Discover more from The Writing Shed with Tommy Tomlinson
Finally: BOOK NEWS!
It’s a big day here at the Writing Shed!
Yep, that’s the cover of my upcoming book, DOGLAND, which is coming out in April 2024. That’s a ways off yet. But you can preorder the book RIGHT NOW! BUY BUY BUY! DO IT DO IT DO IT! (More on that in a few paragraphs.)
First, a quick note on the cover. It’s a stunning photo of a handler and her Afghan Hound unearthed by the brilliant art department at Avid Reader Press. But they’re NOT actually a part of the book—they just make for a beautiful cover that we believe will draw readers in. Once you start reading, you’ll see that the real stars of the book are a handler named Laura King and a Samoyed named Striker. They’re quite photogenic, too—here’s a picture of them:
Get ready to learn a lot more about these two. Plus many others I met as I waded into this fascinating world.
Many of you here have bought copies of THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM—if you haven’t, they’re still available!—and I will always be grateful for the conversations and relationships that have come out of that book. I hope DOGLAND will create even more. This book has some serious points to make, but overall it’s lighter, more fun, a little irreverent, and populated with amazing characters—some with two legs, some with four.
Here’s the synopsis that Avid Reader put together for booksellers’ catalogs and for bookselling websites. This does a great job outlining what the book is about:
From Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of The Elephant in the Room comes the first inside account of the Westminster Dog Show—America’s oldest and most beloved dog show—following one dog on his quest to become a champion.
Tommy Tomlinson was watching a dog show on television a few years ago when he had a sudden thought: Are those dogs happy? How about pet dogs—are they happy, too? Those questions sparked a quest to venture inside the dog-show world, in search of a deeper understanding of the bond between dogs and humans that has endured for thousands of years. Dogland shares his surprising, entertaining, and unforgettable adventures.
Tomlinson spends three years on the road and goes behind the scenes at dozens of dog shows across the country, where he is licked, sniffed, or rubbed up against by dogs of nearly every size, shape, and breed. Like a real-life version of Best in Show, Dogland follows one champion show dog—a Samoyed named Striker—and his devoted entourage of breeders, handlers, and owners as he competes in the Westminster Dog Show, the oldest and most famous dog show in America. Tomlinson brings the dog-show circuit to life as he witnesses teams scrambling from town to town in search of championship points and colorful ribbons. Along the way, he also speaks to scientists who have discovered new insights into how dogs and people formed their bond—and how that bond has changed over the centuries.
Engaging, charming, and informative, Dogland is an irresistibly appealing read for pop culture followers and animal lovers alike.
After seeing that cover, and reading that description, surely you are thinking: How do I buy this book RIGHT NOW?
So glad you asked.
Preorders of DOGLAND are available today through booksellers everywhere. But I want to tell you about a special deal I’m offering with the help of my favorite bookstore, Park Road Books here in Charlotte.
Here’s the deal: If you preorder through Park Road Books anytime before the publication date, I will not just sign your copy but personalize it any way you like, as long as the inscription is 25 words or less. (That’s about all I can fit on the title page!)
This might be a good time to remind you that DOGLAND will come out in time for Mother’s Day AND Father’s Day next year.
Park Road Books has set up a preorder page to walk you through the process. I’ll be including this button in pretty much every newsletter for the next few months:
They ship anywhere. In fact, as we were setting all this up, I was told that they have delivered to every continent except Antarctica. So obviously, my new obsession in life is to make sure somebody in Antarctica buys a copy of DOGLAND or has one sent to them. If you know a dog lover who is stationed there, or is headed that way … well, reading about dogs can warm the coldest night.
For other preorders, DOGLAND is up and ready to buy through Indiebound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, and many other outlets. Even more will come aboard as we get closer to publication time. I don’t believe the audiobook is available for preorder yet, but I will let you know as soon as that happens.
I’ve talked about this on The Writing Shed several times, but once more for the folks in the back: Preorders are VITAL to a book’s success. The more copies that readers like you order in advance, the better a publisher can gauge the number of copies to print, how much to spend on promotion, the extent of the book tour, and so much more. Also really important: All preorders count toward the sales of the first week the book is published. That matters because the first week is when most books have the best shot at the New York Times bestseller list. So we have nine months of momentum to roll up a big number.
Plus, if you order now, by the time the book arrives you’ll have forgotten you spent the money. It’ll be like getting a free book!
One other thing: Save your receipt. Take a photo or screenshot or whatever. I’m working on some ideas to reward those of you who take the preorder plunge. My goal is to do something for everybody who preorders, something better than that for everybody who preorders and is subscribed to the newsletter, and something extra double special for those of you who preorder and are paid subscribers. Which I guess makes it a good time to deploy this button:
It has been quite a week here at The Writing Shed. The first thing, of course, is that Alix and I celebrated our 25th anniversary! Thanks to all of you who sent in kind notes and congratulations. We had a lovely anniversary day—went to get some portraits taken for the first time in years, had a fine romantic dinner, sang Van Morrison all the way home. That’s hard to beat.
It’s a thrill for me to share these moments with you. I’m so grateful to all of you for following along on this journey. There’s been so much going on this week that I’m going to forego my normal Friday links post, but it will be back next week, along with the normal random stuff that we talk about here, and of course, any new details on DOGLAND that I can share.
As always, thanks for your time and attention. And, well, might as well do this one more time: