Help me write my first book (#feeddeanna)

iStock_000008243014XSmallAs you may have heard, I’ve signed a contract with Berrett-Koehler to write a book about social media this summer. But! I need a tremendous amount of support — monetary, moral and otherwise — to get it done in the super-fast timeframe that I’m working within. Can you help? Here’s the email that I sent out to all my friends and colleagues. Please use the ChipIn to the right, or click here to make a donation.

Update, 7/13/09: Two things. There’s a post on my progress and thoughts here, and also, to reflect the offline donations I’m getting, I’m now gradually lowering the goal of the ChipIn.

Friends, colleagues, clients! Lend me your ears…

I’m writing you with some exciting news that makes me very happy. I just signed a contract from Berrett-Koehler publishers to write a book I’ve been imagining for a long time. But it’s going to take some very hard work on my part, and I hope you can help me succeed.

The book I’m writing is on the topic that has been all the rage in the media — social networking and all that implies with Twitter, Facebook, and much more. Here’s the purpose of the book: how do we ensure that these tools are in being used most effectively by those who have too often been on the sidelines of technology advances– women, people of color, queer folk, and more?

This is a fabulous opportunity for many social change advocates to jump into the new tech conversations and help shape the future, and I want to make sure that happens. Specific topics I want to cover about women’s experiences online include privacy and security, as well as shifting cultural values through organizing and action. I’m also going to be highlighting the voices of experts working in with social media in communities of color and more– voices you don’t hear when tech is being talked about.

Here’s my challenge and why I need your help: Berrett-Koehler is an incredible publisher — supportive, collaborative, and incredibly innovative– and I’m thrilled to be working with them. But they don’t pay advances. So, to do this book (and it is incredibly fast-tracked), I need to stop working as a consultant for the next three months and do nothing but write the book. Thus, I need investors. I need you to help me raise $15,000 to cover my expenses, travel, and research. Please toss some money into a “Feed Deanna” pot!

I’m off to a good start: the Hightower Lowdown (Jim Hightower’s monthly newsletter), where I’ve worked for 4 years, is covering my rent through the summer. And Don Hazen, editor of AlterNet.org (where I also have worked) and Doug Kreeger (AlterNet’s board chair) will put the first $2,000 in if people will match it. All donations of $250 and over can be made through the Independent Media Institute, so they’ll be tax-deductible.

So, here I am, hat in hand for a good cause. I’ll make you proud. You can donate via PayPal at http://www.deannazandt.com/chipin or send a check to me (address below).

I know it is a tough time to be asking for money with many people out of work and struggling. I hope you’ll forgive my chutzpah. Yet I want this all to happen so badly I can taste it; it’s more than anything I’ve wanted in a very long time. It’s a dream come true in many ways, and I hope even if you can’t give at this time, you’ll join me in celebrating the moment.

much love,
deanna

P.S. — For anyone who donates $100 or more, I will give you a copy of the book with an inscription of my heartfelt thanks. One more time, that donation link is:

http://www.deannazandt.com/chipin

P.P.S. — Thanks in advance for anything and everything that you can do to support this wildly excited, somewhat humbled first-time author. Here’s more info about the book: http://www.deannazandt.com/bookannounce , and I’ll be blogging as much of the book’s content as possible at http://www.deannazandt.com/ throughout the summer.

For donations over $250, checks can be made payable to:

Independent Media Institute
77 Federal St
San Francisco, CA 94107

Memo: Deanna Zandt Project


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  • You can get this book done QUICKLY and enjoy the process. I’ve worked with Ann McIndoo transcribing interviews so I know she’s getting great results. Be on her call Thursday (tomorros) http://bit.ly/bx4A9
    All the best,

    Alice

  • Really interesting idea to crowd-source the advance raising process. Can you clarify if you are looking for investors (like in there would be a pay off for them), or looking for donations (like in don’t expect to see a pay-off)?

    • Thanks for the question, Praveen– it’s been interesting, the couple of folks that have focused on the word “investors” in that one paragraph. I meant it in a “invest in independent media” or “invest in the movement” sort of way; I’d used it off the cuff and no ROI was intended. The use of “donations” throughout the rest of the email was my focus, in that people won’t receive any money in return. The only material exchange is sort of a PBS-style of sponsorship, in that people who donate over $100 will get a copy of the book.

  • Brilliant.

    Very Guerrilla of you to create this opportunity. Any chance donors of a particular amount will get listed in the book?

    Also, Jay Conrad Levinson, Rick Frishman, Michael Larsen and I are releasing the 2nd edition of Guerrilla Marketing for Writers and I’d love to chat with you about this idea, how you came up with it, the success of it and so forth. What say ye?

    David

    • Hi David! I actually decided, due to my radical rah-rah sensibilities, that I wasn’t going to accept any dough from folks that asked if they could get listed somewhere in the book. haha. See, I’m a terrible capitalist after all…

      Would love to chat — here’s a post from yesterday with more of the background and lessons learned, if that’s helpful. Drop a line for more!

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