How to Write a Book Well, we sure as heck aren't going to write a book on Getting Things Done (Chris couldn't even get through the first chapter without getting distracted), but a couple of weeks ago, I received a totally surprising, but exciting email from a literary agent interested in helping us put a proposal together for a book.

Yep. A book. ( o_O ) ... ( !!! )

Funny story about that...I was saying to Chris a mere week before, "I would really love to have more time for my research. I really need a way to get paid to do that." And I put my silent call out to the universe and *poof*, Danielle's email shows up in my inbox.

Well, now comes that part where we have to decide what exactly that research and that book looks like. What flavour of book? Will we lean more "simplified" or more "academic"? You know how I feel about "BLANK Steps to BLANK", so it won't be that simplified. How about audience? Do we write a book that serves the experts or the novices? I know if we write something that is too academic, it may become respected by our peers, but it won't be able to reach people who don't live this stuff day-to-day. But if we write something too fluffy, we couldn't look ourselves in the mirror.

This ain't a fluffy subject.

Oh...and what is the subject? Well, that's a whole other problem. You see, we had lunch with Danielle (agent extraordinaire) and blah, blah, blah'd her poor ear off. We're definitely "information brokers" rather than experts. We have DONE as well as observed, but more can be learnt from the observations. And we've observed a heckuvalot. The best of. The worst of. And, being that we decided to write it as a joint venture (Chris and myself), we also want to make certain that we bring in the full range of our experience. Chris' open source and communications design background. My online and guerilla marketing background. Our current grassroots work. Our experience as 'customers'/'users'/'community members' as well as our experience on the other side of the fence, gathering people together around causes...


So, we could write something like:

"Fostering Online Communities" (which has been the subject of our various workshops and, really, what people hire us for - and I know the title sucks, btw) (p.s. this is the one that, with a better title, would sell)


"Pinko Marketing" (which will probably never fly, but, hell, the Horrific "Punk Marketing" is supposedly flying off the shelves - but yes, mostly because this is a subject I've been working on for all of my career) (meh.)


"Everything I Needed to Know, I Learnt from Open Source" (which is Chris' side of things) (meh.)


"F^%$* ROI: how to let go of numbers and focus on what's really important" ('cause that is the research I want to do and I think is really important) (p.s. this is my favourite, mind you, with a less scrappy title, but might not sell)


Ack. So, here I am looming over that proposal subject, awaiting the really big meeting with the head of the Agency, who is supposed to help us hone the proposal. Erm? Maybe this really busy guy will be super understanding when we come to him with a handful of ideas and no proposal? Maybe he'll find us charming and marketable? Heh.

Talk about embracing the chaos! Most likely, the biggest thing that is holding me back right now is the thought:

"OMG OMG OMG...I have one single chance to make the perfect impression/proposal/book! OMG OMG OMG!"

However, in actuality, I really do think things happen for a reason and we've been approached for some reason. And what we need to do with this is: a. follow our hearts/guts/instincts; and b. think of it as a learning experience. We are, after all, the "Build something worth building and that is your success. Everything else is icing." people. (why the heck did we go and say that? lol)

But (totally solicited...anyone?) advice is always nice, too. :)

Gotta get back to reading that riveting How To guide...