[WRITER] Contract for Second Edition ‘Raising Children in a Digital Age’

So, I have recently signed another book contract, for Raising Children in a Digital Age: Enjoying the Best, Avoiding the Worst – the book that I expected to write and then move on (thanks Ali Hull for suggesting the book originally, and Rhoda Hardie for all the PR on it), but has led to many media appearances, speaking and other opportunities, and because it has done so well, a second edition is to be written whilst I’m in New Zealand.

The Financial Times described it as ‘sensible’ in a sea of scare stories, whilst a 14 year old, initially scathing at the idea that her mum would learn anything, read it and said ‘oh, she knows what she’s talking about’. Individuals at conferences have come up to me and said it has changed the conversation with their children, whilst youth leaders have said that my work has shaped youth ministry around digital over the past few years.

The original cover has really stood out on the shelves, and I’ve enjoyed being sent Instagrams, etc of the book for sale in bookshops and at conferences:

So, it’s been interesting to be sent suggestions for a new cover (although I wonder about a similar bright colour, and a different emoticon)… the stairs seems to be the winning design – and I like the freshness, the on trend colours, the fact it’s a girl, and that she looks like she’s having a good time … but wary about the blondness, the fact she’s on her own – especially at such a young age, and she’s very white… got to think what fits with the message of the book…

This cover removes the focus on a particular age/gender/ethnicity, and is much brighter, not sure what I think of the icons…

This one is also very bright and should stand out on the shelves, but reintroduces the age/gender/ethnicity question again… Child does look like he’s having fun, however.

Once my brain starts working again – and once back to work and through the ethics procedure, I’ll be back with a new questionnaire to send around – trying to think what I want to know that’s changed in the past 6+ years since I wrote the first edition!

History Writer

[BOOK PUBLICATION] Keep Calm and Carry On : The Truth Behind the Poster

Within my 1997 undergraduate dissertation, and my 2004 PhD thesis, I (unintentionally) provided the story of the now ubiquitous ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ (KCCO) poster (read an extract here), whilst I was writing about two very early posters produced by the British Government in the Second World War – Your Courage, and Freedom is in Peril. At the same time, the government produced KCCO, with the intention of saving it for use when under attack – and these were distributed in much greater quantities than the other posters (which might explain why the odd one made it onto the wall), but after so much negative kick-back on the other two posters, and with the benefit of some wisdom that we weren’t fighting “The Great War” any more, it was deemed inappropriate, and likely instructed to be pulped for it’s precious paper.

In 2009, I picked up that the ‘KCCO’ story had become ‘a thing’, and started following it on this blog, and managed to visit Barter Books a couple of times! Alongside, I was keen to publish my PhD thesis, and working on my book proposal in between jobs/job applications, and all the other fun of being a young academic. In September I finally sent the book proposal off to the Imperial War Museum (where my story starts with the purchase of a postcard of Women of Britain – Come Into the Factories), and by November, was being offered a book contract for a 20,000 word book that could be sold ‘as a present’ with the Imperial War Museum, giving more of the backstory – and with a plan to seek a joint publisher for a deeper book based more around the full PhD thesis… we’ll see if this comes off, but meantime – yesterday I signed the contract – to deliver 20,000 words by April 10th (so that’ll be my weekends gone then!)!

The working title for the short book is: Keep Calm and Carry On : The Truth Behind the Poster, with an anticipated launch in the autumn/winter 2017.

Need to read this over tomorrow and hopefully sign & send back! #keepcalmandcarryon

A photo posted by Bex Lewis (@drbexl) on

The full PhD can already be accessed in PDF form from The British Library