Levine: Networking for Nerds

Networking for Nerds cover image

Alaina G. Levine, with Forward by Nobel Laureate Brian Schmidt
Wiley, July 13, 2015, $29.95
ISBN-13: 978-1118663585

Levine reports:

My new book is about networking for scientists, engineers, and networking novices. This is a topic with which I am very familiar: in addition to being a science writer, I also am a STEM career consultant, professional speaker, and corporate comedian. I give humorous workshops and webinars for universities, conferences, and government agencies on topics relating to career development/professional advancement. Weaving strategic career planning info with comedic stories and shtick is my forte and passion.

Alaina Levine

The book came about, not surprisingly, as a direct result of networking. In 2011, I needed interviewees for an article I was writing for ScienceCareers. A colleague introduced me to Sarah Andrus, an editor at Wiley, who passed on my request for potential interviewees to her international network of science advisers. Within hours, I had more sources than I needed.

Sarah and I both recognized there was synergy between our interests, and we explored ways to collaborate. I gave a networking webinar as part of the Wiley Learning Institute in 2012. Another discussion with Sarah led to the idea for this book.

I wrote up a formal proposal, and by the end of 2012, had a contract with Wiley. It took about a year to write and edit the book, although I had a head start from career columns I had already written, for publications like Physics Today and APS News, the newsletter of the American Physical Society. What helped me focus was blocking out hours at the local library (away from my home office), so that I could limit distractions.

One of the most exciting developments in writing the book was when Brian Schmidt, a 2011 Nobel Laureate in physics, agreed to author the foreword. Brian is a fellow alum of my alma mater, the University of Arizona. After he won the Prize, I interviewed him for the university’s alumni magazine. I saw him at the 2012 Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting, and interviewed him again at the 2014 Euroscience Open Forum for NatGeo News Watch. When I asked if he would consider writing the foreword, he sent me copy within two weeks. An important note: my attendance at both conferences was generously sponsored by NASW-supported fellowships!

Contact info:

Buy this book now in the ScienceWriters bookstore.


NASW members: will your book be published soon? Take advantage of this opportunity for shameless self-promotion.

Tell your fellow NASW members how you came up with the idea for your book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. Include what you wish you had known before you started this project, or had done differently.

See https://www.nasw.org/advance-copy-submission-guidelines.

Send info and images to Lynne Lamberg, NASW book editor, llamberg@nasw.org.

Jul. 8, 2015

Advance Copy

For this column, NASW book editor Lynne Lamberg asks NASW authors to tell how they came up with the idea for their book, developed a proposal, found an agent and publisher, funded and conducted research, and put the book together. She also asks what they wish they had known before they began working on their book, what they might do differently the next time, and what tips they can offer aspiring authors. She then edits the A part of that Q&A to produce the author reports you see here.

Publication of NASW members' reports in Advance Copy does not constitute NASW's endorsement of their books. NASW welcomes your comments and hopes this column stimulates productive discussions.