The Great APW Book Buy!

Yesterday we talked about the go-getter nature of dreams. And this morning, before we dive headfirst into weddings again, I wanted to talk a little bit about the dream I’ve had since I started this site—the dream that’s coming true next month: writing a book. But more than that, I wanted to talk about how (contrary to what we all wish was true) nothing about dreams is easy.

I wanted to write my book from month one of wedding planning. Because the truth is, with a few exceptions listed over here, the wedding book market is pretty bereft of sanity. When I was getting hitched, I really wanted a sane and funny how-to manual that walked me through the craziness of wedding planning, gave me logistical and emotional tips for managing through it, and made me laugh. I wanted a wedding planning book for normal people, so since what I wanted didn’t exist, I wrote one. And it’s coming out next month. Oh my god.

Almost three years ago, I wrote this about the need for better books on the wedding shelf:

This weekend, David and I went to a bookstore and somehow ended up sitting on the floor in the wedding section going through piles and piles of wedding books… Laughing at the wedding industry has it’s own punishment. Namely, it’s really really funny until suddenly it’s horrifying.

So there we were, sitting in the bookstore, reading wedding advice back and forth, and suddenly I started feeling really ill. Not, “Oh, this is making me nauseous, ha, ha, ha!” but more, “Oh dear God I’m going to lose it.” I think it was right after I had read a tip to David about how “It is critical to think of your wedding as an enormous theatrical event,” and while he was reading me a tip about how “Many brides waste literally thousands of their gift dollars by failing to register for the most lucrative items, forcing them to buy these items after the fact.”

Cue: nausea.

This bridal book hilarity (or lack there of) haunted me all weekend. Over and over what kept running through my head was “Garbage in, garbage out.” We went through almost every bridal book on the shelf, and almost every single one was explicit instructions on how to be a needy, self absorbed, demanding, obsessive bride.

So I wrote the book that I wished was on that shelf. And I believe in it. And now my job is to get it into the hands of people who need it. And, frankly, into your hands, because I owe the book to you. I mean, it was a good idea for a book, sure. But the way the publishing industry works, I had to be able to point to the whole APW community and say, “They believe in this. They will make this go,” before anyone else would believe in the book. Which brings me back to what I was pondering yesterday: dreams are important. Figuring out what we want and vowing to change our lives is important. But we can’t do any of it unless we’re ready to lift each other up. And that is something that the APW community is so profoundly good at that it blows my mind every single day. So I’m pretty convinced we can do this.

Last year, when I was still working full time and trying to make a million changes in my life at once, never ever getting down time, I wrote a post called Pulling On The Boots. I said:

I’d forgotten what it was like to knock on door after door after door and get told no, over and over again. I’d forgotten how depressing it was. I’d forgotten how determined it can make you. I’d forgotten that confusing, partially excited, mostly terrified feeling that you get in the pit of your stomach when someone finally says yes. I’d almost forgotten that art is my hustle.

But over these last few weeks, I’ve remembered. I’ve felt the instantaneous swoop of despair you feel at “no.” I’d felt the confusing terror of “yes.”

And while I couldn’t be clear about it at the time, what I was talking about was the process of trying to sell a book. Because let me finally come right out and say this: even with a proposal I was proud of and an awesome agent who I trusted, there was a period of time where I thought the book wasn’t going to sell. Why? Well. In short, it’s easier for people to say no to you than to say yes. You have to give them a really good reason to say yes, and there are times that can feel completely impossible.

When we were pitching the book, we heard a mixture of, “Oh, all the wedding books have already been written,” (which, had that been true, would have been a sad state of affairs) and, “Everyone just wants a traditional wedding, so this is the kind of book no one wants” (which sites like APW, East Side BrideOffbeat Bride, and The Broke Ass Bride disprove every damn day). So it was such an awesome gift to find my editor Katie at a major house, who had never bought a wedding book in her whole career, and who got the book right away.

But the funny thing is, now that the book is written, I’ve realized it’s time to convince people to say yes all over again. As we’re starting to market the book, we’re hearing the same message, “Our people are not wedding people.” (As my friend Robin said, most people are not wedding people till they suddenly are wedding people, and that’s when they need a sane wedding book.) Or, “People getting married just want traditional wedding books.” Which. Obviously no.

