WritingBootarians, many of you received this news through the Publishizer platform this afternoon, but for those who haven't … it's good!
Here's what I sent those who pre-ordered the book:
Dear Pre-Purchaser of An Effort to Understand—
Thanks for your patience over the last few months as I’ve spoken with many publishers and waited to hear from others.
Dealing with the world of publishing is a time-travel adventure in which the pace of everything is slowed down to the early 20th century: the correspondence, the deliberation and the publication itself.
Late last week came the big telegram.
"AN EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND" WILL BE PUBLISHED BY DISRUPTION BOOKS [STOP]
THE BOOK WILL COME OUT IN EARLY 2021 [STOP]
ALL PARTIES OVER MOON [STOP]
This is a great fit.
Disruption Books is an imprint of West Wing Writers, the world’s leading speechwriting agency, founded by former White House speechwriters and staffed by dozens of star writers in offices in Washington, New York and San Francisco. Though there were other competitive bids for the book, Disruption’s publisher, Kris Pauls, and the partners at West Wing know me and my work. And they are some of the best of the best of the professional communicators whose wisdom this book is being published to share.
Beyond Disruption's first-class distribution network and innovative marketing methods, their intimate acquaintance with this target audience and the chemistry and candor Kris and I have developed off the bat—Disruption is making a real financial investment in the book’s potential to connect with people well beyond our communication circles. That gives me real hope that we (me and you) can reach our audacious original vision, as I wrote in the proposal: “The audience for this book is every adult who’s looking for a new way to look at the world that might lead to a better way to be in the world.”
Why publish in 2021, when I had originally pegged the book to the election year? Partly because book distribution flows like glue: Bookstores need most of a year’s notice to make room on their shelves. But mostly because Kris Pauls (along with every other publisher I spoke with) believes that 2020 will be dense with election-year political writing. This more contemplative book will have more “air,” as Kris puts it, in the wake of the election. And are we worried that there’s a potential election result that will calm American or Western culture down sufficiently to make An Effort to Understand moot? I don’t think we are.
Despite the longer timeline, the publishing process will be rigorous and urgent, only *beginning* with the draft-forging fortnight over the holidays, when my office door will be locked from the outside. After that, the editing, the publishing, the marketing. Modern authors not named Tom Clancy or Cheryl Strayed are responsible for all manner of guerrilla self-promotion. We all know I’m good at that—but the question on everyone’s lips is: Can Murray possibly promote himself any more than he already does? Well by God, we’re about to find out.
I’ll use this platform to keep you posted as the book develops and as the release date firms up and all our plans take shape: signed books for you, a book launch and—whose pants-drunk idea was this?—“an ensuing Chicago Writer’s Pub Crawl led by David Murray.”
Meanwhile, please accept my deep thanks, for believing in communicators’ collective wisdom and in my ability to translate it to the modern world to help all of us make An Effort to Understand.
My effort, I promise you, will be my very best.