled it all together in record time and the book was almost immediately a New York Times bestseller.

Though I’ve worked on many similar projects in my career, this one was the perfect combination of fun, meaningful, and complex. Though I had already been making books for almost ten years, this project instilled in me deep confidence in my abilities as a publisher, editor, and book producer.


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