T-1 Days until Raven launch! Challenge: student programs

I can barely believe it, but my book is being released tomorrow!  (Eeeeeek to the max!)

Thank you all for the support you’ve showed over the last couple of days, about libraries and independent bookshops.  It is humbling to see how many of you are here with me caring about this cause.  I really do just want to see more young adults see role models they identify with in the software world, and make it that much more comfortable for them to see themselves in software careers.

Along those lines, I’m going to continue the theme of asking you all to help by making suggestions related to the book.  Today’s theme: STEM programs and other student organizations!  There are tons of programs out there, and no one person can find them all.  There’s some real synergy there: I could support these programs by donating books to them, or providing them at the $4 printing cost, and they could support my diversity efforts by offering the book to their participants.  I don’t want to just focus on programming-related programs.  Really, any kind of student organization (even more generic ones like Kumon or Mathnasium or Big Brothers Big Sisters) might have an audience of diverse students whose conceptions of software developers could be broadened.

So today’s challenge: help me find STEM programs and other student organizations to reach out to!  These would mostly be donations of free books, or offers to let them buy the book at-cost at the $4 author printing price I have access to.  Since I’m not out to make money, and indeed I’m willing to invest my own money whenever it’ll make a real difference, that opens up lots of opportunities.  Let’s reach some students who’d benefit from a wider set of role models!  So here’s how you can help…

  1. (very quick)  Share the name & web site of a program I should think about donating copies of my book to.  What makes them a great candidate?
  2. (quick) Look up the contact info I should use to talk about making the donation.
  3. (bonus points) Look to see if they hold events I could speak at.  Maybe I can talk about software careers and give away copies of my book?  Maybe you can talk about software careers and give away copies of my book?  Any info you can dig up would be great!

Do you have a soft spot in your heart for any coding-related, STEM-related, or simply academic programs?  Do you know of a deserving school or organization whose students would bring a welcome increase in diversity in tech?  Think about whether you’re up for donating copies of the book to your favorite youth programs!  Talk to me directly if you want to buy in bulk and save money.  I’m perfectly happy selling them at or below my $4 author printing price.

I’m also happy to do donations myself!  Tell me if your favorite program would benefit from a bunch of free books.  Bonus points if you help figure out who to talk to about receiving the donation.

Let me give a few examples of efforts already in the works, and good programs that YOU might want to support…

  • It was my plan from the beginning, to give away copies of my book at the final event for our Hunt the Wumpus high school CS program, which was scheduled for May 29.  I even chose my May 20 launch date to make it possible to do that.  Sadly, the event (and the whole program) is canceled this year.  I sent out a survey to the Wumpus teachers to forward to their students (fill out this form to get a free book!), but only 1 student took me up on it so far.  Maybe I’ll hand out a bunch of copies to the same teachers when schools get back in session next year.
  • I contacted the organizers of SRND, or CodeDay.org.  They are Wumpus alumni, and they organize coding events across the country.  They posted my free-book offer on their public forums.
  • My former co-worker and still-friend Shiv Prashant Sood contacted me; he is one of the organizers of a program called Skool of Code which offers remote teaching of programming skills to young students in small groups or individual settings.  It’s exactly the right age range where I want to influence their perceptions to include a diverse set of people.  He was generously offering to buy a bulk quantity of books to give out to his students – wow!
  • The Boston museum of science just started up a middle school virtual book club.  A friend of mine sent them an email suggesting that they look into Raven!  Wahoo!

THANK YOU for the help!


P.S.  I could still use your help finding independent book shops to carry my book, and finding libraries to carry my book.


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