TPGA Status Report: 10/19/10

When Liz, Jen, Emily & I conjured up The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism in June 2010, I thought it would be a straightforward project like The Can I Sit With You? project that Jen & I have been running since 2007, in which we put out a call for submissions with a deadline for inclusion in the book, we publish the essays online, we compile them into a manuscript, commission a cover from wonderful book designer Amy Freels, and send it all to the printers. Then we have ourselves a really useful book within two, possibly three months.

All I can say is, TPGA is a different project entirely, compared to CISWY. It’s certainly a bigger project. We are overcome by and so grateful for the incredible response to this project, and the volume of excellent submissions — which have never stopped coming, not for a moment — thank you.

But we have closed submissions for the print version of TPGA. Which means we need to get the book out. Which we cannot do if we keep publishing essays on the website every weekday as we have been — this is an all-volunteer effort, and we need to carve out time if we’re going to be able to edit and publish what is certain to be one of the most helpful autism books around.

So, we’re moving to publishing on the website on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday only. This may mean, for those of you whose essays have been accepted, they will be published online at a slower rate. But they will be published — as long as you didn’t get a “This does not quite work as written, please consider editing” message from us in response to your submission or latest draft. We look forward to featuring your writing and insights.

For those of you waiting to hear if your essay will be included in the book — we are going to be making a decision by the first week in November, and will notify you then.

And when will the book be out? We’re now looking at Winter 2011. The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism is going to be a great book, but not a small book (the unculled version of the manuscript is over 400 pages long), and we want to do it justice. We really want this to be a book that anyone new to the world of autism can pick up and use to find answers. We really don’t think there’s anything out there like it. We need to do this right.

Thank you for your patience. TPGA is going to be worth the wait.

Warm regards,