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Feeback Requested for Book Proposal!

Hello PulseWires’!

I have been sitting on a book concept for a couple of years now and have finally taken the initial steps to assemble a proposal.

The book, which centers on feminism and fashion, will be a compilation of interviews and photographs with self-proclaimed feminist women around the world who also share a passion and love for fashion. As (Canadian) summer approaches, I would like to be in touch with some publishing houses to see if/where there is interest. My hope is that a portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to a deserving, inspiring women's organization (WorldPulse, perhaps?).

I am attaching a short introduction to the book, as well as potential interview questions, and would greatly appreciate your feedback. Does this concept/writing grab your attention? Whether or not you, personally, are interested in fashion, would you be interested in adding a book such as this one to your collection? Do you know of any other books like it? Do you find these interview questions engaging? What else would you want to ask these profiled women?

Again, I greatly appreciate any and all insights, and look forward to your global, empowered perspectives!

With love and admiration,

Jackie

P.S. If you have any interest in getting involved with this project, or know someone who may, please let me know! I am on the lookout for change making women with a passion for fashion and an inspired sense of personal style, as well as in-country based photographers who may be interested in volunteering their talent and time for this project!

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misscarly's picture

some thoughts...

Dear Jackie,

First, congratulations for taking the first step of this journey! I love to see beautiful concepts come to life and I'm glad I can witness the beginning.

Fashion and feminism. I love it...a topic that seems so obvious, yet untouched in another sense. In short, yes, it completely grabs my attention and would be a book I'd add to my collection with enthusiasm. Off the top of my head, I can't recall another book with the same angle. I suppose you've done some research on this already though.

The second part of the introduction was very strong and clear. I felt myself saying 'Yes!' as I read it. Fashion is indeed as aspect of feminism that I haven't heard discussed in depth, beyond the typical stereotypes. However, I found the first two paragraphs confusing. I assume you were creating a metaphor for different women you've seen that wear fashion proudly? Perhaps it would be helpful to the reader to clarify the metaphor.

I found the interview questions interesting, but that depends on who the respondent will be. In my work, I do a lot of expert interviews and know that the real movers and innovators will only provide interesting answers when you really challenge them in the question. I think you should bring up some of the issues that you brought up in the introduction. Namely: fashion as a tool (of power?), fashion and culture, reckoning fashion and feminism, and using fashion to promote feminism. If you'll be talking to designers, models, photographers, artists, etc. I would make the questions more theoretical. The practical questions would be good for more on-the-street type respondents.

One thing I found missing (that you'll definitely need when approaching potential publishers) is an editorial/chapter outline. How will you move from thesis to conclusion? What is the reader's journey?

Hope my feedback is useful. I just finished volunteering for the Voices of the Future program (as a listener) and I'm eager to get my hands busy with another project. I'd love to support you, especially with insight, dialogue and encouragement, as you fine-tune your proposal for publishers.

with kindness,
carly diaz

Cultural Correspondent's picture

Responding to your Input

Hi Carly,

To respond to some of your questions/concerns, yes I have done some research on the market and what might be available that is similar to this concept, and have not found anything with like qualities, to date. I figured I would throw this question out there to ensure that I am not missing something somewhere. You never know what others have come across that you may have overlooked.

I will definitely consider your point regarding the first two paragraphs of the introduction; however, this is why I separated the first part of the introduction from the second, to clearly (or not?) differentiate between the two sections. My intention is to paint vivid imagery of the women I have encountered who are varied in their fashion choices but like-minded in their desire to help women in their home communities.

As for the profiles of women I will be covering, this is still in the primary stages. I don't know yet, to be honest, whether I will be talking with designers, models, and photographers. My vision right now is to have a collection of women who you may never have heard from otherwise if this book were to not exist. Theoretical questions are excellent, so long as this book is not too "academic", for lack of a better term. It needs to be as universally accessible as possible, and I am still reasoning out the best way(s) to accomplish this.

In terms of an editorial/chapter outline, this part can get tricky, as well, because it is an illustrated book proposal and not a chapter-by-chapter book. Another commenter asked whether I would be laying out the book by country, style (this is a no!), etc. This is still to be determined.

There is a book titled "Women in the Material World" by photojournalists Faith D'Aluisio and Peter Menzel. It is a stunning portrayal of 26 women in 26 countries and their personal stories and day-to-day lives told through photos and interview questions. It is an inspiration for me and this book, and if you can somehow get your hands on a copy, I highly recommend it.

I also welcome your assistance/input in this process, Carly. Thanks for your offer!

Best,

Jackie

P.S. I visited Amsterdam while living in Europe last year. It is one of my favourite cities!!! If you haven't already, check out Café Winkel in the Jordaan. They have the BEST apple-pie and lattes in the world. You won’t regret it!

