Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

A Word from Andrew - kinda

Share |

Paul here –

I want to try a little experiment. At the moment, Andrew is too busy hyping Kickstart on the tour to write a post. This is a shame, because I think he’d bring a very interesting perspective to Open Book. As a result, I’ve decided to write the following post as Andrew. You see, this is a little bit of a voice exercise. I’m going to try to piece together various conversations I’ve had with him into a coherent and artistically unified piece. As I have previously said, voice is a slippery fish. So, Andrew, don’t get mad if I don’t capture your inimitable buoyancy.

Andrew: “Kickstart is about thinking big and challenging conventional thinking. The people we interviewed didn’t let obstacles get in their way or the status quo fog up the clarity of their thinking. That’s why Kickstart has decided to do things a little differently. It’s not going to be a book as usual. It’s going to go against the tired popular wisdom.

They told us not to throw a big book launch. ‘It’s a waste of time and money,’ they said. ‘No one will come.’ ‘You won’t sell any books.’ Right. We heard that, thought long and hard, and then went ahead and threw one anyway. We held it at the most ridiculously over-the-top place imaginable and invited the world. We pulled in favour after favour, expended all our good will, and still spent more money than we should have. And what happened?

Over 450 people showed up. Over 250 books were sold. And everyone went home having had a great time. Since the money went to charity, we didn’t make a dime. In fact, we lost money. But we believe in the power of karma and word of mouth.

Next thing they told us that we shouldn’t go on a tour. They said tours never draw crowds, they never sell books, they’re a waste of money. We listened carefully, weighed everyone’s advice, and then went ahead and did it anyway. Why? Because if you don’t take a risk, you’ll never get anything. If you don’t bring the book to the people, how they heck are they supposed to get it?

Conventional wisdom is great in every way, except for the fact that it’s conventional. If the people we talked to in this book sold us on one thing, it’s that the conventional is never the road to take. You can’t make money without risk. You can’t realise your dreams without taking a chance. You can’t just sit and wait for people to find you. You’ve got to push.

So we’re pushing. And so far, so good.

What’s next? Who knows.”

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Related item from our archives

Alexander Herman, Paul Matthews and Andrew Feindel

Alexander Herman, Paul Matthews and Andrew Feindel are the authors of Kickstart: How Successful Canadians Got Started (Dundurn Press, 2008). Kickstart profiles over 30 prominent Canadians who explain how they started their careers.

Go to Alexander Herman, Paul Matthews and Andrew Feindel ’s Author Page