Monday, October 29, 2012

Calling All Kindred Spirits (Well, Kindred Spirits in the Contiguous U.S.)


My publishing company and I are beginning talks about how to publicize the book(!), and I'm toying with the idea of going on a book tour. The aforementioned book tour would have to be 2000 Dollar Wedding style: meticulously inexpensive, DIY, and community-minded. Here's the rough draft version of what I'm thinking:
  • Schlepping Matt and Henry with me (in January and February before Henry turns two and we have to start paying for a seat for him on the airplane)
  • Only going to cities where a kindred spirit is interested in hosting us* (I know it's a lot to ask--we are saving up all our money for a house and can't spend any money on hotels right now; but we don't mind sleeping on the floor--and we promise to return the favor once our new house is built--free housing for SXSW anyone?).
  • Hosting would also entail helping to coordinate the event (securing a location, coordinating donations of photography/treats/etc.) (I'm also looking for an Austin-based person to help with this!)
  • Doing more of a vision-setting and reflecting workshop rather than a traditional book talk
  • Going to cities where other kindred spirits would like to participate on a panel discussion to share their experiences with planning meaningful, memorable, and affordable weddings
Is this resonating with anyone? Anyone? Anyone? Do you have any interest in being a coordinator/host or even a wedding veteran on a panel discussion in your city?

I know I've gone overboard with the forms lately, but it really is the easiest way to collect responses in a neat and tidy Excel sheet.

So thank you in advance for participating!


* Remember when I read all those mean things about myself on the internet? Well, one of the not-so-nice things I read was that someone's friend met Matt and me in real life and thought we were "cuckoo." Just wanted to warn you before you think about inviting us into your home. References available upon request.



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29 comments:

Allyn said...

Sara,

This is really the worst timing for this request! Argh. I am due to deliver my first baby any day now (with election day being the official due date, but I am getting antsy...) and my husband and I are both trying to finish our PhD dissertations by May and August, respectively (a stretch for me, those his date is a lot more certain). Oh, and look for jobs. You know, minor things.

I would love nothing more than to come to events on your book tour, but we really cannot take on too much more right now (even though my instinct is to say YES!). I look forward to what you are able to set up and supporting the project in other ways. Best of luck in your endeavor!

Kate said...

Metro Detroit is waiting for you. Just let me know! (Bonus 19 month old daughter to play with Henry, as well as non-electronic waldorf and montessori type toys to play with.) We have an air-mattress and our nursery is not actually occupied by said daughter.

Unknown said...

Housing would be cramped (and I should check with my husband before commiting) but I am a librarian at the Denver Public Library and would love to set up a workshop with you. We were just married this August at the Sunshine Mountain Lodge, which I discovered through your post!

Allison El Koubi said...

I didn't see a link to any form, but I would love to help out with this in Baton Rouge! It would be great to have you guys come stay with us...you could meet Marc!

We have some friends who are getting married here this weekend and have done a bunch of creative, DIY touches who might be interested in participating in the workshop. We also have some contacts with a few local magazines who magazines who might help publicize the event.

Let me know!

Unknown said...

I'd love to host you all in dallas!! Call me!
Christy Curton

fuzzy said...

San Diego: Can provide housing and transportation, but not the rest. Can even manage baby gear and vegetarian food and a really comfy couch....

Elizabeth said...

Hi Sara-
I'm in Portland and could pretty easily secure a space at the public library near our house. We also have an air mattress and a small nursery where the baby doesn't yet sleep. You, Matt & Henry would be welcome!

Elizabeth said...

(Portland, Oregon)

Colleen said...

Phoenix, AZ here. We can provide an air mattress/couch and food! Fellow TFA alum (PHX 06!). My husband and eloped to save A LOT of money, so I don't think we'd be much help in the panel arena but we'd be happy to host you and we've got kids! (3 yo and 2 yo daughters and a 7 month old son)

Maureen said...

San Francisco Bay Area - happy to host you, Matt & Henry! We have a guest bedroom, bathroom and living space available for you in Marin county, though I know you also have friends here. But if you make it to SF would definitely love to meet up! (I didn't see a link to a form either but will happily fill one out)

Allison Campbell said...

If you're going to San Francisco and Portland, may I recommend a pitstop in Arcata, CA? :)

Alissa said...

I also live in Portland (in the suburbs, though), but we have a spare bedroom and bathroom that you could use. One caveat is that we have a dog and three cats, but we keep them out of the guest room. I could probably make arrangements to transport you to your event(s). There are quite a few independent bookstores in Portland, and I could probably make some calls to make arrangements. Your book resonates with me, as my husband and I were married in 2007 and did things nice, but frugally as well.

Rachel said...

I'm sort of surprised your publisher is making you pay for your book tour. Don't publishers generally foot the bill for that sort of thing?

