13 May I could write a book. Oh wait, I am!
Incredibly exciting news came across the transom last night while I was at the Women Who Tech after-party in NYC: I’ve been offered a book deal with the stellar Berrett-Koehler publishing group in San Francisco. I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with Johanna Vondeling, their vice president of editorial and digital, and the rest of the staff there. Their commitment to social change as well as digital innovation for publishing makes them the perfect fit for what I want to do.
What do I want to do, I hear you asking yourself? In short — I do want you to buy the book, after all — I’m going to be describing the social media moment as a huge opportunity for social change and action. If you’ve read some of what I’ve written about Twitter and other services, and my ideas about the giant gene pool and the desperate need for diversity, you have an idea of where the book will go. Plus, it’ll be stunningly entertaining to boot!
It was interesting to go from “I don’t think I ever want to write a book” at the end of February to looking at what I’ve got to sign for the deal in the middle of May. I wanted to share this part of the story as both a testament to Johanna’s powerful skillz of persuasion, as well as a revelatory moment about how these things can work– especially for women who think they have to know every detail of everything before they set off on sharing their expertise. Not that I know anything about that.
In the beginning, I couldn’t identify what topic (of the myriad of things I’m interested in) I’d have enough passion, expertise and attention span to write an entire book about. Johanna asked me to complete an exercise as homework after our first official call, where I was to answer three questions:
- What community do I identify with, am affiliated with or otherwise care about?
- What is that community’s point of pain? What’s preventing them from getting to the next level?
- What book could I write to address that point of pain?
Well, jeez, that was easy. My community, through my work in feminism over the years, is women; their point of pain is an intimidation and/or distrust of new technologies, and yeah, I’m pretty sure I could write a book helping them get over that hump. As Johanna and I fleshed out my ideas, we both realized that what I’m talking about is larger than just women needing to take advantage of this moment. I’m going to be talking about and bringing in experts from the fields of racial justice, LGBTQQI organizing, the front lines of the class warfare… yeah. It’s going to be one big party in my book.
So, there you have it. We’re attempting to do this on a strikingly fast timetable, and I’m going to be looking to my community for help in a few areas. One of them is fundraising, but that’s a separate story that I’ll blog later this week. For now, I’ll be over here just bouncin’ off the walls.
PS– A big, big, big shoutout to Christine Cupaiuolo, the most fabulous editor ever, without whose help I seriously would not have been able to put together a proposal that knocked it out of the park as hard as it did. Can’t wait to move on to the book work with you, CMC!