“Where will your business be in 5 years? In 10 years?”
I had a book proposal cross my desk with this age-old business proposal question a few years ago. What quickly jumped to my mind is a dream I've had for many years—to build an “Author Retreat” here in Oregon. The retreat would be a place where writers bring their manuscript and their ideas, and I would send them home with a branded book, a marketing plan, media training, and position-building, publicity-attracting videos. Since fantasizing about this in A BOOK IS BORN in 2005 I've had new realizations of ways I can make this come to fruition. I used to believe it would take a bestseller, or the sale of film rights, to make the "big bucks" to build the log cabin home-office of my dreams and to take vacations with my family, but I've found a wonderful way to accomplish both.
The 10-year plan for "Destination: Publish" has been quietly coming together—we are scouting out locations to reach writers in every corner of the world! I envision creativity-inducing settings which entrepreneurs and writers can set as a destination for a vacation—either alone or with their family—to have fun and to work one-on-one with me to publish and promote their books.
We've been incredibly successful finding accommodations through HomeAway® and the plan is to put together the perfect getaways—places where authors and I can work together, and where families can have a blast—along with the perfect publishing program.
First location is here, on the coast in Florence, Oregon. Lots of great artsy options, incredible ocean views, and plenty for the family to do—from riding a buggy in the sand dunes to four-wheeling ATVs in the forest. (Wyatt, MacKenzie, and their dad, will help plan the family activities and provide safe, fun guidance for all adventures.)
Second location is Kihei, Maui, my second favorite place on earth, where we visited in May 2012. Gorgeous ocean-side small town, just perfect for brainstorming, and tons of great trips for families.
Third location is near Providence, Rhode Island. We are looking at a planning-trip in summer 2015, when MacKenzie may be attending the same pre-college program at RISD that I did 30 years before). Narragansett has fantastic beach houses, and we are looking forward to lots of reunions with east coast authors.
Fourth location is the rain forests of Puerto Rico, where we visited earlier this month! Day trips to the beaches of Loiza and Luquillo won me over, and San Juan holds tons of history and fun. Here are some photos of the "Villa Sevilla Chalet" where I visualized hosting the most amazing personal publishing parties.
Imagine having coffee in the misty morning, overlooking the ocean in the distance, and looking over my shoulder as I design everything from your book cover to your killer branding items.
And, imagine your family having the time of their lives—here we are kayaking through the Bioluminescent Bay (think: whale scene in Life of Pi)—while you put in a few hours of work to elevate your career.
Sounds like fun, doesn't it?