My prints aren’t as elegantly framed as the ones pictured (I took these images off of the Etsy store’s page). I need to make a note to hit up Ikea to pick up better frames, as they are currently housed in $5 K-Mart frames. Bleh.
When it comes to marketing books, I spend a lot of time sending out press releases, chatting with book bloggers, and coming up with appropriately quirky online campaigns. This past Sunday, I tried something a little different.
I spent time with a book club.
The self dubbed Philly’s Best Book Club consists of 10+ members from the Philly region, who get together the occasional Sunday to chat about their book of choice. I was beyond flattered when they asked if I’d come talk about the publishing / marketing behind Quirk’s latest bestseller, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It was their first meeting, and they had decided to read a Quirk title. Yay!
So why spend time with a book club with little to no web presence? Well, it’s a pretty fabulous way to interact with book lovers. One on one personal attention? Those readers are going to be some of our most passionate voices.
To my publishing industry friends and peers… seriously, this is one of the best ways to interact with your fans and consumers. If you see an opportunity like this, seize it immediately. “But I’m not the author!” So what? Book lovers are just as interested in learning about how a book gets into their hands.
So that gigantic peach rose out of the sky like… like… well like a giant orange booty along the highway. To get a real sense of its size, you can see Kishwer and I waving our hands around in the lower left hand corner.
As fate would have it, we actually showed up on the very last day of peach picking season. With a storm on its way and the last of the season’s peaches currently ripe to the point of bursting, we were fortunate to show up when we did. We got “big reds” according to the sign in the stand.
I’m not sure what my favorite part of peach picking was. Climbing trees? Kicking rotten fruit at one another? Finding out that out baskets were made by prison inmates down the road? It’s a serious toss up.
I was pretty psyched when he asked me to come be a part of their co-sponsored (with 215 Magazine) Vitamin Water #Uncapped event, a sixteen day celebration of music, media, arts, etc. While a lot of #Uncapped wasn’t necessarily my scene (I don’t know / listen to any of the musicians or artists involved), this New Media Unplugged session was absolutely my territory, full of my people.
Lots of cool folks were there as featured speakers, including my pal Tayyib Smith (215 Magazine), Shannon McDonald (NEPhilly), and Adam Schmidt of DrinkPhilly. Danya Henninger (DrinkPhilly’s new editor) was also in attendance and is pictured above, chilling with me pre-show. You can’t see it in the low rez photo, but I totally have a dreamy look on my face. #swoon.
A solid audience showed up to listen to us ramble about hyperlocal blogging and indie publishing. I often feel somewhat out of place at events like this, as Geekadelphia isn’t a for-profit / monetized blog (and likely never will be). When Wink passed the microphone to me to talk about monetizing and sustainability, the guy knew what he was doing. Turns out, several folks in the room had the same mindset as me, and after the talk, we spoke at length about it. It was great, and made me feel less alone in my “this is just for fun” stance.
As for the audience, almost everyone there was involved in the local media somehow. Some print journalists, some fledgling bloggers, etc. There were also a handful of startup folks and curious students thrown into the mix. I met some interesting new people. But at a Technically Philly event, you always do.
So my pal Jessica Anne, Kishwer Vikaas and Dan Hafner hopped in a car early Saturday morning (4am!) and made our way down to South Caroline, 600+ miles away from Philadelphia.
We all spent most of the driving part of the trip listening to comedy in standup (I discovered the joys of Doug Benson), audiobook (thank you Neil Patrick Harris for reading The Bro Code), and musical (Flight of the Conchords!) form.
When we weren’t driving, we were exploring local bars, running around small towns (Greer, NC is wonderful!), and eventually, picking peaches. I’ll write a blip about that later.