Swoonba: Or, how I found myself exercising in front of a lot of people at 8:30 AM

Ah, Sales Conference. It’s the time of the book publishing season that marketing presents in one breathless rush the books that we so desperately want our sales force to commit to memory and get into the hands of booksellers. Last week, Swoon Reads was on the Fall 2014 Sales Conference agenda. And the SR team wanted to make a big impression. So what did we do? What we do best: make everyone laugh and fall deeply in love with Swoon.

Jean Feiwel gets full credit for the genius idea to mash together Swoon and the ever-popular Zumba method of exercising and create Swoonba. In fact, she wanted to do it last year, but for some reason couldn’t get clearance. Either way, she mentioned at a recent team meeting that she wanted to resurrect the idea. Maybe it’s because I’m a recent Zumba convert or maybe it’s because I’m insane, but I not only volunteered to Swoonba in front of people, I also insisted on choreographing it. No, really, for work.

There were so many times after those words left my mouth that I wondered, “Why did I do that?” I wondered it when I was alone in my living room, videotaping a routine I came up. I wondered it when I was in my favorite Zumba class at the gym, trying desperately to memorize some easy moves. I wondered it when I spent an evening with a friend making custom Swoon Reads Flashdance-style t-shirts. I wondered it when I gathered several executives in a conference room so that we could practice. And I especially wondered it when it was 7:30 in the morning on a Tuesday and I had only sixty minutes left before I became that crazy Swoonba lady.

But, you guys, it was awesome. And hilarious. And memorable. Sure, I forgot how to count to 8 and thus completely messed up our extremely basic routine. But we had so much fun in our gym clothes, wearing official Swoon Reads sweatbands and wristbands. And my worst nightmare did not come true. No one sat and stared at us in disbelief. Our sales team got out of their seats, they clapped, they cheered, and—most importantly—they Swoonba-d right alongside us. Looking at the photos and video, we did a fabulous job. We look like we’re having fun and so does everyone else. They’re also not likely to forget Swoon Reads anytime soon.

What happened after is kind of a blur. We presented the history of Swoon Reads and outlined our plans for marketing the first book, Sandy Halls’ A Little Something Different. And then I ran away. But I found out later that our incredible CEO, John Sargent, also got into the Swoonba spirit and busted his own moves at a dinner later that night. I’m still waiting to run into him in the elevator to tell him that I was the ridiculous person who came up with those moves. It’s going to be great.

Just another thing to love about Swoon Reads: we’ll do anything and everything for this site, these books, this community.

Author spotlight

Kathryn L.

Associate Director of Trade Marketing, MacKids / Cat lady, hip-hop fan, horror movie aficionado

See More