Two years ago, we shared an idea with you about publishing the “Big BAIPA Book of Answers.” Since the morning Q & A is so valuable, we wondered, what if we compiled and curated those crowd-sourced answers and turned them into a book. After all, we know a few things about publishing.
Thanks to a number of volunteers who stepped forward — Karin Fisher-Golton, Arlene Miller, Rosina Wilson, and Eloise Hamann — we had a few productive phone meetings, took turns taking notes during the Q & A, and shared some plans and sample answers on google docs.
Then I dropped the ball.
One reason was that some of us questioned the wisdom of doing a print book when some of the information might be out of date by the time we published. Another was that even though I initiated the process, I was hoping someone would jump in to take charge and that didn’t happen.
Now it’s two years later, and it’s still a good idea, so we’re going to try again.
A few differences this time.
First, we’re going to start by publishing one question on the blog every two weeks. Maybe two. Maybe once a week if we can manage it. See how that goes.
We will also invite members and visitors to the website to comment on those questions and answers. So the answers can keep on coming, as can new variations on the question. More of a living document.
Then, after several months, if we continue posting new questions and answers and we generate some momentum, we start looking at what we have and see if it makes sense to turn it into an ebook and/or print book. (One idea I like is to publish the print book so it’s ready for Writers’ World and we can give it to all the attendees. Maybe it’s something we give to new members when they join. TBD.)
Which brings up another difference, which is that we reduce the scope of the project. It’s not longer the Big BAIPA Book of Answers, but the TIny BAIPA Book of Answers or something like that.
Once we get to the publishing part, we’ll try to team up experienced self-publishers with folks who want to learn by doing. What better way to get experience for your own book than to practice on BAIPA’s?
Of course, we’re an all-volunteer organization, so we can only make this Answer Book happen with a healthy dose volunteer energy. Who’s in?
Contact me at [email protected]. If we can generate enough interest, I’m willing to be in charge this time. The smaller scope makes that more possible.
Here’s what we need:
- Writers/editors to take notes/transcribe the Q&A sessions and then edit one or more questions for publication on the blog.
- Writers/editors who can comb through Q&A notes from previous meetings over the past year or two and find questions still relevant are current.
- An editorial team to oversee the project, post questions and answers to the blog, organize the book, and so on.
- Copy editors, designers, marketing pros, beta readers, and more.
Of course, all our writers and editors will be listed as co-authors of the book. Just saying.
I’ve posted a few questions to get us started.
- Can I copyright the title of my book?
- How do I generate reviews to post on Amazon in the editorial reviews section?
- Do authors need a business license?
There are a number of questions about format and process we’ll need to answer —
- Do we identify all the questioners and answerers?
- How do we handle fact-checking? What if there are conflicting answers?
- How much do we curate the blog version of the questions? What if someone posts an answer that is wrong?
We don’t need to answer all those questions now. Let’s look at this as an experiment, and after a few months, we’ll assess if and how to move forward.
Let me know what you think.