So, the Bare it For Books launch has happened. It happened on February 19th, with me waking up every 30 minutes between 4am and 6am convinced that I had already gotten up, gone to get the National Post, and not found an article on the campaign. Clearly I was trying, even unconsciously, not to get my hopes up. When the clock struck 7am, however, I found the fabulous article on the campaign written by Mark Medley online: Prose in the nude: Canadian authors get naked for Bare It For Books calendar.(Tip: if you want to maintain your sanity, do not read the comments.)
During the rest of the day there were other news outlets that picked up the story but it was mainly to share the facts. In the following days, Amanda was interviewed on NewsTalk 1010′s Bookends, and I was up bright and early for an interview with Matt Galloway on CBC’s Metro Morning. By the end of the week, Bare it For Books had made it into the news in 41 different media outlets. And that’s not counting the heartwarming support by our twitter followers!
Now that the initial media coverage has died down a bit, it was only fitting that the Globe and Mail have their say. Russel Smith wrote quite a long piece on the campaign but, get this – he wants our authors to lose all the clothes. Russel’s article touches on something we’ve been hearing a lot; this isn’t a new idea. Since that was the main message, it would seem that the article was “bad press.” Neither Amanda or I thought so, however.
a) There’s no such thing as bad press, (especially when we have TWO photos, in colour, in the country’s national newspaper).
b) Russel’s article continued the conversation.
After an initial burst of publicity about the facts of the Bare It For Books project, Amanda and I knew it would be tough to keep the conversation going and keep the enthusiasm for the project rolling until our launch in October. It makes me smile to think that people are debating about whether or not Bare It For Books is a good idea.
What do I think? Well, of course I think it’s a good idea. Do I think it’s an original idea? Absolutely not. The whole “nearly-nude, tasteful calendar to raise money for charity x” has become a popular, fun way for organizations to raise money. Amanda and I never claimed that we had come up with a brand new idea – we chose the calendar model because it embodies the spirit of Canadian Literature that we both believe many Canadians don’t see. (Okay, so maybe they don’t see those late nights with authors doing tequila shots either, but maybe that’s for the best…) I would like to see someone say “oh, another charity 5K for cancer? What a silly idea. That’s been done before.” The reason that these fundraisers keep happening is because they work, and sometimes it’s okay not to reinvent the wheel.
We’ve also had some similar comments to Russel’s in emails, in passing and on twitter and we both think that it’s best to embrace these comments and open the conversation so people can engage and debate. When it comes down to it, that’s really what Bare It For Books is about – that, and of course the ultimate goal to raise money for PEN Canada. We’re currently in the process of organizing a panel of sorts (location and date are still being confirmed) where we’re hoping to have a few people from both sides of the conversation get together and discuss Bare It For Books. We’re hoping to have one of the authors from the calendar there as well to add their voice to the conversation. (This will of course also serve the purpose of entertaining you: if you get bored, just picture them naked.)
The main focus now, is to fundraise our $20,000 so the calendar can actually be made. Currently, on March 10th, we’re 12% funded. Not bad, but this campaign through Indiegogo is only active for another 41 days so we need your help.
We offer perks for all levels of contribution from $5 (a digital thank you card, a BIFB digital badge and listed as contributor on our site) to $1,000 which offers, among other things, a dinner for you and five friends from Amanda on her book tour and a hand-knitted item of your choice from yours truly! We have t-shirts, tote bags, e-books from the calendar authors and, wait for it… CALENDARS! If you want to buy the calendar, why not just pre-order it by contributing now through our Indiegogo page? At the $35 level, you get the calendar and other goodies!
To pre-order the calendar and donate to our indiegogo campaign, CLICK HERE.
Thank YOU, above all, for your support already in this campaign. If you’ve made it to the end of this post, then thank you for your time reading about Bare It For Books and remember – reading has always been sexy.