Bare it for Books. Or, as I prefer to call it, “How I’m getting my favourite Canadian authors to take off their clothes.”
Have you ever seen the movie Calendar Girls? First of all, take 2 minutes and 31 seconds and watch the trailer.
I watched Calendar Girls years ago and was completely moved by the things people will do to help others. I thought to myself, “one day, I’m going to do something like that.”
A few months ago, I saw a tweet that went something like this from Amanda Leduc, “GUYS. Sexy author calendar? Proceeds to charity? Yes yes?” How could I say no? This is exactly what I had been wanting to do. Not working in the publishing industry, nor being a writer, I’m always looking for more ways to hang out with the awesome folk in the CanLit community. This was the perfect project.
So I meet with Amanda, we both realize that we’re equally obsessed with the idea of this calendar idea and, with the right amount of work, this could be something really special for the 2014 year. We research. We make t-shirts. As she’s a writer, Amanda sets to work crafting sassy, yet professional emails describing our projects in attempts to woo the brilliant writers across the country. Then, one of the most important things to date happens: we get PEN Canada to sign on as our official charity where all the proceeds of the calendar will go. We couldn’t be more pleased.
The day comes when we send emails out, and the feedback is astounding. Email after email comes pouring in, most going a little something like this: “Wonderful project ladies! I don’t know if I can get the courage to do this, but I’m a big supporter of PEN so… I’m in.”
We thought we would be lucky to get 12 people to sign on. In the first few hours after sending out the email, we had already exceeded that number.
After the emails go out, and word starts getting out, Amanda and I set off for Eden Mills Writers’ Festival and had a blast spreading the word and seeing at least three different authors reading who have signed on to take it off! So who’s signed on, you ask? For now, we’re keeping mum about the whole thing, but as Amanda said on her recent post about BIFB, “GILLER WINNERS, PEOPLE.”
So, what’s next? Well, we launched our blog last week, so please go have a look and bookmark it to check back now and again. We’ll be launching our website in January along with our full campaign and, you’ve got it, month by month announcements of who’s posing when! Mr. or Ms. January will be writing a guest blog post for us, so please do tune in then. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter.
What about swag, you may ask? Well, of course, there must be swag. So far we have these saucy little bookmarks (above), t-shirts (scroll up) and coming soon – Bare it For Books canvas tote bags, complete with our logo on one side, and the Bare it for Books hashtag (#bareitforbooks) on the other!
How can you help? Glad you asked! We’ll be looking for help with little things here and there over the next few months, so please do get in touch with us. No doubt the real help will be needed around next October when we plan to have the calendars available for sale! In any case, we would absolutely LOVE to hear from you. Our enthusiasm is contagious. We promise. Email us here: firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll also have our Indie GoGo campaign launching in January so please keep an eye open and go check it out! There will be fun incentives for all levels of donation, no matter how small!
Lastly, a few words about the project and why I am thrilled to be working on it with Amanda, who is a fantastic writer and wonderful woman to work with:
“The Bare it for Books Calendar will be sexy as hell. 12 Canadian authors posing in the nearly nude in tasteful, classy black and white photos. They’ll be from all across Canada, from many different genres of writing. By buying this calendar you’ll be supporting PEN Canada and the freedom of expression. You’ll also be able to learn more about these authors in the pages of the calendar and keep up to date with literary celebrations, readings, awards, book launches and much more. We’ll stay in touch with you throughout the 2014 year, if you so choose, and you’ll receive up to the month stickers to add to your calendar. We want you to love this calendar, this cause and these authors as much as we do. Get ready to bare it all, Canada. Because reading has always been sexy.”