Part memoir, part essay, this book is my dream to see more women in top positions of leadership, and you'll help publish it!
The Manuscript is Complete, Now for Final Edits, Japanese Translation, and The Book Launch!
Women on The Board--A Vision for the Future, is a 225-page book I wrote in May, June, and July of this year, 2012, in an effort to do something positive with the frustration I felt about too few women in top positions of leadership. It all started the day I received news that Facebook would have seven men on their board of directors--and not one single woman. Part memoir and part essay, this work is a reflection on the complex issues that surround the dream of getting more women side-by-side with men in positions of power where so many of the biggest decisions that affect our lives are made.
The funds raised at Kickstarter will be used to obtain professional editing, tweak some of the copy (chapter headings are included in your free 27-page intro, link to PDF below), do final formatting of the manuscript, create a book launch website, and hire a translation of the manuscript into Japanese.
Japan is my other home as you will see when reading the free 27-page intro to the book, and I would like to make Women on The Board--A Vision for the Future available for all my Japanese friends in their native language. I speak near-native Japanese and can translate from Japanese to English, but when translating English to Japanese, a native Japanese person will do a much better job than I ever could. The Japanese translation alone is estimated at about $15,000, at approximately .27 per word. So my project goal of $21,000 is on the conservative side, everything considered.
The memoir part of this work is based on my forty years of experience in both Japan and the United States as a media producer and marketing consultant, usually as the only woman on a work team. The essays are in a journalistic style, covering a variety of topics that affect women and men at work. More than anything, in addition to my personal vision for the future, I hope this book sets off a fresh dialogue between all of us on how we can create a more equitable, creative, fun, and productive workplace for both women and men as we work together going forward. Because we are all in this together!
I had been looking for a good topic for my third book project in Al Watt's 90-Day Novel class at the L.A. Writer's Lab, and I knew this would be it. The words flowed naturally, and I enjoyed writing it more than any writing project I have ever worked on, including my years of writing radio scripts for programs I produced for the Japanese market in the 80's, speeches, press releases, marketing brochures, ad copy, white papers, and all the other miscellaneous word crafting I have done over my career. I had a story to tell and I was going to tell it. Four and a half months later, I had a book.
A famous poet named Ellyn Maybe at Beyond Baroque, a literary arts center in Venice, California of which I am a member, has this to say about my book, "Deborah Grant's work is profound and conversational. Personal and universal. Timeless and topical. Compelling and essential."
This work is written primarily for women, but the men who have read it have been equally enthusiastic about the timeliness and allure of this subject. Robert Wright, an attorney in Ft. Worth, Texas, commented:
"I could not put it down and read it cover to cover in three delightfully spent hours. Some thoughts: deeply spiritual, profoundly wise, thought provoking, well documented, cleverly inviting, artfully articulated, world changing, absolutely do-able, refreshingly real."
I've gone over the manuscript carefully, received positive feedback from several readers I highly respect, received an "all clear" for legal issues, and am ready to self-publish on Amazon. Why self-publish? Because what I have to say might not be easily qualified by many traditional publishing houses; because I believe it is time sensitive material and the agent-publisher route takes so long; because I want to take advantage of the most exciting time in publishing history wherein anybody has a chance to be printed and read; and because I want to give you a chance to be a part of this, too! The book won't be published on Amazon until the Kickstarter pitch period is over, the final edits/revisions have been made, and the book has been given a professional design review.
Here is a free PDF file of the first 27 pages of the book at www.women-on-the-board.com.
My good friend Rajat Jaiswal in the Indore area of India is standing by to help me quickly build up the book launch website (www.women-on-the-board.com) and get the SEO going to get the word out. The purpose of the website is to create a stable launch pad for the book, a blog for discussing ideas in the book in more detail, and collecting feedback from readers.
That's it, folks! I hope you are inspired to make this project the very best that it can be!
(*Reward of speaking engagements applies only to qualified associations, corporations, and organizations with serious interest in furthering the increase of women in C-Level and board member positions in business.)
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
You might have more questions, such as:
1. Can you tell me more about your book? What am I investing in?
In a word, VISION. With a forty-year career from which to draw upon, my premise is really simple. When it comes to getting many more women into positions of leadership all the way to the very top, I believe vision is the key. We need a new one.
