Memorable Events: How to send your attendees home with a book they’ll keep—and aspirations they’ll share

Each person at a recent regional gathering of caregiving groups in eastern Tennessee received a copy of the nationally published book, Now What? with a special modified salute honoring their event at the top of the front cover.

How many times have you returned home from an event or conference with a bag full of flyers, booklets, business cards and other memorabilia? Where does all of it end up? Research shows that most printed material is tossed, often before a participant boards the plane ride home. 

What don’t we toss? Books.

In fact, bestselling organizational guru Peter Walsh says books are among the last things anyone wants to let go when downsizing. Walsh explains that books are aspirational (“My books remind me of who I am.”) and they’re memory markers (“My books show all I’m learning in life.”) Books are such a deeply rooted part of our lives that even the extremely persuasive Walsh admits that he finds it tough to convince people to downsize their home libraries.

From our perspective, that’s a strong affirmation of the enduring power of books!

And that’s precisely why giving members of your community or attendees at your conference an especially memorable edition of a book is a powerful way to expand the reach of your own good work in the world.

That’s why our publishing house, since our founding, has offered specially modified “short runs” of books that can be personalized for groups with a purpose. We just demonstrated that value in the spring of 2022 in Tennessee in helping to energize a network of regional caregivers.

Here’s the story of how we created that book.

Books become a part of our lives

This is the cover modified for the group in Tennessee. Click on this cover to learn more about the book’s original, unmodified edition that is nationally sold through Amazon and other bookstores. Click here to examine this specially modified cover in higher-res detail.
Here’s the first page of the special section that was added to the interior of this book for the Tennessee group. Ensminger’s participants thought it was valuable to list the various participating groups and agencies and explain some of their services. Click here to examine this opening page in high-res detail.

A popular Front Edge Publishing service is customizing a book for your specific small group, event, or organization. That can involve adding additional pages to the front or back of the book: perhaps a list of your resources (as the group chose to do in Tennessee), an event agenda and a “Welcome” letter. We also can adapt the book’s cover by adding your logo or the name and date of your event. For example, congregations have ordered special “group read” editions with the congregation’s name and the season of the “read,” books that become ongoing reminders of a person’s commitment to the community.

Customized books are a great fit whether you’ve already published with Front Edge Publishing or if you’re looking for an appropriate book for your special event. Our catalog covers a wide range of interests, including LGBTQ inclusion, grief management, communication strategies, cultural competence, leadership, coaching, and aging.

Now What? A Guide to the Gifts and Challenges of Aging is a guidebook for aging people, their families, and their caregivers. It’s a reference book and a thought-provoking read about aging in our society. That makes it ideal for small group discussion, too. That’s why the Rev. Charles Ensminger, a contributor to the book and pastor of Allen Memorial United Methodist Church in Athens, Tennessee, was inspired to host an event to inform participants about caregiving issues, especially care for the caregivers themselves. 

To support the event, Front Edge Publishing created a customized edition of Now What? by adding a special note to the cover of the book naming the group responsible for funding the event and eight new interior pages describing region-specific aging resources and organizations in McMinn County, Tennessee. With this customized edition, attendees received more than a helpful reference guide—they went home with a new addition to their bookshelf that included easy to access information about resources at their very doorstep.

To read more about the event, check out this column from Charles Ensminger.

Order a customized edition for your next event

For more information about customized editions, bulk order inquiries, and costs, please contact [email protected] 

About Dmitri Barvinok

Director of Production Dmitri Barvinok works on the digital development, print layout and distribution of new books. He coordinates Front Edge editors and designers and works with the BookEdge software suite.

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