Launching a Book in the Time of COVID

What a kick it was for Betsy and me to celebrate the launch of our new book, The Insider’s Guide to Living Kidney Donation, with our contributors, supporters, families, and friends this weekend. A book launch COVID-style, that is. The official publication date is next week, on September 23, but after waiting roughly seven years, we couldn’t wait a minute longer.

These were the first pictures we’ve taken together since COVID and certainly since Betsy’s dual transplant in late May. It was small and low key but exciting and very gratifying to sell and sign books in person.

Now we get back to work promoting the book and spreading the word about living kidney donation. You can order the paperback or Kindle on Amazon, through BookBaby–or ask your local bookstore to order it.

Still Reaching Beyond Our Grasp…

I’m proud and excited to unveil our book’s beautiful cover. We believe it strikes just the right tone and look (given the heavy subject matter, we had to walk a fine line between too somber and too cutesy). The designers did a great job.

That the gift-wrap concept was inspired by my dear friend and former colleague Barbara Williams Ellertson is a special bonus. Barbara gave me my first job in book publishing at a small press, back in the 1980s. Before then my experience was in magazines and in feature writing, so book publishing was a whole new world. Barbara set the high standards that stayed with me.

I’ve been thinking about those days this week as I find myself, decades later, navigating digital page proofs of the book when I long for the comfort of galleys and repros. (On the other hand, I never would have been able to share the cover this way back then!)

In recent years Barbara and I have each followed our passion. You know about mine, of course: advocacy for kidney donation through this website, the upcoming book, and activism. Barbara’s passion combines her love of books with her love of art history, and she’s made a significant contribution to the field with the BASIRA (Books as Symbols in Renaissance Art) Project.

The Insider’s Guide to Kidney Donation will be out this summer and I hope will have a lasting impact, as will the BASIRA project. It’s funny where an idea, a passion, and a long reach can lead.