I’ve just launched a new project at kickstarter to fund winemakers who want to write a book about their region. Do you all know what kickstarter is?
Here’s how they describe themselves:
Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Every month, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.
It’s a fundraising platform that helps you hold a pledge drive for worthy projects in all sorts of fields. They have whimsical pipedreams like the guy who made a flying delorean hovercraft and very savvy manufacturing presales like the dudes who raised a million bucks for a watchband designed to hold an ipod nano. They also do lots of book deals. And if I don’t hit my goal of $5000 (which is admittedly pretty high) then no money changes hands. Your pledged donations only go through if the pledge drive is successful, so there’s a crowd buying element to the site.
Anyway, I want to publish a book about several small wine regions. The book would be written by winemakers. Who better to talk about their regions with the passion and romance that they deserve? Each section of the full length book will follow the model of my booklet on the Wines of Carcassonne.
If you can donate, great. But just telling other people about my project is already a big help. The more people tweet, facebook, blog, etc (even old-fashioned talking about it over dinner) the better the chances are that this project will get funded. (Plus I think kickstarter brings attention to projects that are already “going viral”). So please take the time to at least write a tweet. It’s just 140 characters. Include @kickstarter and the url of my project: http://bit.ly/vinobook in any tweets. And just big it up!!
How cool is that? In October, Evan Schnittman told me about Amazon’s self-publishing platform. And here I am just a couple months later with a book about the wines of carcassonne. Amazon is mailing me a proof right now. In January, I’ll approve the proof and Wines of Carcassonne: The Cabardes AOC will be for sale online. Awesome.
I want a free copy!
I bet you do.
When you click submit, the page will refresh and it will look like nothing happened. Check your email to find out if you won.
So why write a book?
The Cabardes is a really cool appellation.
- It’s right next to Carcassonne
- It’s tiny
- It’s dominated by independent producers
- It has a unique climate
- It has a unique blend
One starts to wonder how there aren’t already books written about the Cabardes. Well, those advantages that make the Cabardes good and interesting also make it hard to mass market.
Our small production size means we can’t justify spending a lot of money to promote the appellation. Even if we did market our appellation very well, we lack the large industrial producers to supply wine after that sort of promotional campaign. The unique climate and blend that make the wine so interesting also make it sort of bizarre. People don’t expect these varietals to appear together, especially not in the Languedoc. Furthermore, people don’t expect these varietals to EVER go together in a French AOC. In reality, all the things that make the Cabardes radically special make it hard to promote. It’s complicated.
Well I love complicated. And what’s more, being a winemaker gives me the perfect perspective to write a book about the appellation. This isn’t an objective reference book that has to cover all the wines of France or all the wines on earth. I am only talking about the wines I can see from my hilltop. So I can take all my time. I can slow down and give you strange little details that I think are fun even though they aren’t important by most standards. I can share a little gossip about who has projects on the table, what people did before they got this property, trends in certain estates. That’s fun stuff right? I just get to tell you why I’m charmed by this place.
So what next?
I’m going to be devoting a lot of energy to the promotion of this book. I haven’t even written a post about it until now, but your tweets and facebook updates have helped hundreds of people hear about the book. In the first 48 hours of the contest, we gave away 50 digital copies in ten different countries. Thank you for all your support.
And more importantly, the next step for winemakers everywhere is to follow my lead. Write the book for your appellation or your neighborhood. If you need any help, email me. Some of this stuff is pretty technical. Formatting the novel was actually pretty tough without any good software. So please please please ask me for help. I’d love to see more books like this one. One for every appellation!! 🙂