I know today is just a normal Monday for the rest of the world, but July 17 means just one thing to me — book day. My first book, “North Dakota Beer: A Heady History” is on sale in my online store and at bookstores near you .
I’m ridiculously excited. So excited, in fact, that I’m offering a bunch of sweet deals for the first week after publication.
From now until July 24, orders of 2 books or more will qualify for discounted shipping. And every book purchased from my website will be autographed and will include a free beer sticker. The sticker designs will be the same as the beer buttons you can check out — and purchase, if you like — in my online store.
Writing this book has been a whirlwind. There was a moment late last summer that really sums up this project perfectly.
It was near closing time inside the third library in as many days. It was roasting hot outside, but I wouldn’t have known it. I was sitting cross legged on the floor in a quiet, cool, air-conditioned back corner, a tattered notebook, a list of newspaper sources and a pile of quarters for the copy machine at my side and a book from the 1930s spread open on my lap. More books were stacked all around me, walling me in on three sides.
I checked the time on my phone. Five minutes left. I’d have to come back again tomorrow.
“I wish somebody could get this all together in one place,” I mused absently. “It’d save so much time.”
Then I froze.
That somebody was me. That was my job. Of course I knew this in my head — I constructed an extensive pitch to convince my publisher to take this title on and to hire me to write it — but the reality and enormity of this task hadn’t really sunk in on an emotional level until that moment.
I suddenly, instantly realized that this was bigger — both in word count and in importance — than any other project I’d ever attempted. And I haven’t stopped obsessing about getting it exactly right since then.
But now it’s done. The beer scene in the state was changing and growing literally up to the minute I sent in my final edit. Now this book is out of my hands and into yours.
Writing “North Dakota Beer: A Heady History” has been humbling. It pushed me to my time-management limits and forced me to be absolutely ruthless about organization and editing. (Note for anybody writing non-ficition — take the time you expect you’ll need for research and quadruple it. Then quadruple it again. Maybe double that total, just to be safe. That might get you close.)
But it was also a blast. I got to talk to people about beer — drinking it, brewing it, selling it and growing it — for months. (And write off beer sampling on my taxes, a pleasurable beer writer bonus.)
Since the beer industry was and is closely connected to developments in government policy, transportation, culture, immigration, business and trade, I’ve now basically become that annoying dad bursting with “fun facts” on every road trip. (And hey, if you need somebody to specialize in 19th century transportation and business trends or the trading networks of the Great Plains Indian tribes for your trivia team, I’m your girl!)
And, of course, I got to hang out in taprooms all over the state and talk about and drink beer. It’s a privilege to be able to talk shop with the folks that make local beer and a lot of fun to be able to drink it with beer fans across the state.
Come see Ted at Buffalo Commons Brewing Company in Mandan, where you can drink a North Dakota beer while reading about North Dakota beer.
If you want to check out the book before you buy it, you can find it at local taprooms and breweries across North Dakota. It’s also on shelves in bookstores and libraries all over the state. If you don’t see it at your favorite place, it’s probably coming. (Orders started shipping late last week.) Feel free to ask when it’s coming in!
I’m also going to be traveling all over North Dakota and parts of Minnesota and Montana as part of the North Dakota Beer Book Tour, sponsored in part by the North Dakota Humanities Council. You can see what I’m up to on my book tour and events page. New events are being added all the time, so check back often.
And if you’d like me to stop out and see you at your event, you can hit me up on that page, comment below or contact me here. If you order books, I can even deliver them to an event near you.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to have a North Dakota beer (or three) and enjoy this next phase. Tell me what you’re currently drinking and more about your thoughts about North Dakota beer below.
Mike and the crew at Laughing Sun Brewing Company have already checked out the book. You can too. There’s a community copy in the taproom in Bismarck.
What about you?
Which North Dakota breweries have you visited?
What’s your favorite beer style?
What kind of cool beer merchandise do you want to buy, both now and for the holidays?
Which beer events should I be at this summer and fall?
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