So. Today is the beginning of us turning a no into a yes. It’s the beginning of us proving that people do, in fact, want sane wedding books, and that we’re reclaiming this whole wedding nonsense. This is the plan:

The Great APW Book Buy

Inspired by David Malki (click that link, the story is hilarious) who writes the web comic Wondermark (we grew up together, funny enough), we’re launching the Great APW Book Buy for December 7th, which is the first day the APW book ships from my publisher’s warehouses. (Side note: book publication is a little weird. My book’s official publication date is January 1, 2012, but those of you who pre-order on Dec 7th will have it in your hands the next week.) The idea is this: it’s actually pretty manageable to push a book up the Amazon bestseller list for a day or so (though we’re going to have to work extra hard to make this happen in the Christmas season) because you only need to sell hundreds of books a day, not thousands, to make this happen.

So! If everyone buys the APW book on the same day (whether you’re buying it for yourself… since it’s dedicated partially to you, or for your mother to calm her down, or for your best friend who’s getting married, or for your wedding clients next year, or for any combination of these reasons), we can push the APW book up the charts, and get some attention for a book by a first time author. We can make the publishing industry take notice and prove that yes, we want more sane weddings and fewer crazy ones. By all working together, you guys can help make this dream happen.

So! The Great APW Book Buy will take place on Wednesday December 7th. We have a countdown clock on the top of the blog as of today (pretty), and you’ll hear more about the book in the next few weeks. Come December 7th, you can order the book through:

Barnes & Noble
Indie Bound (which helps you support brick and mortar bookstores near you.)


I have faith that we can make the APW book a bestseller… if only for a day. And by doing so, we can point out that this is a conversation that needs to be had, and we can help get the book into the hands of people who need it.

Which can only mean one thing, of course. That I’ll finally get to write a non-wedding book, too. One of these days.

Team, can we do this thing? You have my deepest gratitude in advance.

Doin’ it,


Picture of me & the galley copy of my book by One Love Photo. I love those guys.

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  • Wait, we pre-ordered it months ago from Amazon…so that won’t help the 12/7 thing? We cannot wait to read it!! :)

  • I was going to say the same thing as LovelyOlivia – I pre-ordered my copy months ago when you first talked about pre-ordering! That’s what I get for being efficient :P I’ll try to promote this to other people though!

    • meg

      Oh, I NEVER talked about pre-ordering, or ever asked anyone to buy it! I always knew this was coming down the pipe, so I told people all over the comments NOT to pre-order :)

      • Can you cancel a pre-order? And then order on 12/7?

        • kc

          I think for Amazon if you go to your account -> your orders, you can cancel anything before it’s shipped.

        • Jamie

          I just cancelled my pre-order without penalty. I’d rather get it through IndieBound on 12/7, anyway.

        • meg

          I’m not sure if massive canceling of pre-orders is a rad idea you guys! We don’t want Amazon to hate me. So, it’s not my official advice, but do what you will :)

      • Way, WAY back you did! In the post where you announced the book was done – you said “Whoa. Yeah. That’s the cover. NotonlyTHAT? The book is listed on Amazon, and you can pre-order it already. What? Yes.”

        And I’m such a keener, I prompty pre-ordered it immediately. Oops!

        • Now I’m trying to think of who else I can pre-order this for on December 7th instead…

        • Kate

          yup! I knew i wasn’t going crazy. I never would have even thought to pre-order unless it was mentioned on here first.

        • Yeah, me too! Oops…Do we still get it in December? My est arrival ate is between Jan 3rd and 9th. :(

          • meg

            Yes, yes, you should. BREATHE you guys!! Amazon isn’t sure when they are going to get the books, so they are giving you date that’s far out, just in case. They are shipping from my publishers warehouse on Dec 6, so estimates are they will start hitting around 12/15.

        • meg

          Yes, but I wasn’t telling you to pre-order it. I’m very very direct when I ask for things, I never hint around ;) and I knew very well this was coming. I was saying that it was possible to pre-order, which was crazy, since I’d just turned in the text. Though clearly I appreciate your enthusiasm.

