On December 21st, 2014–exactly a year ago–I started this blog by recounting the tale of how Josep and I met. Since then, I have published 85 more posts (holy cow.) and more than 12,000 people, from almost 80 countries, have visited!
And in honor of my first blogiversary… I have some exciting news to share.
You see, a number of months ago, I had a curious revelation. I had thought, all this time, that I was writing open letters to my friend in Barcelona about Judaism and Israel, and posting them on the Internet. And that was true.
But, turns out, I was also writing a book. Without even noticing!
That’s right, folks! Letters to Josep, the book, is coming soon to a bookshelf near you!
The book includes a selection of letters from the blog, adapted for print and in some cases expanded, focusing on explanations about the basic concepts of Orthodox Jewish life… and a foreword written by a mysterious individual from Barcelona, whose version of the story of the beginning of our friendship turns out to be fascinatingly different from mine. 😉
This is all very nice, you say, but why should I buy a book when I can read almost all the content in it for free right here on LetterstoJosep.com? I’ll tell you why:
1) It’s a book. Books are awesome.
2) The book does include some original content.
3) It’s basically impossible to read all the content of the blog at once. And I know there are people (myself included) who prefer to read from dead trees, or at least from a Kindle or other e-reading device. (Or to listen to audiobooks!) In other words, it will be a lot easier and more comfortable to read. (Or listen to.)
4) It makes an excellent gift for that relative or friend who wants to know more about the Orthodox Jewish lifestyle. Newly observant Jews, just think: you won’t have to explain a thing, just keep a pile of copies of Letters to Josep around and hand them out to anyone who looks at you funny. 😀 This could be especially useful for those family members who think you’ve gone off the deep end and joined a cult. It can deflect potential conflicts and disarm them with my charming, bubbly prose, opening up the possibility for respectful dialogue. How awesome is that?
5) …Or if it doesn’t work, you could always just use the book to hit them over the head as you yell at them to stop being so judgmental.
6) Okay I’m kidding about #5. I do not condone violence in any way, shape or form. Especially not against my book. 😛
7) This blog is a labor of love. Nothing makes me happier than hearing that someone, somewhere, found it interesting or useful. But I’ve put a lot of work into it, and obviously, no one is paying me for it. 😉 Buying the book is one way you can support me and what I do.
So why am I telling you this? Well, obviously, I want you to buy the book when it comes out! 😉 (I don’t have a specific date yet; I’m aiming for the general vicinity of March-April 2016. More specific info is forthcoming.)
But more than that–I need your help to get it there. As of now, I am planning to take the independent publishing route, but even if I manage to interest a traditional publisher, your help and support are crucial in getting the book to the people who will benefit from it. Here are some things you can do to help:
- Share, share, share. Tell your friends about the blog, and share your favorite posts on social media. If you belong to an online community that discusses religion, feel free to post links to letters to Josep that are relevant to the discussion! (And feel free to invite me to join!)
- Write a guest letter! (Yes, you!) And encourage others to write them, too!
- If you haven’t subscribed to the blog yet, hop to it! All you have to do is enter your e-mail address under “Subscribe to Blog via E-mail”; it’s in the sidebar on the right of your screen if you’re on a browser, or at the bottom of the page if you’re on your phone. You’ll receive an e-mail with a confirmation link; just click it, and you’re all set!
- If you haven’t “liked” Letters to Josep on Facebook–now’s the time; better yet, invite your friends to “like” it too.
- Do you know of a public figure–clergyman, interfaith activist, etc.–whose endorsement of the book would be valuable? Better yet, do you have access to that figure, and a way to help me get that endorsement? Let me know!
- Do you belong to a community of people who might be interested in the book? Would you be willing to hang fliers on bulletin boards, share about the book on community mailing lists, or even potentially arrange to host an event? Let me know!
- Stay tuned for announcements on the book’s release and further requests for help. Your reviews and ratings can make a big difference in the book’s visibility on Amazon.
If you have any information, comments or questions about any of the above, feel free to contact me via the contact form, or shoot me an e-mail at letterstojosep at gmail dot com.
I’m just gonna go ahead and put out there that I have never done this before, I have no clue what I am doing, and I am both super excited and terrified. Your encouragement, support, and enthusiasm mean everything to me, and they are what give me the courage to take the plunge and do this.
So. Um. Yay!!!