Rolling with Sticks is doing well. It is on course to recover the cost of setting up the business and the cost of production this year. I did not start the project to make money. It is my attempt to continue the tradition of passing forward the techniques I have learned. Greenland rolling techniques have survived this long due to the Inuit culture requiring them to passed from generation to generation to keep families fed and clothed. Today’s modern culture where seal hunting is banned or restricted, where television occupies children 153 hours a month on average, and energy drinks and snack food are the new diet, all these factors decrease the likelihood of historically important techniques staying alive without a concerted and deliberate effort. Some people are helping by making video, some people are helping by traveling to teach skills to those interested. I have chosen to produce guide books and price them low enough to make them accessible to all.
To-date no marketing activities have taken place beyond word of mouth. In October I plan to change that, directly promoting the book through forum, banner advertising on paddle related web sites, and possibly paying for advertisements on Facebook and Google. It is my opinion that selling more books will help spread the word and support the continued survival of the techniques.
Selling more books will also create a revenue stream. I reached out to my Facebook kayaking friends and asked for proposals on how and where to use that money to promote the survival of Greenland rolling technique. Their responses were informative. Many focused on the Qajaq USA organization, and so I have approached them to ask them if they would accept a proportion of every sale and use it to fund the continued mission “to preserve, study and promote the traditions and techniques of Greenland kayaking”. They will be discussing this proposal at Delmarva Paddler’s Retreat so feel free to lobby them if you think this is a good use of the book’s revenue. Unfortunately I can’t be there this year.