January 19, 2012

Sunset at Stinson Beach, California

Jeez, where to start? These newsletters used to be my main form of current events communication before I started blogging. I now blog daily, and, ahem, if you want to follow my daily adventures and discoveries, just type in lloydkahn in yr. browser, it should take you to I'm really happy with the daily communication.


On the other hand, it seems to take us 4 years to get a major building book done.
-2004: Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter
-2008: Builders of the Pacific Coast
-2012: Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter

I oversaw printing of Tiny Homes in Hong Kong in November and lo, these 3 months later, 15,000 copies have made their way by sea, then up the Mississippi to Baton Rouge, thenceforth a few hundred truck miles to the PGW/Perseus warehouse in Tennessee. In bookstores last week. Whew!

It's taken off with a bang. We fulfilled 50+ orders Friday. It was displayed in an MSNBC video on tiny homes last week. Sunday it was #183 in Amazon Best Seller Ranking, and #1 in the architecture category. Way higher than any of our books ever.

It reminds me of the buzz when we published Shelter in 1973. First printing was 50,000 copies (we didn't know any better), but they sold like mad -- due to our own network of builders and the much larger Whole Earth Catalog network. Word of mouth in action. No advertising, we sent out only a few review copies, did no "promo." It's gone on to sell 265,000 copies.

Tiny homes aren't for everyone, but in these times of economic contraction, they represent a change, a different way of looking at shelter. "Scaling Back in the 21st Century." The media interest is huge right now. We've certainly lucked out with the timing.

There are 10 page previews at:

Review Copy Dept.: If you are interested in a review copy, click here giving type of media it might be reviewed in (newspaper, magazine, blog, website, etc.), and indicate readership. For electronic media, indicate daily viewers and page loads. Plus yr. address. 1: We have a spiffy electronic copy (the entire book) available for reviewers. Email us for password. 2: Please give us email addresses of anyone you know who might write a review. 3: If you genuinely like the book, it would help greatly if you wrote a review for Amazon. Or put it on Facebook, Twitter, a blog or website. We're hoping to get word-of-mouth rolling here.

Shameless Commerce Dept.: You can get the book from us for a 25% discount through January 31st:

Also, you can get any 3 or more of our building books for a 40% discount:

Proud Papa Department: this book has a glow, an aura, if that's possible. The printers (Paramount Printing, Hong Kong) did such a beautiful job. It's slowly sinking in that it's not only done, not only printed, but in bookstores. I gotta say I'm proud, I love watching people thumb through it. They fall into it.

Mini-book Department:   

We printed these 2" x 2-1/2", 36-page mini books along with the big one. Are they cute! No kidding, 95% of the people I hand one to (which I do everywhere I go) laugh out loud. Not smile. Laugh. For a month or so we are including one with every book sold. (Photo at left, Godfrey Stephens; photo at right, Joel Glanzburg)


Rest-of-this-newsletter department: Ton of stuff. I'll try to get to some of it this week.

Living roof of our new chicken coop is coming along.

"I live the life I love and I love the life I live." - Muddy Waters