          • Haha, okay! In the future I’ll wait for very explicit instructions :)

  • Sooz

    Does it have to be bought through in order to do the best-seller thing? Or will a purchase from work as well?

    I don’t mind ordering from the US if I need to do it that way, but postage is cheaper from the UK!


    • I’m wondering the same thing, except I’m in Canada, so I’d probably prefer to buy with Does it still count toward the amount sold on that day if it’s from .ca or

      • Cassandra

        Wondering this, too.

    • meg

      Ah! Well. That won’t help with the Amazon bestseller thing, but you should still order from your local Amazon. It’s totally silly not to, and still helps with the whole book sales thing :)

      • Josephine

        Do you have a UK affiliate link so you get some money back from us buying it that way?

  • Ohhh so excited want to jump up and down and up and down again. I saw the pretty pretty banner this morning before this post came and went on and read about the great APW book buy and all I have to say is count me in. I am actually going to order from amazon .com (US, not UK) to have the book as fast as possible (if you order from it will only be available on January 12). Good to know that we should order on the 7 of December, because I was planning on preordering it already.
    I can’t wait to read it ! And can’t wait for you to get other book deals :)

  • yes! I will be here for you :-) My wedding is in December, so it won’t help me. But a friend just got engaged, and she, more than anyone I know, is in need of a sane wedding book.

  • Sarah vL

    I’ve already gotten married, but I want to read it anyways.

    Aaand give it to my two best friends who are getting married in 2012. Consider 3 copies ready to be pre-ordered on December 7th!!

  • I’m not married, not planning a wedding, and not even engaged .. but I’m SUPER excited to read the book!

  • Ceebee

    But it is! It is already a non-wedding book! It is a celebration of womanhood in every badass sense, I’m sure

    • meg

      Sort of :) This one’s sort of a wedding book, with some celebration of womanhood thrown in.

  • Nicole


    That was the sound of me adding the purchase of 4 copies to my Christmas gift budget- 1 for me, 2 for my two engaged friends, and 1 extra copy. You know, for emergencies.

    • It’s always good to have some Team Practical for emergencies.

      And now I’m making my list…one for my friend who is engaged, one for my mother, one for of course me, and maybe several emergency copies since you can never have too much Team Practical.

    • meg

      Oh you GUYS. Sniffle.

  • Alicia

    So excited for this!

    Will this be the next book for the APW bookclub?

    • meg

      OBVIOUSLY. It might be why I started the APW book clubs in the first place. Couldn’t say. But aren’t we glad I did?

  • Kelly

    Dec 7, done!

  • Duly noted, and as good as done.

  • Oh I’m so on this! Trust me. :)

  • Oh, I already pre-ordered mine weeks ago! But my pre-husband wants to order a copy for his sister, who is also planning her wedding and is in need of some sane wedding advice (in my opinion).

    • meg

      Well there you go! Buy hers on Dec 7! Yayyyy!

  • Fermi

    Will totally buy on 12/7 just for you!!
    And your quote from the Pulling on the Boots post still sits in my cubicle-

    “Because nothing looks quite as good as bravery”

    So happy for you and your book!

  • Jen

    ok. first!!

    That’s a picture of you holding your real live book!!! Squeee!!!

    And now..the logistical question.
    I pre-ordered on Amazon a while back as well…but the option to “cancel order” exists. Would it be more beneficial to the books standings on Amazon to cancel my pre-order and just reorder on Dec. 7th?

    • I am fairly certain I remember reading Meg saying it would be better to cancel the pre-order and then re-order it. I am sure she will confirm that, but I am 90% sure I remember reading that because it stopped me from pre-ordering.

      • meg

        Hard to say. I worked hard to get the message out NOT to pre-order, when I realized people were, but never could stop that train. That said, I’m not sure a massive number of people canceling their pre-orders is a great thing. So. There you are. Just buy a copy for a friend on 12/7, or your mom :)

  • mimi

    Putting it on my calendar to order on 12/7! This pre-engaged girl can’t wait to read it!

  • Daly

    Sorry Meg! I preorderd it on Amazon a few weeks ago. I am very eager to read it! My wedding is in August and I know that it will help me stay sane during the next 9 months.

