Amy Jussel of Shaping Youth pinged me today to let me know that The Age of Conversation is going to be available on Monday, June 16, with all proceeds going to benefit Variety the Children's Charity. Amy has more here on the project.
I first heard about the book back in April when Drew McLellan posted the idea and began asking for authors. The premise was simple:
- 100 authors. We're a few but need more.
- The overriding topic is "The Conversation Age" -- where you take it is up to you.
- The items are short - one 8.5" x 11" page -- it can be words, diagrams, photos (again up to you) If it is words - about 400, give or take a couple.
- We write it quickly and get it out there. We publish electronically.
- We make it available online for a small fee and we donate 100% of the proceeds to Variety the Children's Charity -- which serves children across the entire globe.
Now, a few short months later, the book is ready to go. It's available as an e-book for download, in paperback and in hardcover and features chapters on marketing topics ranging from mobile devices and mobile marketing to Amy's own chapter on Ethics and Accountability, "Mommy, why is that lady licking a beer bottle?" This is a great example of an open source writing project and the power of digital conversations.
A few lessons I think we can learn from the project:
- Never underestimate what you can accomplish through the web. The entire project happened online, from the initial idea to recruiting the authors and producing the book, using the self-publishing site, Lulu.com. It would have been difficult, if not impossible, to pull this off without the power of blogging and the connections made online. And self-publishing sites like Lulu are increasingly offering opportunities that nonprofits may want to further explore.
- Speed is the thing. Drew and Gavin Heaton posted their idea on April 6 and by mid-April had recruited their co-authors, whose submissions were due by April 30. They edited and compiled the book and it's ready for publishing on July 16. That's three months to pull together a book featuring 100 authors. This is how things get done in Internet time and we'd better figure out how to catch up.
Kudos to all of the authors who donated their work to the book and to Drew and Gavin for putting things together. If you're interested in purchasing The Age of Conversation and supporting the cause, visit Lulu starting Monday where you can buy:
- Hardbacks for $29.99
- Paperbacks for $16.95
- E-book for $9.99
You can also check out the Age of Conversation Blog for more info.