Over the past few years, I've hosted more than 100 events with readers in eight countries. There is no “author school” where one learns to do these things—it's very much been a make-it-up-as-I-go process.
I've also received a lot of questions from other authors, aspiring authors, musicians, artists, and other readers who like the idea of taking their show on the road.
In this (long!) post I'll share a few stories, highlights, and lessons learned from the past three years of coordinating and hosting book events. I hope something here will be helpful to anyone who hopes to reach more people with their message.Read More
There are few things more awkward than sitting in a bookstore by yourself with a row of empty chairs in front of you. As people approach, you hope they're coming to say hi ... until they head to the Gardening section. Other people walk by with bags that look like they might contain cupcakes, and your heart lifts for a brief moment ...Read More
Thanks so much to everyone out there who was a part of the 63-city Unconventional Book Tour, which just wrapped up in beautiful Vancouver last weekend. We're working on a bigger project to document the whole experience for everyone, but for now I just wanted to express my gratefulness.Read More
Greetings, friends and readers. Today I'm in Anchorage, Alaska for the 43rd stop of the Unconventional Book Tour. I'll be at the University of Alaska at noon, and Metro Music and Books at 7pm tonight. (We'll be moving to a beer-and-pizza place afterwards, which I'm told is mandatory when in Alaska.) Today I have a couple of notes on commercial projects ...Read More
For everyone all over the world who isn't able to come out to the Unconventional Book Tour, this 4-minute movie gives you an idea of what it's about.
This mini-documentary was filmed and produced in Durham, North Carolina by Crystal Street at StorytellingTraveler.com. Crystal spent a lot of time on this project as a volunteer—check out some of her other great work on her site, or subscribe to her newsletter to stay connected with her.Read More
Greetings from the Atlanta airport, where I’m preparing this post before heading home after a 13-stop leg of the Unconventional Book Tour. In writing the AONC book, I wanted to highlight the stories of other people who have forged their own unconventional lives. Everyone mentioned below was included in the book, already in its fourth…Read More
Greetings from the road between Little Rock, Arkansas and Memphis, Tennessee ... soon to be Oxford, Mississippi. I've been on tour for five weeks now, and a number of people have asked, “What kind of travel hacking are you doing on this trip?”
The best answer is: Not much. The schedule is fixed. One day per city, with no flexibility on dates. I've done 32 stops over the past five weeks, usually back-to-back, and the priority is to structure everything around the meetups. In addition to that, I've done media interviews every day, all of the work I do on an ongoing basis, and some planning for two bigger projects that I'll be announcing soon.Read More
Greetings from Durham, North Carolina, near the Duke campus where we did last night's Unconventional Book Tour stop.
One week ago, I ran ten miles in non-stop pouring rain. The only thing that made it easier was thinking about everyone else running the Portland Marathon on the other side of town. Ten miles in the rain gave me blisters, but at least it wasn't 26.2 miles. I escaped to the indoors, went to Chipotle, and now all is well.Read More
In 2009, I visited with Seth Godin and his Alternative MBA students. Afterwards, I asked Seth for advice. “I know it's a long list,” I said, “But what's one thing you think I can improve upon?”
He said, “I think you need more of an agenda. Consensus is overrated!” That was a very Seth thing to say, and I liked it. For the rest of the year, I thought about the agenda.
This is a six-part series to explain how I think we can change the world. I originally started AONC with the goal of writing for 1,000 people. Now my goal is 100,000 people, and it looks like that's only a year or so away. Lesson learned: small goals turn into big ones if you take them seriously. And also: it's good to be clear on what you're really about.Read More
For a long time I kept this image on my desktop so I’d see it whenever I opened my computer. It’s a good question to ask when you’re evaluating your career, your life, your whatever. Otherwise you could wind up like everyone else, and if you’re reading The Art of Non-Conformity, I’ll assume you don’t…Read More
I wrapped up the first part of the Unconventional Book Tour with ten stops in ten days. Now I'm home in Portland for a couple of days before heading back out on the longest leg of the whole trip.
If you're new to AONC, regular articles are posted on Mondays and Thursdays. I often use Sundays for a weekend update about my business, UnconventionalGuides.com. For the rest of 2010 I'm not doing much business work, so I'll use this space more often for updates from the book tour.Read More
Have you heard the news about the death of publishing? Books are going extinct! Paper will cease to exist! Buy stock in digital ink.
Seth Godin, a mentor to me and the rest of the internet, recently announced his retirement from traditional publishing. Seth is perpetually ahead of the curve, so as usual, most people completely missed the point in responding to the news. When I read his interview, I thought “Wow, I need to catch up.” If I had twelve bestselling books, I'd say farewell to traditional publishing too. So everyone else in publishing, traditional or otherwise, who doesn't have twelve bestselling books needs to get to work.Read More