  • Wedding burnout? What wedding burnout? This married lady can’t wait to read your book.

    • KA

      F*ck yeaah.

      And to order about a dozen copies for all my engaged and soon-to-be engaged ladies.

      Here’s to Meg being Amazon’s next Tim Ferris! (For those that don’t get the reference he’s the first person to ever beat the Guinness Book of World Records with a December bestseller, or something technical like that.)

  • mimi

    Just looked at the Amazon page for the book and I love the suggestions based on what other people buying this book may buy – Caitlin Moran, Offbeat Bride, For Better, etc. Go APW buying power!

  • Laura

    Count me in! Reading through “The Knot” magazine last night gave me a huge NEED for something SANE to read!

  • DanEllie

    Meg – I can’t wait to read your book (and share it with the cousins and future sisters in law who are also planning weddings). However, in the interests of supporting other hard-working independent businesses, i’m going to beg and plead with this community to order this book through INDIE BOUND OR directly from your local bookseller. Please, direct your practical dollars through your community bookstores. If you do not support them, they will not be able to remain in business.

    While I recognize the value that major online retailers have, if you want a place to browse or get recommendations, or quickly run in before a trip, remember your local bookstore. Their tax dollars get returned to your communities to help fund your schools, your libraries, and other public services. Amazon fights paying local taxes, and much of their work force is not located in your community.

    I know that this is outside of the direction of the post, but it is very important to me. And again, I can’t wait to support Meg in buying her book.

    Written by the daughter and sister of independent booksellers – The Village Bookstore in Pleasantville, NY and The Boulder Bookstore, Boulder, CO.

    • meg

      Oh, please do that too! Indie Bound is listed right there, and I’m working on trying to line up a book tour of independent bookstores in January as well. I shop indie, almost all the time.

      • Oooh, I hope the LA book tour includes Book Soup :) I’ll be there!

        • meg

          The LA book tour may just be a massive party with books. We shall see.

          • Yes! In which case I suggest a “HURRAY FOR MEG!” dance off.

          • Excited about the book and the LA book tour. Awesomeness all around!

          • Ashley B

            That sounds like the greatest party ever!

          • Tessa

            Party with all the books!! I’ll be there!

      • bec

        There are some great indie book stores in Seattle. I’m just saying.

      • DanEllie

        Yay! Thanks Meg.
        If you’re doing a swing through either NY (Pleasantville is in Westchester County, the store is 3 minutes from the Harlem line train stain) or Boulder, CO, my family can work with you.

        They have seen the impact this site has had on my planning already!

    • Kaitlyn

      There is an indie bookseller in Pleasantville? How did I not know this?! I know where I’m stopping after Thanksgiving.

  • Lauren

    I’m totally in!

  • Another logistical question: I’d normally want to support bookstores with Indie Bound, but will that be totally irrelevant for the ratings? I’m guessing yes? If so, Amazon it is. Help us strategize!!

    • meg

      Eh. I mean, if we sold enough to make it an ACTUAL bestseller, it wouldn’t matter :) No, seriously. If you want to support your indie, do. I do, and my book tour (if it happens) will.

  • Amy

    I’m in for three! Can’t wait!

  • I’ll be buying my copy and several for the engaged couples in my life!

  • Oh man! I’m going to do my most bestest to pre-order on December 7, but I’m going to be in ARGENTINA! They have internet there (obviously) but I think that is a day that I’m scheduled to be on a 12 hour bus ride. Whomp whomp. Maybe I’ll make my fiance/sister/mother buy copies instead. :-)

    • Cassandra

      Yeah, I realised I’m going to be in Burkina Faso that day! I suspect the pre-ordering shan’t be happening until later!

  • Count me in- my calendar is marked for December 7!

  • Yay! I thought I was going to have to wait til January for it. Yay! Yay!

    I will totally pre-order that day.

  • Hannah

    This book cannot come soon enough. I picked up a couple of books from the library this week, and reading them nearly caused a meltdown. (Must keep remembering to breathe…..) Have added “buy APW” to my work calendar so I don’t forget 12/7!