In my book, I will tell you a little bit about my own story and look at some of the trends in our culture. For contrast and comparison, I have written some about Japan, too, since I have spent most of my career working with Japanese companies. I talk about how the topic of getting more women into top positions of leadership need not be heavy-handed and overly serious. This is not a scholarly work per se, although I have done my homework.
My intent is to play with some ideas and see if we can get some juices flowing. I’d like to see more women and men working side by side, shoulder to shoulder, all the way to the top, while collaborating broadly on the job in more creative and dynamic ways. Together. It is up to women to design innovative ways to make all this work the way we want it to work (motherhood, career, the quality of life). When we fully claim our power and rise to the challenge, I trust men will absolutely be fine with all of it. We humans, regardless of gender, are much more alike than we are different, but variety is key, too. There isn’t going to be just one handful of paradigms for what great careers looks like. Let’s continue to create some new paradigms.
I have purposefully written in plain English, so that hopefully women from any walk of life with any educational level can enjoy this book.
This work does not have a political bent, but the fundamental assumption is that women and men deserve equal opportunities and equal pay for comparable jobs at the very top of any organization.
2. Are you far along enough in your writing to meet your reward deadlines?
This 225-page book is essentially completed already and I am ready to publish on Kindle. However, I would like to get it looking even better. For the English version, that won’t take long at all. The Japanese translation will not be complicated, either, since the language and sentence structures are straightforward. Translations do take time, of course, but I have built enough time for a good translation into the schedule.
3. What type of controversy do you foresee regarding your subject matter?
Good question. The “voice” in my writing is inclusive, lighthearted, adventurous, and warm. I cannot see how anyone would be offended by my vision of the inclusion of more women--and some of our best minds--in positions of leadership in the U.S. and abroad to stand alongside men, in equal numbers, in making key decisions.
I have thought about this at length since I run a small business and have to think of my own career, too. It would not necessarily be fun to get fired by one of my customers for writing a book. However, if any of my marketing clients have an issue with anything I say about my dream to see more women in positions of leadership, I am more than willing to take that risk.
I have talked to many of my male friends—no problem with most of them. I did have one male colleague say, “You know, you shouldn’t ever try to compete with men.” I did not reply, because this is not really about competition at all in fact. Getting more women into top positions of leadership is about the pursuit of excellence as well as fairness. There might be some resistance here and there, of course, but that’s not a problem. I can handle it. Or, if I am troubled by any of the reactions forthcoming, I have many excellent mentors who can advise me in how to respond appropriately.
Regarding legal issues, I do not foresee any at all. The book has already been reviewed and checked by an excellent attorney.
A little bit of controversy might not be a bad thing in any case, but that is not my goal here. My feeling is that contentiousness between women and men is ultimately neither satisfying nor productive in the long run, and in any case, there are better people than me to take up the great causes of life if and when confrontation is necessary. My goal in writing this book is to help breathe a little more life into the topic. I only hope to shine another light on the matter, or perhaps to light a few delightful sparks.
4. What qualifies you to write about this?
My experience. Like most women out there, I have had to make a living. I've worked in a variety of business fields in a variety of positions. I represent many others just like me: mothers, daughters, and wives, both single and married. All of us want our voices to be heard. Think of me as “everywoman” with a slightly exotic twist, since I grew up abroad. In that sense, I am partly “everywoman” from overseas, too. Also, please feel free to visit my Linkedin profile for an abbreviated review of my career.
5. Who do you want your readers to be?
Anyone, really. I write in an easy-to-read style on purpose. I hope high school dropouts as much as women and men on the boards of directors of corporations and institutions will read this book for new ideas and an expanded viewpoint. I hope something in what I have to say can stimulate the imagination of people from all walks of life.
6. How can you run your small business and finish this project at the same time?
My business won’t suffer because I can find great people to help me as necessary. I can keep to my scheduling commitment with no problem. Producing six hour-long radio programs a week, writing major research reports, designing training programs, delegating tasks to more than fifteen people at a time, putting on events for 200+ people—honestly, my responsibilities in the past have been much more involved than this. Please feel free to visit my Linkedin profile for a quick review of my accomplishments.
