Countdown to Publication 21 days out: SheWrites (and Parties) for Parity

Late one Saturday night last May, eyes bleary and neck sore from straining at the computer screen, I was crashing to finish my line edits. I scoured the manuscript one last time for typos, spelling errors and grammatical faux pas.

In a sentence I'd been over many times before, I noticed that “parity” had somehow been transposed to read “a party.” Now we will surely have a party when women reach parity. But we're not there yet. Which of course is why I wrote No Excuses in the first place.

And why I am so intent on getting the word out about how women can cross that transformational finish line. So this week’s Countdown is about a party that will undoubtedly help me reach my goals of spreading the 9 Ways tools and tips far and wide.

My friend and SheWriter Joanne Bamberger invited some leading Washington DC area bloggers to join us for pizza, wine, and a preview of No Excuses. Attendees included SheWrites sister Cindy Samuels, cause editor at Care2, Gloria Pan from Turner Strategies and Fem 2.0, and a number of amazing DC Metro Mom bloggers like Jessica McFadden whose personal blog is A Parent in Silver Springs and also blogs for Nickelodeon.

It would have been well worth my trip to DC to engage these bloggers in a discussion of No Excuses and encourage them to write about it on their individual blogs. But soon publicity ideas were being passed around as generously as the pizza. I plan on using as many as I can and share them with you in the same spirit:

• Visit the “16 and Pregnant girl” and tell her how I’d advise her to take power in her life. (Well, at least I can write about it.)
• Start a “Let’s get 1,000,000 people to say “Gloria needs to be on Oprah” viral campaign.
• Ask people to tell their stories of when they felt they had power on their Facebook pages and blogs and link to No Excuses.
• Take a flipcam to each book event. Ask someone to film me doing “one minute counseling” with attendees about their power issues. Post on a dedicated YouTube channel, my website, tweet, and Facebook.
• Create a nine-week “boot camp” series of online presentations based on the 9 Ways and offer it free (but people would need the book as a text).
• Write a discussion guide for book clubs. This is something I’m already working on; the new twist came from Kim Lam whose blog is called I’m Not the Nanny, and she specifically wanted a discussion guide for moms.
• Organize a blog carnival, in which many bloggers are encouraged to blog concurrently about the book, and they are cross-linked, tweeted, and cross posted on my blog.

I’m three weeks from the official launch and many things are a bit chaotic still. No, that website isn’t launched yet, but we’re getting close. My first newsletter went out and the book trailer is done. I hope that soon I’ll be talking about No Excuses everywhere from Today to Colbert to Oprah, but I’m also realistic.

It’s heartening that even if those “big media” shows don’t come through, writers now have the accessible publicity resources of social media buzz, as SheWriter and previous Countdown columnist Deanna Zandt’s book illustrates. The key ingredient though is reaching out to friends and colleagues.

We could create a movement (power tool #7) and call it Parties for Parity. What do you think, SheWriters?

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Comment by GloriaFeldt on September 17, 2010 at 8:55am
I just have to share this post written by an attendee at the "parity party." It made me all weepy, and reminded me of why we all write in the first place.
Comment by GloriaFeldt on September 16, 2010 at 1:52pm
Parties for parity sounds like a great idea!

And really the whole idea here is just how generous people are, how willing to share ideas and help promote one another's work.
Comment by The Salonniere on September 16, 2010 at 11:16am
These are such terrific ideas! What a generous and creative group you gathered together! Parties for Parity sounds like a fine idea. We should do one in NYC. What do you think?


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