  • Emma

    Sign me up. I will be buying the book on Dec. 7th! Just put it on my Google Calendar.
    So excited to read it! Thanks for unveiling it five months before my wedding – perfect timing.

  • Catherine

    haha unfortunately (but NOT REALLY!), I have had it pre-ordered for my Kindle for a couple months now!!! =D
    Can’t wait!!!

  • I haven’t stopped by in a long time, but I just had to pop over and say
    YAY. YIPPEE. HOORAY. And damn, I’m proud of you!
    (And yes, I think the caps were necessary!)

    I will totally be buying a copy on the 7th and encouraging other folks I know to do the same.

  • Ha ha ha! Okay, Meg. Since I love you. I just canceled my pre-order on Amazon that was placed back on 8/15. They asked for a reason so I said “Because Meg Keene told me to. She’s bossy.”

    God, I hope I remember to get it on the right day. Someone on Team Practical may want to send a Tweet or FB or something to remind the sleep-deprived among us.

    Best Seller, beeotch! *Trey Songz “yep”*

    • meg

      It’s going to be impossible to forget, if you hang around these parts, TRUST ME.

      • Can you please include a *Trey Songz “yuup”* with your updates. I believe it will help drive interest and further media coverage.

        And it would be super funny. You may get sued, so consult that hubby of yours first. Man, I have the best ideas. Wouldn’t the best headline ever be : “Bestselling Author Sued by Trey Songz for Making Fun of Him”?

        Yes, yes it would.

  • April

    Oh, HELL TO THE YES!!! I’m so freakin’ excited, I just let out a little (OK, little too loud really) whoop in my wedding and event planning catering office where I work with Brides every. single. day.

    I am going to buy as many copies as my expense account will permit on December 7 and then start handing them out like free candy.


    • meg


  • I’ll be there with bells on. :)

  • Rachel

    MEG! Pre-orders count towards first day/first week bestseller lists! I promise!

    And not only that, but sales folks can report customer pre-orders, and it makes a difference to the final order numbers. You should be encouraging people to pre-order NOW!


  • Mary Jane

    I’ve been reading EVERY DAY since the week after I got engaged, which was so long ago I can’t even remember the actual date, but anyway sometime back in January. And we’re now 5.25 months out and I’m having to start making some concrete decisions and getting really nervous. I’m SO GLAD/relieved the book is coming soon!

  • YES! I’ve been meaning to pre-order it for ages, as a gift for one of my best friends, who got engaged two weeks before my own wedding. I was sad the book did not exist in time for me, but knew from the moment I first heard of it that I wanted to do this whole thing where the first friend of mine who got engaged, I’d buy it for her and write a note in it saying she has to pay it forward to the the rest of our friends as they get engaged. A whole sisterhood of the traveling wedding book thing.

    Anyway, I also didn’t see any of your messages saying to not pre-order; luckily, I’m a huge procrastinator and hadn’t gotten around to it (seriously, I have Amazon open in another tab, with that and a used copy of How To Be a Woman in the cart, in my browser right now). So now I put Dec. 7th on my calendar.

    So if we order on the 7th, we’ll get the book a week later? The 14th? I’m trying to figure out whether I’ll need to have it delivered to my parents’ place instead, as I’m going there for the holidays.

    • Jessica

      My grad school friends and I have a sisterhood of traveling wedding books! I’ll have to add this one. :)

  • That photo is of you HOLDING A COPY OF YOUR BOOK. Caps for excited ridiculously enthusiastic emphasis. Can’t wait, December 7th, it is!

  • Jennie

    OH I AM SO DOING THIS. You are awesome and I can’t wait to help!

  • Lauren

    Does it help if I buy it for the kindle?

    • meg

      Of course it does. If you’re going to read it on Kindle, by it on Kindle.

  • ElisabethJoanne

    I once had an author on tour refuse to sell any of those assembled his new book. Instead, we were supposed to order it from Amazon. He said if we had it shipped to him, he would sign it and ship it to us for free. This was my introduction to publishers’ obsession with Amazon over the NYT or any other luddite tracker of book sales.

    Here’s a practical question: How much does the book weigh? I was carrying 3+ (non-wedding) books in my briefcase daily and had to get a Nook, a gym membership, and a personal trainer to deal with the back pain.

