This past winter I discovered that writing a book is a very solitary endeavor. I was on a tight schedule that required that I write at least a thousand words a day, seven days a week, for four months. During that time every afternoon my butt was glued to what I have now come to call ‘my writing couch’, a burgundy red day-bed in the corner of our living room. Just me, Emily, my purple laptop, and a head filled with information and an idea for how to synthesize a complex subject into a comprehensive, and comprehendible, how-to guide.
While I had some communication with the publisher during the writing process – mostly around the cover design and the marketing plan – we really didn’t interact much until I turned over the manuscript on March 1. Since then there have been editors, graphic designers, layout artists and proofreaders that have come and gone, but the book still felt like just a project between New Society Publishers and myself.
Then one day they sent me a link to the laid out version of the book in PDF form and said “OK, it is time to ask for book endorsements.” What? You mean other people are going to read this? Aquaponics people? Noted authors? Gardening industry leaders? You mean I need to ask these very busy, very accomplished people if they would be willing to drop whatever they are reading, slog through my 300+ page manuscript, and write a 3 – 4 sentence endorsement in the next three weeks? Oh, and I need to come up with the list myself? Gulp.
So I started coming up with names of people who I thought might be willing to provide book endorsements. It included aquaponics leaders I admire – Murray Hallam, Susanne Friend, Charlie Price, James Godsil and others. I then went to people I knew in the hydroponics world, including Dr. Howard Resh, the author of ‘Hydroponic Food Production’ and several other key books on hydroponic growing. Then to the permaculture and homesteading community leaders, including Sundari Kraft, author of ‘The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban Homesteading.’ Next I thought of notable people I knew who didn’t really fall into one of those categories, but would have a valuable perspective on aquaponics, including Britta Riley, the leader of the Window Farms movement in NY City.
Finally, there were the ‘hail Marys’. These were authors whose works I admired and that were highly related to aquaponics, but whom I had never met. There were two of these that I sent introductory emails to (the publisher is handling the rest). The one who was kind enough to reply was Paul Greenberg who wrote the NY Times best seller ‘Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food’. Ironically, as I was writing my pleading email to Paul I was listening to his interview on NPR’s Fresh Air. It was a very odd experience.
I sent out 29 requests, and 22 responded that they would be willing to read the book and if they liked it, then endorse it! If this wasn’t amazing enough, 21 of the 22 not only decided to endorse it but have sent in their quotes by today’s deadline (I simply have not heard from the 22nd)!
I am so very grateful for the time every one of these kind folks put into both reading my book and writing reviews. Words can barely describe how blown away I am by all the wonderful things they have said. I am truly touched by the outpouring of generous support for this book, and for the worldwide potential for aquaponics! Thank you to every one of you from the bottom of my heart.
Interested in what they had to say? Please click here to read the endorsements.