A manuscript often takes on several personalities before finding its most publishable persona. As it turns out, Eat Up is no different.
I wrote the first draft of Eat Up in 2010 while in graduate school, and consequently chose to target an academic audience. Writing this first draft was exhilarating and empowering, and I felt as though I was on track to contribute something truly meaningful to academia. Several months after graduating I re-read the draft, only to find that what I had once perceived as well written was actually dry and, well, academic.
After the panic and disappointment subsided, I decided to hunker down and revamp the manuscript. I hired someone to help with editing and strategic development, and launched full force into Eat Up v2.0 in 2011. This new and improved version targeted designers, practitioners, policy makers, food activists, and yes – even academia. The tone became more readable, and the chapter titles, a bit snarky. V2.0 was a hop in the right direction, but what I really needed was a leap.
In comes Eat Up v3.0. This draft re-evaluates both the underlying message and the target audience of v2.0. The most significant change lies in the manuscript’s restructuring: the book will now be split into three smaller volumes. Each volume in the boxed set will target a distinct audience, thereby providing the reader with the knowledge that he or she seeks, without all the extraneous information. The books will, of course, reference each other, so that readers will be exposed to the full breadth of rooftop agriculture one snippet at a time. Working titles for the volumes and their audiences are as follows:
Eat Up | nourishing yourself with food from the roof – This volume will act as a DIY for individuals and groups who are interested in growing vegetables and herbs on their own roofs. Whether planting a few tomato plants or starting a rooftop community garden, this book will appeal to small-scale growers around the country.
Eat Up | from beans to bucks with food from the roof – This volume will target entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, and others who are interested in the boutique aspect of rooftop agriculture. The book will introduce labor, marketing, and distribution strategies while providing useful tips for “making it happen.”
Eat Up | feeding the people with food from the roof – The third volume will focus on large-scale initiatives and rooftop agricultural networks. The content will target city planners, policy makers, designers, and academics who are interested in learning how rooftop agriculture can feed the masses.
What do you think about this overhaul? Are these changes a step in the right direction?