Serena Williams to Publish Two More Books
By Sarah Frideswide
Serena Williams has signed a book deal with Penguin Random House for two books. One will be a memoir and the other will be a motivational book inspire people. Serena Williams is a woman with many hats. She is, of course, a world-changing tennis player, but she is also a fashion and jewellery designer, a business leader and investor, a philanthropist and a writer. She has written and co-authored several books to date.
The first book, co-authored with her sister Venus Williams, was How to Play Tennis which was published by DK in 2004. As a foray into writing, this was a safe place to start. As the title suggests, it looked purely at tennis techniques and how to play to win. But neither of the Williams sisters are people who can be pigeon-holed or limited. A year later, in 2005, they co-wrote and published a book called Serving from the Hip with HarperCollins. This was a book of life advice, aimed primarily at younger people. It started to show the Williams sisters’ trademark zest for life and generosity in sharing the ways in which they had succeeded against the odds.
After that, Serena ventured away from her sister and wrote On the Line, co-written with Daniel Paisner, which was published by Hachette in 2009. Also published as Queen of the Court by Simon and Schuster the same year, this was a mid-career memoir that took a frank look at her childhood and success up until that point. Unlike a lot of sporting memoirs, it didn’t focus much on the big wins, but was an open examination of herself, her childhood and the family relationships which had helped to form her. Serena Williams isn’t afraid to show her heart in her writing, it’s part of what makes her such an exceptional role model. Her openness about her struggles and the challenges she has had to overcome to become one of the greatest tennis players of all time are an inspiration to thousands of readers.
Many people would have stopped there, but not Serena Williams. In 2022, she published her first children’s book: The Adventures of Qai Qai. This was after the adventures of her daughter’s doll had proved popular on Instagram. She felt the doll deserved her own book and collaborated with artist Yesenia Moises to produce the picture book for children. It became the number one selling book on Amazon in the first week of its release.
Now, with the news that Williams has a signed a book deal with Penguin, there will be a lot of speculation about what the next two books will cover. There is certainly a lot of potential material. In the fourteen years since On the Line, Williams has won another twelve grand slam titles, got married, had two children, almost died during childbirth, suffered with post-natal depression, launched both a jewellery and a clothing line, and launched an investment company. To say she is an unstoppable powerhouse both on and off the tennis court is an understatement. Many people will be interested to read what lies behind the headlines and the astounding statistics. Someone who has had constant knockbacks but who has managed to achieve phenomenal success will surely have plenty to share when it comes to motivational wisdom.
According to The Guardian, Williams is looking forward to having a time of reflection as she enters a new phase to write the two new books. She retired from tennis a year ago, in September 2022, at the age of forty-one, so the timing of this news is significant. Retirement notwithstanding, she clearly has no plans to become inactive. She has, she says, “taken time to celebrate [her] accomplishments and explore [her] other passions.” Passions which include funding businesses by underrepresented founders. Williams’ website declares that, of the businesses she has invested in, 79% have underrepresented founders, 54% have female founders, 47% have Black founders and 11% have Latino founders. As for her charitable activities, they require a whole article of their own. She founded the Serena Williams Foundation, co-founded the Williams Sister Fund with Venus Williams, is an ambassador for Unicef, has funded two schools in Africa and partnered with the Helping Hands Jamaica Foundation to build a school in Jamaica, too. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
That being the case, she is likely to have trouble squeezing everything into only two books. Let’s hope that she will write more books in the future. In the meantime, there is much excitement to be had in watching where her passions will lead her next.