With the bulk of the Kickstarter books shipped and the looming official release/publication date of FORKS (June 2, 2014) just around the corner, my focus is on a cross-country book tour. This would include book signings, readings and special events surrounding travel, food and motorcycles.
Planning and coordinating such a tour is a lot of work. Working with my press team, part of this will be coordinating media appearances and interviews along the way. I will also be speaking at a few events on the east coast this summer.
Here’s the idea and the need:
1) Wrap a Sprinter cargo van with dynamic graphics from the book
Flying to events all over the country will be costly. In many cases I would like to bring the motorcycle that I traveled around the world for all to see. I figure the best way to cart books, motorcycle and bundles of good energy and excitement is to find a used Sprinter Cargo Van (made by Mercedes but marketing by Dodge, Freightliner and Mercedes Benz). These are tall vehicles and are ideal to wrap with eye-stopping graphics. Plus, there is room inside for a motorcycle, books and even a sleeping bag, when needed.
Sprinter vans are not cheap either. But maybe you know someone looking to sell one for a good cause, or consider a short term rental/lease for the summer. Or maybe a sponsor who’d find a used van and I’d help promote as well.
Having the van to park near the book event locations will generate interest, and just traveling cross country with a moving billboard will raise awareness and interest.
Can You Help Me Source A Van
To be sure, I didn’t plan nor raise enough cash on Kickstarter to buy one of these vans, though I’ve considered this option but it requires much planning and 24/7 attention — I know, as I have done that and was fortunate to fund the printing for the actual book. So I thought that I might reach out to you to see if you knew the most economical way to get one of these vans to use for this summer’s national FORKS on Tour.
Do you have any connections at Dodge or Mercedes? Know someone looking to sell at a good price? Perhaps know a sponsor who would help me source one?
I will also need to find a company that can take my design and wrap the van with the graphics.
I thought I’d reach out to my Kickstarter supporters and the online community. I’m sure we can find a van that is clean and reliable.
Based on my research, I would like to find a van that is 2010 or newer, with less than 100,000 miles and is the shorter 144″ version of the Sprinter.
What Will It Look Like?
Here are some pictures so you can visualize what we’re thinking.
If you can help me find a Sprinter Van and wrap it, please let me know. You can write me through Kickstarter or with this form on the Forks Website
2) FORKS Tour & Event Coordination
Depending on timing and schedules, I would like to begin the FORKS On Tour in early June. I’m launching the retail general edition of FORKS at the BookExpo America (BEA ’14) in new York City at the end of May. I will hold events on the East Coast in early June and mid-Atlantic states in later June. I have at least one speaking arrangement in mid-July as well. From there I will continue to make the journey back to California for events on the West Coast in late summer and early Fall.
The best case scenario is to hold a signing and reading at an independent bookstore and/or a local café, bistro, gastro pub or wine bar. Even better, we have several recipes from FORKS that are easy and inexpensive to prepare and can be a fun addition to the event. I would speak, answer questions, and sign and sell books. We could involve local motorcycle dealerships as well.
While I cannot hit every city or town where people would like me to stop and visit, I will try to maximize the time. It will be important, of course, to coordinate media for exposure and to sell copies of FORKS.
Just looking at the big country wall map in my office, places I’d like to consider include Hartford, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Richmond, Asheville, Richmond, Atlanta, Nashville, Columbus, Detroit, Chicago and Madison — and so on.
If you live in or around these areas and have suggestions for locations or know somebody that would like to work on an event in June or July, please let me know my contacting me either through my Kickstarter page or via the form on the FORKS book website.
Artists use Sprinter vans quite a bit. There’s a guy here in Michigan who was selling his last month. They are NOT cheap, though, even used. Here’s the link: http://www.artfairinsiders.com/forum/topics/2008-dodge-sprinter-for-sale-22-000-miles
Peter is asking $32K for it. Low mileage, located in Ann Arbor. It is also the long wheelbase version.
Thanks Jim — yeah. it’s a bit pricey for me unless I could find a sponsor, and the long wheelbase just adds parking challenges etc., but I like the idea and thank you for thinking. I’m sure with so many people’s eyes and minds thinking we might find a solution! We’re on the right track and hoping to find one and do this thing! 🙂
There’s a Facebook page — ArtFairGarage — one woman had a 2003 for sale for about $8k, with 200K miles, but it’s been sold. I did post there to see if anyone else has one for sale. There are a lot of Sprinters out there.
I have heard of transmission issues with the Sprinters. Make sure it’s checked out before you buy one.