Today, Ryan Meili’s campaign announced a very unique fundraiser aimed at getting 50 people to donate $50 (or more!) for a copy of his book, “A Healthy Society” in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Medicare.
For a $50 donation, people are able to get a signed copy of a book written by the person who could eventually become the next Premier of Saskatchewan (a pretty good deal if you ask me, especially as we head into the holiday season – the biggest book buying period of the year by far!)
Beyond being a useful fundraising tool, there are huge advantages to Ryan being the sole published [edit for clarity: book] author in this leadership contest:
- It allows people to get to know about Ryan – his experiences, his values and his worldview – in a way that’s not possible with any other candidate.
- It’s allowed Ryan to have a two-pronged approach to building his profile – both by attending events as a traditional politician but also by visiting towns and cities across Saskatchewan and beyond as a published author doing book launches and related events – which gets him in front of people and media opportunities that may not be available to a regular politician.
- It also allows his ideas to travel far beyond where he can reach in person.
- In an age of web sites, YouTube clips, blogs, magazines, newspapers, ideas can also travel widely in other ways. But there is still nothing better than a book for giving legitimacy to a person and their ideas.
- Two of the main qualities to write a book are high level of intelligence and also perseverance. (If I had a nickel for every person I met when I worked for the Writers Guild of Alberta who said “I want to write a book” but never did, I’d…well, I’d be able to make another $50 donation to Ryan’s campaign in support of this fundraiser!)
- Some of the most notable politicians of recent history – from Winston Churchill to Jack Layton to Barack Obama – were published authors – either before, during or after their careers in politics. (cue the “MeiliChurchill” anonymous attack account on Twitter! )
- Beyond this one-off fundraising pitch, the sale of the book has been and will continue to provide an ongoing revenue stream for Ryan’s campaign. (The book was apparently a big hit when Ryan attended the Alberta NDP convention!)
- Ryan donates a percentage of profits to SWITCH, a great program