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David Murray

David Murray

Chicago, Illinois

David Murray is a writer and journalist. He's editor and publisher of Vital Speeches of the Day magazine, and founder and executive director of the Professional Speechwriters Association.

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About the author

David Murray is editor and publisher of Vital Speeches of the Day, an 85-year-old collection of the best oral communication in the U.S. and the world. He’s also executive director of the Professional Speechwriters Association. He’s been a prominent commentator on communication issues for 25 years.

Murray cowrote the New York Times-bestselling memoir Tell My Sons (Random House, 2013) and a memoir about his advertising copywriter parents, Raised By Mad Men.

Murray’s writing on communication and other subjects has appeared in many media outlets including The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, Advertising Age, Sailing Magazine, Golf Magazine, Car Collector Magazine, Vibe.com, the Huffington Post and Chicago Public Radio.

He lives with his wife and daughter in Chicago.
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Success! An Effort to Understand has already sold 498 pre-orders , was pitched to 12 publishers , and will be published by Disruption Books .
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• An invitation to the book launch and an ensuing Chicago Writer’s Pub Crawl led by David Murray.

• Exclusive access to publication updates.

• Upon publication, an invitation to join the exclusive Communicators Club—a community of "Effort to Understand" readers who want to carry on the conversation.

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• Upon publication, an invitation to join the exclusive Communicators Club—a community of "Effort to Understand" readers who want to carry on the conversation.

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• Upon publication, an invitation to join the exclusive Communicators Club—a community of "Effort to Understand" readers who want to carry on the conversation.

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• A free six-month digital subscription to Vital Speeches of the Day magazine.

• Exclusive access to publication updates.

• An invitation to the book launch and an ensuing Chicago Writer’s Pub Crawl led by David Murray.

• Upon publication, an invitation to join the exclusive Communicators Club—a community of "Effort to Understand" readers who want to carry on the conversation.

• An invitation to participate in a freewheeling webinar conversation with David Murray, about the implications of "An Effort to Understand." Ask him anything.

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• A free six-month digital subscription to Vital Speeches of the Day magazine.

• Exclusive access to publication updates.

• An invitation to the book launch and an ensuing Chicago Writer’s Pub Crawl led by David Murray.

• Upon publication, an invitation to join the exclusive Communicators Club—a community of "Effort to Understand" readers who want to carry on the conversation.

• An invitation to participate in a freewheeling webinar conversation with David Murray, about the implications of "An Effort to Understand." Ask him anything.

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Update #4 - Publishing contract signed for An Effort to Understand Dec. 20, 2019

Dear Pre-Purchaser of An Effort to Understand

Thanks for your patience over the last few months as I’ve spoken with many publishers and waited to hear from others.

Dealing with the world of publishing is a time-travel adventure in which the pace of everything is slowed down to the early 20th century: the correspondence, the deliberation and the publication itself. 

Late last week came the big telegram.

***

"AN EFFORT TO UNDERSTAND" WILL BE PUBLISHED BY DISRUPTION BOOKS [STOP]

THE BOOK WILL COME OUT IN EARLY 2021 [STOP]

ALL PARTIES OVER MOON [STOP]

***

This is a great fit.

Disruption Books is an imprint of West Wing Writers, the world’s leading speechwriting agency, founded by former White House speechwriters and staffed by dozens of star writers in offices in Washington, New York and San Francisco. Though there were other competitive bids for the book, Disruption’s publisher, Kris Pauls, and the partners at West Wing know me and my work. And they are some of the best of the best of the professional communicators whose wisdom this book is being published to share. 

Beyond Disruption's first-class distribution network and innovative marketing methods, their intimate acquaintance with this target audience and the chemistry and candor Kris and I have developed off the bat—Disruption is making a real financial investment in the book’s potential to connect with people well beyond our communication circles. That gives me real hope that we (me and you) can reach our audacious original vision, as I wrote in the proposal: “The audience for this book is every adult who’s looking for a new way to look at the world that might lead to a better way to be in the world.”

Why publish in 2021, when I had originally pegged the book to the election year? Partly because book distribution flows like glue: Bookstores need most of a year’s notice to make room on their shelves. But mostly because Kris Pauls (along with every other publisher I spoke with) believes that 2020 will be dense with election-year political writing. This more contemplative book will have more “air,” as Kris puts it, in the wake of the election. And are we worried that there’s a potential election result that will calm American or Western culture down sufficiently to make An Effort to Understand moot? I don’t think we are.

Despite the longer timeline, the publishing process will be rigorous and urgent, only *beginning* with the draft-forging fortnight over the holidays, when my office door will be locked from the outside. After that, the editing, the publishing, the marketing. Modern authors not named Tom Clancy or Cheryl Strayed are responsible for all manner of guerrilla self-promotion. We all know I’m good at that—but the question on everyone’s lips is: Can Murray possibly promote himself any more than he already does? Well by God, we’re about to find out.

I’ll use this platform to keep you posted as the book develops and as the release date firms up and all our plans take shape: signed books for you, a book launch and—whose pants-drunk idea was this?—“an ensuing Chicago Writer’s Pub Crawl led by David Murray.”

Meanwhile, please accept my deep thanks, for believing in communicators’ collective wisdom and in my ability to translate it to the modern world to help all of us make An Effort to Understand

My effort, I promise you, will be my very best.

Sincerely,

David Murray