It has been my dream for the past four years to write a book that will activate American corporations to support evidence-based maternity care for healthy pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Next month I am pitching my book proposal to a number of literary agents to see if any are interested in working with me to get my dream book published. A big factor in whether they will see the proposal as a viable project is my “platform;” my ability to promote my book through existing relationships that I have with organizations and people in order to sell copies of the book. I’m reaching out now to see what my platform actually looks like.
I often picture myself as a lone mother/activist working out of my kitchen in my sweaty workout clothes after a morning walk or run, no make-up on and munching on rice cakes while writing blog posts, answering emails, and participating in conference calls for BirthNetwork National and other organizations. I write and talk about my ideas for maternity care and citizen involvement in transforming birth practices and I send them out into the ether of cyberspace. Occasionally, I put on my fancy clothes and connect with other birth advocates at conferences, such as the CIMS Annual Forum and the Birth Activist Retreats, but those are oases in deserts of time spent working alone. When I speak with other activists about the nature of our work, I often counsel, “Carry water, chop wood. Do the daily work that needs to be done, and eventually the village will be built.” Well, for the past eight years I have been carrying water and chopping wood, daily performing the tasks to speak out about the need for a maternity care system that supports the needs of mothers and babies to have healthy safe births. Today I am picking my head up, and looking around to see how my village is coming along.
Inspired by Childbirth Connection’s “Blueprint for Action,” I want to address American corporations as stakeholders in maternity care who have the financial resources and clout to transform maternity care in this age of medical reform. The book I am proposing is primarily geared towards Human Resources and Benefits managers and corporate financial executives, healthcare and medical industry managers, and government workers focused on healthcare. It will also be of interest to birth professionals who promote evidence-based care. It will outline the billions of dollars of costs savings and the positive impact on employee productivity and wellness of promoting evidence-based maternity care practices and family friendly programs in their businesses and in their communities. To make the business case for promoting evidence-based care the book will utilize the abundant evidence that has been investigated, compiled, and published by organizations such as Childbirth Connection, CIMS, and Lamaze, as well as the individual authors, filmmakers, and bloggers who are part of our birth community. It will shine a light on corporate programs that work and the resources that are already available in some communities such as birth centers, midwives, and birth networks and include many nonprofit organizations such as BirthNetwork National, ImprovingBirth, ICAN, Holistic Moms Network, La Leche League, Breastfeeding USA, and others. It will also tell the stories of working mothers and fathers and how they are affected by corporate approaches to family needs. The idea is to activate corporate awareness and spending to promote practices that achieve better outcomes because American businesses can save billions of dollars by doing so. Hopefully, the fact that lives can saved will add to the appeal.
You can help me achieve my dream of writing this book and seeing it published by being a part of my platform. Are you part of an organization that would invite me to speak about these ideas or my book at an event? Does your organization have a publication, blog, newsletter or other outlet that would publish a book review, article by me, or post on the topic? Would you post on your social media pages about the book when it is released? Would you consider bulk purchasing copies of the book to distribute as gifts or incentives to your members or event attendees? Are you a blogger who would publish a guest post by me or would write a book review or post? Would you promote the book to your list? If you and I are friends on Facebook or LinkedIn would you share a post with your friends?
Let me know! While your response would not be considered a formal contract or binding in any way, it would give me and the agents I will be speaking with an idea of the reach that I have going into the project. Please leave a comment here on the blog or send me an email at Michal@thebirthlady.info and tell me what you or your organization might be willing to do to help me as I promote the book. Tell me a little bit about your interest in the project, your organization, and your work. Please include the size of the organization or the size of your readership, followers, or list, as that will be a key piece of information for the agents to know.
I’m excited and nervous to see what my village looks like and who visits it! Your responses will let me know if my platform is a small life raft or the deck of ship that will sail me towards my dream of writing my book and seeing it published. Either way, I will be blessed by connecting with others in service of my life mission. Thank you for all of your support!