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What I’m Learning From My Book Tour

Saturday Millionaires book by Kristi DoshHaving written a book about the business of college football it seemed obvious to me that my book tour should go to college campuses on game day. Tens of thousands of college football fans was a recipe for success. Or so I thought.

It turns out doing book signings in the campus bookstore on game day isn’t the perfect formula I imagined. Having completed three of these signings at UCF, Tennessee and Wisconsin, I’ve run into a number of issues. First, people don’t want to have to carry the book into the game. All my signings have been before the game, because that’s when the bookstores see the most traffic. Unfortunately, that means people have to take the book into the game, which many have been unwilling to do.

The second problem I’ve run into is that fans who haven’t heard of me or my book are turned off by University of Florida being on the cover. I imagine this won’t be a problem when I do a signing at UF later this fall, but it certainly didn’t go well when I did a signing at Tennessee on the day of the UGA game. Both teams hate UF, and despite me assuring them the book wasn’t all about Florida, they wanted no part of it. Not really surprising, but I was hoping they could look past the cover. I even encouraged them to take the cover off (since it’s a hardcover book) and burning it at their tailgate, but alas most simply passed on purchasing the book.

(Also, for what it’s worth, I didn’t choose the cover. Despite being a UF grad, I would have preferred they weren’t on the cover. However…someone had to be on it, and since UF is one of the teams featured in the book they ended up on the cover. It’s easily removable, so feel free to ditch it if you aren’t a fan of UF.)

Another issue has been that fans are generally in a hurry to get in and out of the bookstore. There’s tailgating to be done and a kickoff they want to be in their seats for, so if they haven’t heard of my book they’re not really up for a pitch. They take a postcard about the book and promise to consider buying it later. Hopefully some do. This isn’t something I’ve run into when I’ve done a book signing in an off-campus bookstore on a non-game day – in those instances people are more willing to stop and chat about the book for a minute or two.

All of these drawbacks to the on-campus game day signing have led me to the decision to cut a few of my remaining game day signings. It saddens me, because I was looking forward to visiting each and every campus. Unfortunately, it doesn’t make financial sense for me to incur the expense of traveling to these places when I could focus my time on signings that are going well. I’ve had incredible success selling the book when I speak to groups, particularly booster clubs.

I’m canceling my book signings at Mississippi State, University of Mississippi, University of North Carolina and University of Louisville. However, if you were planning to attend one of those signings, I’ve tried to come up with a compromise so you can still get a signed book. Now available on the Saturday Millionaires page (and via the link below) is a signed copy of the book you can buy via Square Market and have personalized – same price as the list price with shipping included!

Signed Copy of “Saturday Millionaires: How Winning Football Builds Winning Colleges” on Square Market

If you have a group that would like to host me as a speaker, please get in touch via the Contact page.

2 Responses to "What I’m Learning From My Book Tour"

  • Linda Rettstatt
    Sunday, October 13, 2013 - 1:36 pm Reply

    That’s too bad because I’m sure folks are missing out on an insightful and informative book. Signings are tough. I had one at a community festival a few weeks ago and learned similar lessons–people come to festivals for funnel cake, not books, and don’t want to carry books around with them at a festival.

    Maybe college campuses but not on game day would work better for you? In any case, best of luck with the book.

  • AD
    Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 7:05 pm Reply

    As someone who makes a meager attempt to produce original written content in the sports space and who has tried to pitch creations large and small since he was a kid, experiences like the ones you describe above are immediately familiar and constantly frustrating. “Just trust me, it’s good! You’ll want it!,” you say, yet to survive and share your creation, you end up focusing on removing everyone’s barriers to simply looking at your creation, losing focus on the content of that creation that was the whole point in the first place.

    Even though your focus is business, here’s hoping that the business of business doesn’t distract you too much from enjoying your business (which is business).

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