My first novel, Canopy Harvest, launches on 30th March, and for every copy I sell before then I will plant a tree.
You can read more of on why I’ve chosen to do this here, and pre-order your own copy here, but this short post explains the reasoning and the method.
Not a marketing gimmick
The act of planting a tree is vulnerable to becoming a marketing gimmick. I do not intend that here. I will plant a tree for each pre-order, not to make money, (in fact, I’ll loose money on every one). I’ll be planting each of you a tree because we all benefit from that act. It’s good for you, the planet’s human-bearing state, and selfishly, it gives me a solid excuse to spend time outside.
Reasons I’m planting a tree for every pre-order of Canopy Harvest:
- This planet is better with more trees
- To thank everyone for trying my debut novel
- I like trees & want an excuse to dig holes (free gym!)
How: By Hand
Each tree I plant will be either a fruit tree, a nut tree, or a service tree. It will have a productive function in a food forest setting. It’ll improve things.
I’m going to plant each tree by hand, log it in my database, and I’m going to send those of you (who pre-order) a picture of your tree.
Right now all trees will be planted in West Wales, though through Plant a Book I’m always looking for new (safe) homes for trees.
The realities of planting a tree for each pre-order:
As I started dreaming up ways to celebrate finishing this book, seeking to integrate my two passions – permaculture and literature, an idea struck. Could I plant a tree for each book sold?
I did the math and found it to be nearly impossible. I’m not giving up hope, and will continue working on this under the Plant a Book banner. But for this pre-order, I’ve decided to ignore the business of it. I’ll not make any money, in fact it’ll cost me. I accept this for the good it’ll do. Here’s the breakdown:
Retail price of Canopy Harvest on pre-order: £9.99
Royalties (my revenue after other costs): £1.09
Cost of a fruit, nut, or service tree: –£10 (average, though it ranges from £3 – £25)
Cost of land to sustainably house said tree: (-£xxx in UK)
Profit/Loss: -£9 + Land Cost
… and this ignores web, advertising costs, my time etc.
TLDR: I’m not making money here. I’m hoping to give the book a good send off. I’m going to plant some trees anyway, so I’d like to do this in others names. Life is better with trees to plant. Life is better with friends.
Planning for success:
This is a soft launch to mostly friends and family. I don’t suspect I’ll have to plant more than one hundred trees. Rest assured, though, if something does catch here, I am prepared to stand by my word. I will plant a tree for each pre-order, myself, in a long-term stable place. I promise. (If it’s thousands, it’ll take me a year or two, but I’ll do it.)
Pre-order now, let’s plant trees!:
So all that’s left is to ask that you join me in this mad launch proposition, please do pre-order the book!:
I’ve been interested in Permaculture for a few years now. I completed a course on forest gardening with the fantastic Martin Crawford. I’ve read a handful of books. Beyond this, I’ll probably do a PDC (Permaculture Design Course) in the autumn.
But it is not necessary to be somehow accredited to plant trees. All of us are capable of planting a tree, and thirty minutes reading would suffice to choose a suitable tree for most spots. Certainly there is value in studying trees, in fact for all of us – seeing as they make our air breathable and produce a lot of our food crops.
In this instance I’ll be growing my first food forest with the trees secured here, and my diploma will be the first apple, almond or shiitake mushroom! (I’ll be sharing this journey through Plant a Book, if you’re interested, please do follow along there.)
Cautionary note on tree-planting organisations:
Whenever an organisation “plants a tree for you” or hosts a “tree planting event”, here’s a word of warning: Check what they’re planting. Check they own the land. Check they have a plan beyond, “plant this pine tree, and harvest it in 40 years”. They should be planting mixed trees (mono-culture forests are actually deserts where only one person benefits – when they’re cut down). They should own the land, and have a long term plan in place.