How Twitter users published a book for Comic Relief
I’m not sure it was meant to be such a large project.
A tweet went out on micro blogging site Twitter in mid February, asking if anyone would be interested in a collaboration to produce a book for Comic Relief.
Linda Jones, a journalist and director of Passionate Media, and fellow scribe Louise Bolotin wondered if TwitterTitters (a name voted upon by the discerning users of Twitter) could be done in time for Red Nose Day, March 13, 2009.
Before they could change their minds – or even take a breath – submissions were pouring in, a website was set up and comedian Dave Spikey, of Phoenix Nights fame, had agreed to have a previously unseen work included.
And then Nat Coombs, whose online Chelsey:OMG! is gaining a huge following, wrote the foreword to the book.
A PR agency, a Twitter contact of the organisers, got involved, an editor, illustrator and judging panel soured (all through Twitter); advice was sought on the micro blogging site and messages flew around to keep everyone up to speed.
Such a valiant effort meant the book was conceived and born in about the same gestation period of a mouse.
And what a book: 12 pieces of wonderful writing from established and emerging comic talent. Some of the stories will make you giggle; others will have you guffaw uproariously. How do I know? Well, I was one of the judges.
Thrilled to be asked in the first place, and ever so slightly daunted by the 70+ submissions, I pored over the texts and was thankful I wasn’t in a public place when I read them, such was my snorting and occasional shriek.
It was a tough task, but the shortlist was drawn up in super quick time, we judges – Martin Millar, Diane Shipley and Maria McCarthy – didn’t fight (although an arm wrestle was suggested) and the book – published by http://www.Lulu.com – was on sale before you knew it.
So, go on, buy a copy. Please. It costs £4.99 to download or you can get a real 120-page paperback copy to treasure for £9 (or JUST £9, as those sales types say). All proceeds go to Comic Relief – nothing, rien, nada goes to those who were involved with its production. All they need is the glow of satisfaction of a job well done.
We might not have climbed Kilimanjaro, but we have climbed our own mountain doing this: doing something funny for money.
Please support the TwitterTitters book – you can buy a copy here: http://www.lulu.com/content/6281246
If you want to find out more about Comic Relief and the projects it supports in the UK and Africa, click here http://www.comicrelief.com