April 2014

Getting ready to launch In Velvet

I went to Bozeman on Sun. March 23, to meet with Tom Murphy, the photographer who did the cover and the interior photos for In Velvet, and the president and the marketing director of The Yellowstone Park Foundation (YPF). Tom, who’s on the YPF board, set up the meeting. The possibility of working with YPF on launching the book was very exciting for me. I’ve been coming to Yellowstone for 25 years and it was the inspiration for writing this book, so the fact that they liked it well enough to meet with me was great.

I met Tom at his office in Livingston and we went to lunch at the Stockman Bar, Café and Casino in historic downtown Livingston. The huge angus burgers were outstanding. Tom and I walked through what we (my publisher and I) could do for the YPF and how they could be helpful to us. Tom is smart and very tough. In his low-key way he made it clear that I’d have to convince them (the YPF people) that we could be helpful in ways beyond donating a portion of the proceeds of the book’s profits. It was a very interesting conversation and really got me thinking creatively about what this partnership could be.

That evening, I had dinner with Bill Bryan, co-founder of Off the Beaten Path (OBP) and someone I’ve known for over twenty years. Bill and I lost touch for a while and it was good to get together. Years ago, I was on the board of OBP and worked with Bill when he was starting Off the Beaten Path’s fishing program. Seeing him brought back memories of when I first came to fish in Montana with my son Ben - our first of many trips when he was just seven (he’ll turn thirty-four this June).

On Tues. Tom and I had lunch with Karen Kress, president of the Yellowstone Park Foundation, and Melinda Gable, their senior director of communication and marketing. It was a very good meeting and we decided to collaborate. We discussed joint events, a special limited edition of the book with color photos, additional photos, an addendum (including my Blog Talk Radio interview with Tom, book covers from Tom’s photos that we never used, more about YPF, etc.), and a special binding. We considered using some copies of the limited edition as giveaways to large donors. We also talked about making an audio book with interviews of YPF and park people as a giveaway, and using their social media to support the book launch. They invited me to sign books at their Haynes photo center near Old Faithful – Tom and I will be selling and signing books in the park for 9 days in July, so this was easy to organize. They had an event in Santa Barbara the next week so we arranged for them to have dinner with Tyson, my publisher, in LA. It was constructive, stimulating and a good start for a promising partnership.

I got back to New York to discover that they were bringing the superintendent of Yellowstone Park, Dan Went, to the dinner in LA, so I changed my plans, flew to LA, and had a lovely dinner with all of them last Tues. It was thrilling for me to talk with the superintendent of the park about my book.

I flew back to NYC where I’m working on the book launch at The Corner Bookstore on May 13th (see eCard below) and planning an initial event with YPF in late June or early July. When that event is set, we’ll turn to other things we can collaborate on. We’re considering putting together a grizzly bear preservation initiative that will receive the YPF proceeds from In Velvet. It’s the perfect theme for this book, and beyond funding, I hope we can educate people about grizzlies, and about the great work that the YPF does. Whatever we do together, I’m especially pleased to be able to give something back to Yellowstone Park - this extraordinary place that impacted me in so many important ways.

Thank you,
Burt