LauraB's picture

Great concept

Jackie,

I love that you are using World Pulse as an avenue to tease out interest, comments, and interaction about
your book proposal. I would definitely be drawn to a book about fashion and feminism. The proposal drew
me in and I enjoyed reading it.

Do you know of an organization called Fashion Fights Poverty? http://www.fashionfightspoverty.org/
I had contact with them last year as I donated my companies stationary products for a fundraiser/fashion show.
Though there mission is not feminism/fashion, but fashion/poverty- I think there might be a lot of overlaps. They're based in DC.

The interview questions were not as engaging to me as the proposal. I agree with Carly that the questions could challenge more addressing fashion/culture, fashion/power, fashion promoting feminism. You'll be interviewing powerful women so they will be game for powerful questions.

I think you are onto something here.

Keep us posted on your progress.

Warmly,

Laura

Cultural Correspondent's picture

Two for One

Thanks for your comments, Laura! As I was going over my book proposal and trying to figure out ways to test out the concept, it dawned on my that I had the perfect avenue through WorldPulse, a forum of women who have come together to change the lives of women at home and universally!

Now that both yourself and Carly have raised issue with the questions, I will delve deeper into ways to make them more challenging/thought provoking. What's the point of creating something new, after all, unless it raises innovative and untouched issues and ideas?

I am going to get my hands dirty, and come back to you once I have gone back to the drawing board and fleshed out these questions some more.

Thanks again!

Jackie

LauraB's picture

Go for it

Jackie,

You're onto something...your drive to delve will bring you to the vital questions and themes. I can feel it in your response!

I've been wavering lately in my creative endeavors. At a crossroads a few years back, I quit my teaching job, went to part time teaching, and began exploring artistic expression. From that, created a stationary company called Red Aphrodite. The name sprang from a collage - within the collage were the words, "She has always known genius." I didn't plan those words nor did I get them from another source. They came from my root, a place of power and creative expression. After learning a great deal about the stationary business, graphic design, color, etc...I'm finding myself wanting more- pushing myself to expand my vision and go bigger.

I've been able to take a fair deal of critique, have had tenacity, though lately my voice and motivation have been wavering. I always find it valuable to link with the voices I need to emulate- You said, "I will delve deeper into ways to make them more challenging/thought provoking. What's the point of creating something new, after all, unless it raises innovative and untouched issues and ideas?I am going to get my hands dirty, and come back to you once I have gone back to the drawing board and fleshed out these questions some more."

That's the spirit I need!. My desire with my art is to reflect that our world is in an expanding place. Women are reaching out in a balanced, whole, clear manner to heal and grow. I see it here at World Pulse, with Obama's election and governing style, from my friends, and in my body. I fiercely believe our planet needs this creative expression to expand.
I have been scared to put it into expression and I don't know what it visually looks like yet.

Let me know how your progress goes and I'll keep you updated on my creations as well.

Delving deep,

Laura

efe's picture

why dont you add this question?

Have you ever subconsciously judged a woman based on what clothing item she put on and then got the suprise of your life when you got to know her better?

I have a friend from the northern part of the country (Nigeria).She is a muslim and is always covered.I assumed that we would not have much in comon but did i get the suprise of my life when she became my friend? Sometimes people are judged soley by what they put on and this is in all ramifications?

Will be glad to contribute from West Africa.Though im not sure if a regular digital 7.1 pixel camera is "tech" enough.

Cultural Correspondent's picture

All the more reason...

All the more reason for a book like this, don't you agree, Efe? ;)

Too often, we do judge based on first impressions. Are humans programmed to behave this way or is it our natural, biological inclination?

...

Either way, it is a beautiful thing when we judge and we are then afforded the opportunity to be proven wrong. I hope this book accomplishes just that!

Warmly,

Jackie

JaniceW's picture

Resource Exchange

Jackie, when you are ready to seek out publishers, you might want to post this to Resource Exchange as there, your post may be seen by members who would not find your post through this group journal (unless they were group members). Best of luck with the book proposal and keep us posted on your progress.

http://www.worldpulsemagazine.com/pulsewire/exchange

Cultural Correspondent's picture

Good Idea

Thanks, Janice!

When the time comes to start pitching (hopefully by late-June), I will utilize the Resource Exchange to reach out to more members.

Will keep you updated on progress :)

Cheers,

Jackie

JaniceW's picture

Connection for this project

Jackie, have you seen this post "Ladies and Fashion Trends"? I am thinking that member Edithlum will be a great source for information and feedback in regards to your book proposal.

http://www.worldpulsemagazine.com/node/9613

Kizzie's picture

Jackie, I'm definitely going

Jackie,

I'm definitely going to buy your book!

It's such a unique idea:)

Cultural Correspondent's picture

I'm glad!

Kizzie,

Thanks so much for your support; I hope you are one of the first to buy the book!! ;)

I am commencing my interviews next week, so hopefully a publisher will be interested in the concept!

xo

Jackie

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