If you're paying for it yourself, be sure to think about the potential return on investment. You're spending money to make money and the *only* way to make money is to have people buy the book.

Meg said...

Let me know if you need advice. Off the cuff:

Remember you'll need to take care of book sales at each location Contacting bookstores and hosting there is a Very Good Idea. It's a little more work up front, but they buy the books and sell them for you. Otherwise you buy them yourself at your discount rate, you have to carry them and the cash with you, AND you eat the cost of what you don't sell. The few stops I did that, I broke even, but that was it. And it was a pain. If you can promise bookstores even a small handful of people, you can usually get an indie to take you, and the hassle you will save will be worth it times a thousand. (They'll also do set up and tear down for you).

And press. That's the headache if your publisher isn't giving you a publicist at all, but the more you can do, the better. Press is the real secret of why book tours are worth the staggering amount of emotional and physical energy and cash they take from you. I'd argue the press is worth more than the sales.

Have a wonderful time! I can't wait to do another myself. They are grueling, but great.

(And Rachel, dirty secret of publishing. All authors pay for their own book tours these days, and you're also responsable for most of the marketing and sales for your book, too.)

-Meg

Katie said...

I can host in Atlanta- I live in the suburbs, but I'm sure we can find a bookstore that would be interested.

V. Wetlaufer said...

If you want to come to Salt Lake, you are welcome here! The King's English is a great local bookstore that hosts a lot of readings, and I'd love to have you! I have a dog and 2 cats, and my den can be a guest room (I have a super comfy raised air mattress). Sundance is at the end of January, so travel here would be more expensive then, but oh, please come!

V. Wetlaufer said...

Oh, and of course food and transport is included in my offer!

Heather Lynn said...

I'd be willing to help. I'm in Illinois, about an hour SW of Chicago, near NIU. It might be kind of ironic, but they have their wedding expo in January. We also have an extra bedroom, and a Montessori nursery with floor bed, but my son usually co-sleeps, so either could be open. (Of course I'd have to confirm with husband as well.)

Michele said...

Raleigh !!!! Also Durham and chapel hill. Plenty of space and I'd love to do whatever else I need to to get you here for a visit.

Michele said...

Raleigh !!!! Also Durham and chapel hill. Plenty of space and I'd love to do whatever else I need to to get you here for a visit.

Shawn said...

I'm in Orange County, CA and we would love to have you guys! I'm about 45 minutes to an hour south of Los Angeles in Costa Mesa. I don't have time I can offer for planning the event, but I would love to host you and provide a place to stay, food and transportation. Wishing you the best on this exciting idea!

Jennifer said...

I've met you and Matt in real life and you're some of the sweetest people! Ever, really. Fun, kind, generous-spirited, friendly, and delightful. That is how I remember you both. :) Best of luck!!

Sara E. Cotner said...

Thank you all for your super-kind offers! I will let you know how the planning process unfolds.

And thank you for your really kind words, Jennifer!

Kelsey said...

Sara - it's great, I already see another Phoenix volunteer! I am happy to help with some of the coordination for an event; it would be great to see you out here! There's a great local new and used bookstore in Tempe called Changing Hands and then I know another place called Bookmans also hosts authors.

Meghan said...

Hey Sara - we would love to host you in Santa Fe or taos but of course we're pretty small towns...

Stacey said...

Oxford Mississippi would love to host you! I work at the public library and they are always looking for new ways to directly involve our community. We actually have an opening in February because another blogger had to back out! I even have a (could be cleaned...) guest room and a wonderful $350 wedding story to share. Would love to host/coordinate/whatever. Small towns are the best and ours is one of the most beautiful!

violarulz/ducksandbooks said...

Right now we're in Boulder, CO, but will be moving to Tacoma Park/Silver Spring, MD in January. You're welcome to come crash out our future home (one we have one). I don't know the area too well yet, but I'm sure I can help you find an indie bookstore in the DC/Maryland area to host a book party!

violarulz/ducksandbooks said...

PS- we have the most comfy pullout couch in the world. Seriously, it's fun to open it up and turn it into a lounge/nap spot on shabbat. In our current place, it gets the best sunbeams in the house for naps. Hopefully our future home has decent sunbeams too :)

ceejus said...

violarulz, I live in Silver Spring, fewer than 5 miles from Takoma Park! Look me up on Twitter (TheCeejus) and I'll introduce you to fun peeps slash answer any questions you have about the area.

Sarah, if you come to the DC area you'd also be welcome at my house. We have a guest room ready and waiting. We're less than a mile from the metro station, and a 25-30 minute ride into the city. End of March/beginning of April could be tricky because I'm due with our first kid, but before then would be 100% doable.

Good luck with tour planning!

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