Announcing… My Next Book!

Back in September, I got an email out of the blue from an editor at Riverhead Press, an imprint of Penguin Books in New York (the largest publisher in the world). “I’m looking for a writer for a book on birds,” she wrote, and “I think you’d be great for it.”

She had been directed to my website after reading several posts I’d written for the American Birding Association’s blog, and was apparently impressed enough with my writing to ask for a book proposal in a brief phone conversation. I wrote an introduction, a couple of sample chapters, and an outline; Riverhead’s editors accepted it, and they offered a generous contract. Just like that!

To negotiate the details, I was advised to enlist the help of a literary agent. My first book, “Among Penguins,” was published by a much smaller university press which didn’t require negotiation, so this was a new step. Happily, I connected with the same agent who represents David Sibley, Pete Dunne, and other well-known bird authors, and, over the last couple of months, he has helped streamline the process so that today I sat down, pen in hand, and signed four copies of the 11-page contract.

It’s so exciting to have my first major book deal!

Riverhead is a well-known press and has published several bestsellers including “The Kite Runner,” which augurs well for the success of this project.

The book, tentatively titled “Bird World,” will be an accessible and fun investigation of bird behavior, from homing instinct and pecking order to unexpected stories of bird intelligence. Basically: Birds are cool and fascinating. Get ready to sit back and be entertained…

The book will probably be released about two years from now (since I still have to write most of it…), first in hardcover, then in paperback. Stay tuned.

I had a great winter in Ecuador, ended up seeing almost 500 species of birds in three months in the jungle. Now I am home in Oregon and looking forward to spending most of 2012 on this project – a whole new adventure. I do have more exotic trips planned, but, for now, am totally jazzed about this book. Onward!


9 replies
  1. Jeanbb
    Jeanbb says:

    How thrilling, Noah! Congratulations and keep us updated on your progress…looking forward to reading your new book! JeanBB

  2. Margie Paris
    Margie Paris says:

    This is so exciting. Can’t wait to read it — those two years will pass quickly!

  3. Denise
    Denise says:

    I had just about given up on your blog, but just happened to click on it and found your update. How exciting! Congratulations!! Will you still remember all your “blog followers” when you become a famous author? :)

  4. Patricia Keene
    Patricia Keene says:


    I’m so happy for you – well deserved opportunity. I eagerly await this new book! Please keep in touch with your “bird follower enthusiasts” and let us know how the process goes for you.

  5. Sara Lee Chandler
    Sara Lee Chandler says:

    Huh. Well I guess you aren’t going to pursue that career in opera after all. ;-) I look forward to seeing your chapter on burrowing owls…. they get their own chapter, don’t they??? Cheers, S

  6. Linda
    Linda says:

    Congratulations, Noah! Can’t wait to read your new book. So glad you posted the cougar sighting on OBOL with the link to your blog… which I had given up on, like Denise… and found this entry. Cougar sighting cool, too… we’re still waiting for one to show up in our trail camera. We have had lots of bears, coyotes, raccoons, deer, bobcats… but no cougar… yet.

  7. Moineau16
    Moineau16 says:

    Congratulations on that new, major project. I got the penguins book and can’t wait for the bird bird to get published.

  8. Anne
    Anne says:

    I’m delighted to read of your new “bird book” and hope it is going well. “Among Penguins” was featured as a new nonfiction publication in the Boulder Public Library recently, giving me the happy opportunity to chance upon your work. Also, what a beautiful, healthy looking lion you had as visitor! We have lions (and bears) weaving almost nightly through our edge of Boulder and in 40 years I’ve not seen one. Best wishes for your days of writing; I look forward to buying your book as soon as it is out!

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