Indie CEO Suzanne Paschall and volunteer book delivery guy Jared Brown

Indie Facebook fans to the rescue

You know, sometimes I just get a wild hair and have a fun adventure in Indie-land…


SCENE: Monday, 11:54 a.m. Blown Away author Greg Johnson emails to say “Shit! Just ran out of books. Big presentation tomorrow evening. Is it possible to send a few cases today on the bus please?” We definitely have to get books for him to take to his event in Kenosee; the bus is nearly the only option, but it’s expensive and will really eat into the slim profit margins we share with him.


PLOT SET UP: As I ponder, I happen to be staring at our Facebook page, and think, “Hmm…I wonder what would happen if we asked our cool Facebook fans if anyone was driving to Regina today or tomorrow and would be willing to lug a couple of boxes along in exchange for a signed book, a free Indie tee, Facebook props and Indie love?” Can’t hurt to try, I think. Right?


ACTION: By just after noon I post this plea on our Facebook page: Is anyone out there driving from Saskatoon to Regina any time before tomorrow afternoon? We need to get Blown Away books to the Tornado Hunter for a presentation tomorrow evening and he’s just run out of his supply in Regina!!! Volunteer will get a free copy of the book signed by Greg and a cool new Indie tee shirt of their choice! Call 280-6578 if you can help out!

I then text all our team and Greg, tell them what I’m doing, and ask them to share the post on all their pages. Then, we wait. I go home at the end of the day. I keep working in the home office. I have a Skype meeting. I make some dinner.

PLOT TWIST 1: Then, bingo. A hit. Indie Facebook friend Heather Morrison, S’toon’s Ms. Radio, Actor, Author et al (or should that be all?) messages to say “found someone — he’s going to phone you”. A voice on my cell a bit later confirms that indeed “Jared” is going to Regina for meetings in an hour or so and will let our books ride along. I arrange to take the books to him in 20 minutes. I text our social media guru Rob Maguire and my business partner Jeff Smith to say “found someone! On the way there now!” Rob says “Ah that’s hilarious! Congrats!” and Jeff says “Excellent!” The gang is pumped.

Indie CEO Suzanne Paschall and volunteer book delivery guy Jared Brown

PLOT TWIST 2: I park in front of “Jared’s” apartment building with the books. He walks out. I look at him and I frown. I get goose bumps. He looks at me and stops. Then we both start laughing. Because he is Jared Brown, friend of mine and now President of the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union.

And the last time I saw him was… wait for it… on March 23 — at Louis Pub, at the TEDx after party, the night Greg and I were pre-launching Blown Away, after Greg had done the keynote address.

After much hugging, laughing, acknowledging the great circle, the gifts of the universe, and the (of course) lovely small and intimate nature of Saskatoon, we get down to the business of switching books from my car to his. I hand over his promised tee shirt. He chooses the black one, because he “wrecks white ones” and when he unfold it… yet another:

PLOT TWIST 3: “Hey,” he says. “I know Khodi Dill!” (our new black tees sport a Fresh campaign quote from Khodi’s Elegy for the Library). “Awesome!” He rips off the shirt he’s wearing and pulls it on. It fits perfectly, which is good because it’s the only one I have brought.

“Well,” I say, “the last time I saw you was at TEDx. And that was the night Khodi was performing at the after-party; the night I first saw and heard him, and went up to him with my card and said, ‘Dude, I have no idea why or how, but you and I are going to work together, and that piece you just did is going to be part of a project we’re going to do together.’ And here is that shirt, which is part of the Fresh Campaign we just launched last Friday night… the beginning of a great partnership Indie has with Khodi…”

We just look at each other. And then a guy named Cameron walks by on the other side of the street. Jared yells, “Hey!” The guy pulls out earbuds. “Yah?” “Would you mind taking a picture of us?” I say. “We’re having a moment here.”

He comes across the street and says, “No problem. Do I get to hear the story?” He takes the picture, and between us, Jared and I tell the story, while he snaps a few shots. I still have goose bumps. Jared and I, who haven’t seen each other since March, when we swore we’d get together and catch up really soon, say that again… but this time we mean it.

Jared’s off to Regina, and at the other end, Greg will give him his signed copy of Blown Away, and the story will have its climax, denoument and ending.

We have the best Facebook friends. I love the publishing business. I love our authors and our books. And I love Saskatoon.

Til next time, moppets…

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