Slow Is Fast

Patagonia Books came to us with a dream book to work on: Slow Is Fast, a surf/bike/farm/eco/slow movement travelogue—an “homage to unplugging” (Los Angeles Times). The book, accompanied by a short film, recounts the experiences of Dan Malloy, Kellen Keene and Kanoa Zimmerman during their 50-day, 700-mile bicycle adventure down the California coast.

The authors had originally planned to self-publish 300 copies to use as gifts for people they met along the journey. But since they were putting in the effort, they decided to bump that number up to 3,000 and see where it went. Dan said he thought they’d be stacking them in the garage to use for firewood. But, Patagonia had other plans. They picked up the book and re-packaged it, releasing it under Patagonia Books in April 2014.

Though the book had already garnered great media during the first release and author tour, PR by the Book executed a full campaign, starting with a galley mailing that resulted in a rave review and photo gallery in Los Angeles Times and a review in SF Weekly. (At which point, Dan told us, “I can’t believe the life you are breathing into this little book!”) A renowned surfer, we also helped Dan catch the eye of surf media such as GrindTV.com, Liquid Salt, The Inertia and Surfer’s Village. Travel media said the book left them “California dreaming” and Wall St. Journal Europe featured the book in their annual “Off Duty Summer 25” issue. This book is a great example of the fact that media begets media—a month after we ended the campaign, Esquire.com caught wind of the book and featured an interview with Dan. Continuing the momentum, Dan is slated to speak at SXSW Eco 2014.

This “slow movement” book has been a steady seller for Patagonia Books. After going through the initial 3,000 copies, Patagonia printed 2,000, then went back to press for 2,000 more, four months sooner than anticipated. This book had all the right makings of a success story and we thoroughly enjoyed working on it.

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