7. What if you raise much more money than your requested pledge amount?
I will pour the funds into the book promotion website and add many layers of information to help women create practical plans for themselves as they design their own vision for how to get into top positions of leadership down the road (or around the bend). I will include the affordable downloads of some new mobile apps for women co-designed by my friend Rajat Jaiswal in Indore, India. I'll add stretch goals as we go along and give some back to another Kickstarter business that promotes women’s success at work. This could be really fun!
8. What if the pledge amount is not met, how will that make you feel?
At least I’ll be on record for trying.
To quote Anais Nin, "There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
As described above, I am ready with a tightly organized plan of action after funding is complete. To review:
1. Professional editorial review will take place right away, final edits/enhancements, plus an upgraded book format design.
2. Translation into Japanese will commence immediately. I have a choice of three excellent Japanese translators who are enthusiastic and passionate about the project.
3. My associate and friend, Rajat Jaiswal, will begin building the website and get ready to seed the Internet for SEO to promote the book. I will be gathering additional resources helpful to readers, working with a graphic designer, and creating video segments for the book launch website.
4. I will write the talks I will be giving to donors at the top level and speak/email them directly to work on the topics most relevant to their organizations.
5. The ebook will be formatted for PDF dissemination to donors.
6. Updates on progress will be sent out frequently (but not too frequently).
7. I will review the Japanese translation and create the book for sale on Amazon Japan (www.amazon.co.jp), or for direct sale from the U.S. to Japan, whichever seems best.
8. One of the biggest challenges I see is getting the word out about this Kickstarter project through as many blogs and, yes, through as many Facebook connections as possible!
...Because Facebook, apparently after feeling the significant dismay on the part of many of us, both women and men, and with the encouragement to think again, did add Sheryl Sandberg to their board of directors. Yes!
So with your help, this project is perfectly do-able. We are all in this together!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $22,100 goal
Funding Canceled Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on October 28, 2012.
Oct 19, 2012 - Nov 8, 2012 (20 days)
Pledge $10 or more
Free PDF of first 27 pages, project updates, plus advance of completed e-book PDF, sent by email.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $25 or more
One (1) author signed paperback, free PDF of first 27 pages, project updates, and advance of completed e-book PDF. Please add $5 for international shipping.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013Add $5 to ship outside the US
Pledge $50 or more
Two (2) author signed paperbacks, and "thank you" listing on my new book promotion website which will be built at www.women-on-the-board.com, plus free PDF of first 27 pages, project updates, and advance of completed e-book PDF. Please add $5 for international shipping.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013Add $5 to ship outside the US
Pledge $100 or more
0 backers Limited (100 of 100 left)
Five (5) author signed paperbacks, including one Japanese copy, plus "thank you" listing on the book launch website, which will be built at www.women-on-the-board.com, free PDF of first 27 pages, project updates, and advance of completed e-book PDF. Please add $15 for international shipping.Estimated delivery: Feb 2013Add $15 to ship outside the US
Pledge $250 or more
0 backers Limited (100 of 100 left)
30-minute phone conversation with me to talk about the book and what it means to you, plus five (5) author signed paperbacks, including one Japanese copy, "thank you" listing on on the book launch website which will be built at www.women-on-the-board.com, free PDF of first 27 pages, project updates, and advance of completed e-book PDF. Please add $15 for international shipping.Estimated delivery: Feb 2013Add $15 to ship outside the US
Pledge $750 or more
0 backers Limited (10 of 10 left)
A 1.5 hour speaking engagement at your book club, company, or association* in the Los Angeles County area (within 60 miles of Santa Monica, CA), to talk further about my experiences and ideas from the book, Women on The Board. Ten (10) author signed paperbacks, plus a "thank you" listing on on the book launch website which will be built at www.women-on-the-board.com, plus free PDF of first 27 pages, project updates, and advance of completed e-book PDF.Estimated delivery: Feb 2013Ships within the US only
Pledge $2,500 or more
0 backers Limited (10 of 10 left)
A 1.5 hour speaking engagement plus 1 hour discussion session at your book club, company, or association* anywhere in the contiguous United States, to talk further about my experiences and ideas from the book, Women on The Board. Ten (10) author signed paperbacks, plus a special prominent "thank you" listing on on the book launch website which will be built at www.women-on-the-board.com, plus free PDF of first 27 pages, project updates, and advance of completed e-book PDF.Estimated delivery: Mar 2013Ships within the US only