I consider myself the luckiest kid on the coaster, having published “The Cotton Candy Road Trip”, having sold a number of copies (not a huge number – yet. But not just a dozen or so to friends and family, either), and having gotten the word out about vintage parks. But frankly, I know I’ve only scratched the surface of what can be done for the parks, the people who love them, and the ways I can market, promote, and build excitement for the book. 2012 gave me a good toe-hold into what can be done, but I also got sidetracked by theatre and life and, well, just being overwhelmed by the ebbs and flows of 2012, a year that rocked each and every person I know without exception.
So, without anymore ado, behold my goals for the book in 2013:
1. Get “Cotton Candy” connected with every single form of social media imaginable. A few weeks ago, I had a meeting with my social media guru. Yes, I have one of those, a woman who knows her way around Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, HootSuite, Pinterest and God only knows what else with a facility of a teen-ager who knows all the ins and outs around arcade games, going home with seventeen extra-large stuffed toy hound dogs. She is awesome, she is smart and creative. And, the biggest plus, she believes in my project and it excited by the prospect of creating a huge social network footprint for it. #soexcitedicouldplotz.
2. Contact more Chicago media outlets. I’ve been interviewed by local papers, a local radio station, and was featured as part of an article in the Chicago Tribune. That’s good. But that’s not as far as I can go with this. More popular radio shows and TV shows will be harder nuts to crack, but they aren’t insurmountable.
3. More swag! I’ll be posting more swag for people to buy on Zazzle – and an item I’ve been toying with will be sold on Etsy. I’ve had the “ingredients” for the Etsy items for about a year; it’s time.
4. Re-visit at least three parks. Travel is not cheap, but it’s imperative that I re-visit at least a few of the parks to keep excitement about the book building – plus, I just miss them. I’m looking at my calendar for 2013, going, “But when do I visit the Eastern Pennsylvania parks again? When do I get to go to the Enchanted Forest in Oregon again?” I miss them, I miss the people and the energy and the rides and the fried dough. So I plan to visit at least a few parks – and the ones at the top of my list are the ones affected by Hurricane Sandy: Keansburg and Coney Island and Rye Playland.
5. Explore avenues that will “get” and celebrate the spiritual side of my book. Those folks who’ve really, really enjoyed my book have all mentioned that they were moved and inspired by the sense of the quest, the embracing of the spiritual side of my travels. I need to share the book with more folks who have similar sensibilities, who believe in “the spirit of place” the way I do.
2013 feels like a celebration just waiting to happen, much like that moment before you enter an amusement park. I aim to make this New Year the time that “The Cotton Candy Road Trip” becomes the catalyst for thousands of celebrations around the country, when people plan for park visits, schedule park road trips, and commit to making every visit to a vintage park a personal quest for that moment of joy frozen in time. Yeah, tall order, I know., but NOT insurmountable. Just a steep hill for the coaster cars to tackle, that’s all. And I happen to know something about that…