Japan earthquake aid book crowd-sourced in just seven days

Japan earthquake aid book crowd-sourced in just seven days

QuakeBook created by dozens of contributors to help Tohoku survivors

QuakeBookWithin a week of the earthquake and tsunami that killed tens of thousands in the Tohoku region of northeastern Japan on March 11, an enterprising group of Tokyo bloggers and Twitter users had begun an ambitious project to both produce a creative documentation of the disaster and raise funds to help the survivors.

Fast forward seven days to March 25 and the group’s book of short stories -- 2:46, or #QuakeBook from its Twitter origins-- was ready to hit the digital presses and send funds flowing to the Japanese Red Cross.

The project started with a tweet from a Tokyo-based British blogger, and thereafter project leader, known as Our Man In Abiko and quickly gathered momentum, drawing in dozens of international writers, artists, translators, helpers and contributors of all stripes.

As of the self-imposed deadline of 2:46 p.m. on March 25 -- exactly two weeks after the magnitude 9.0 quake struck -- the book comprised some 30,000 words spread over dozens of pen pictures of life immediately after March 11.

Among the writers are people from not just Japan, but many from other parts of the world who were also affected. One of those is renowned sci-fi novelist William Gibson, who contributed an original short story to the cause.

At the time of writing, the QuakeBook team is wrapped up in talks with Amazon, among others, over copyright, distribution and the minutiae of getting the digital edition on sale.

When we have the on-sale details, we’ll share them here, but until then there’s information on the progress of this spectacular team effort on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the official QuakeBook blog.