    Right now, Amazon has the publication date as 12/27. Great things happen officially on 12/27, in my experience!

    • meg

      Weird. I’m going to insist that everyone BUY A BOOK FROM THE INDIE BOOKSTORE WE’RE IN (mine or not) when on book tour. That author sucks, using bookstores for free and not supporting them.

      But to clarify: my publisher isn’t at all obsessed with Amazon, nor is this their idea. I just know how the internet works, and I know that as a non Rachel Ray, I don’t have an great chance of getting on the NYT bestseller list, particularly in the How-To section (though lets not kid ourselves, that’s my dream). But I do have a chance of pushing the book up Amazon for a day or two, so I figured we should try.

      The other *super interesting* issue for authors is that the NYT bestseller list formula is proprietary, and no one, publishers included, has any idea how it works (it’s not just raw numbers). So it’s an impossible list to hack. It happens to you, or it doesn’t. But Amazon is raw numbers, which means you can give it a go.

      Anyway, blah blah geeky publishing facts, blah. For those of you who are interested in how it works, which I know is some of you.

      And it’s 10.25 oz. I just weighed it. I never thought I’d be asked that… Actually. Clarification. The galley copy is 10.25 oz. Your mileage may vary.

      • ElisabethJoanne


        To be fair, the meeting where the author wouldn’t sell his book was not at a bookstore. It was at a professional association meeting in a law firm’s offices, but it was announced through the professional association as a presentation of his new book. I don’t know if the association paid the law firm anything to use its space. I think not, as the president of the local chapter of the association is a partner at the firm.

  • Spines

    woohoo! how exciting! I am currently counting up all the engaged couples I know to see how many books I can order (plus one for me too)…and trying to figure out the timezones so that when I order here in Australia it’ll be the 7th of December over there…I think we’re ahead of you, right?

    ha, this is why my comments are always late, because the good coversations are in the middle of my night!

  • Yay! I’m so excited for your book. I just got engaged so this perfect timing since now I can buy it without my fiance thinking I’m crazy and trying to drop hints :)

  • Elle T.

    I am completely conflicted!! I want to pre-order and help the effort, but I am only pre-engaged and don’t want to freak my bf, who is actually really good about all this and just wants to completely surprise me and do it his way. Wondering if ordering for a friend who has basically finished all her wedding planning (and who introduced me to APW) is acceptable? It might have to be! You can totally do it, Meg!

    • Do it anyway!! I am pre-engaged and getting it! I also am guessing that it will be beneficial for my boyfriend to read. He hated weddings because of WIC, but APW is turning him around. :)

    • Do it! I’m pre-engaged too, and I’m gonna order a copy for my kindle (cuz I’m sneaky like that – he never checks my kindle), and then a hardcopy “for a friend.” Whatever. He will deal with it. If he makes a fuss (he won’t), I’ll tell him it’s for me to read when he makes me watch wrestling on Monday nights. (Yes, that’s right. My dear boyfriend watches wrestling like a soap opera. Every. Monday. Night.)

    • KW

      Also pre-engaged and buying :-)

  • ItsyBitsy

    Birthday present for me AND support APW? Win-win.

  • Ophelia

    Will it be available in any other e-book format?

  • Jovi

    I’m excited! My wedding is six months past, but APW has been so helpful in planning (and life) and I’ll gladly buy a copy to support you, and just read your wise practical words… and to pass along as a gift for any future engaged friends!


    SOOOO. PROUD. Way to go, lady. This is amazing, amazing stuff. You inspire me GREATLY.

  • im so happy for you! this is amazing.

  • d

    I often get behind on my RSS reading (see: timing of my note vs timing of this post), so I hope to get plenty of reminders on Twitter, please! :)

  • Cat

    Woah, my worlds just collided. I’m friends with Malki!, because ::drum roll please:: I was a bridesmaid in his wedding! His wife and I were college roommates (I think… Did we live together or just might as well have lived together?), and the pair of them are amazeballs and hilarious. I hope the mighty Machine of Death pick-a-day tactic totally kills it for you (groan, sorry, it was just too easy)! I’m in the midst of planning with 2 other engaged friends… 3 copies minimum FTW!