Marketing Your Book With A House Party Tour

It’s National Running Day but this post isn’t about running. Not exactly, anyways. Its about two runners who wrote a book, went on tour, decided a traditional book tour wasn’t for them, wrote a second book and decided to do something different.

I’m talking about Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell, authors of Run Like a Mother: How to Get Moving–and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity and Train Like a Mother: How to Get Across Any Finish Line – and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity.

Sarah Bowen Shea Dimity McDowell authors of Train Like A Mother

With Sarah (left) and Dimity (right) from Another Mother Runner

Last week, I had the great honor to attend a house party to promote their new book, Train Like A Mother, and meet Sarah and Dimity in person (that’s us in the photo above).

In one word, this event was A-MAZING.

And the house party idea – F’ing Brilliant! (excuse my f-bomb).

Instead of giving readings at (potentially empty) bookstores across the nation, Sarah and Dimity decided to host house parties and invite their fans to an intimate meet-and-greet.

The invite-only event was hosted at a home just outside of Washington, DC. When I walked up to the door, I was greeted by Sarah herself. I was a little star-struck and nervous and probably sounded like a totally dork (I told her I recognized her voice from their podcast).

But Sarah – and Dimity, too – was very welcoming. They both circulated the room and engaged all of us in conversations about running or whatever else we were talking about.

In attendance were runners and bloggers and Another Mother Runner fans.  It was a great crowd, all united around a shared passion for running and trying to balance that passion with parenting.

The energy in the room was intoxicating.

After some mixing and mingling, Sarah and Dimity gave a reading from Train Like A Mother. My favorite excerpt was “The Running Path” inspired by The Giving Tree.

Then they gave away some serious swag, like a Mountain Buggy Stroller and a pair of Altra running shoes (yours truly won the later – awesome – but that’s a future post). The evening ending with a book signing and an opportunity to purchase merchandise.

And this is what makes a house party book tour such a genius marketing idea. The room was already full of fans who were energized and excited to share this experience with their friends. Many of us were tweeting and posting photos to Facebook throughout the event. And many of us left buying books, shirts and other running accessories.  I bought two shirts and a sweatband (I already had the books. And there was no pressure to buy, by the way.).

The brilliance was in creating an exclusive event that got their fans excited about their new book and products. Wouldn’t you jump at the chance to hang out with authors you admire and to get to know them one-on-one? I certainly did.

Who would you jump at the chance to hang out with? Let me know in the comments below.

This post includes Amazon affiliate links.

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  1. Your F bomb is excuses. Sometimes nothing else will do.

    Sounds like you had such a great time! That’s so awesome! LOVE that pic of you!
    the wicked noodle recently posted..i’ll take a salted caramel sauce, straight upMy Profile

  2. DUDE – I’m so jealous! I stalk their blog! How the heck did I miss that you are a runner. I am a world class dork.

    I’m so looking forward to running again in a few weeks. I’m going to need your best tips on running after a long stretch off.

    • Dude — you’re a little busy. New baby and all. 🙂

      Take it easy getting back to running. I had to stop running when I was 5 months pregnant with my daughter. My first race after she was born was hard. I did Couch to 5k and got back into it slowly. 10 months later, I’ve gone a little run crazy. I’m signed up for an 8K in July, a half relay in September and a 10K in October. I might need a 12-step program for my running.

      Keep me posted!

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