Ann Arbor Author Dresses as Athena;
Stages Book Signings at 100 Area Restaurants;
Raises Close to $6000 for Charities by Christmas
Dr. Carol Dunitz has raised over $5000 for charity in the last four months through book signings for her book, ‘Louder Than Thunder.’ ‘Louder Than Thunder’ is a parable about a little girl who grows up to be CEO of a major corporation. It has received over two dozen positive reviews in national and regional publications, and been endorsed by many professionals and business people including former Mayor of Detroit Dennis Archer, Domino’s Pizza CEO David Brandon and Crain Communication Publisher Keith Crain. Even the University of Michigan School of Business has given its approval by placing a bulk order for the book. But Dunitz realized early on that all this recognition was not enough to get broad readership.
In order to create word of mouth, she decided to embark on a book signing campaign. After taking the traditional book store route, Dunitz began to approach area restaurants, cafes, and bars. “I presented managers with an original idea—holding book signings to raise money for charity. I go into restaurants, am available to sign books for about three hours, and donate 25% of the proceeds to charity.” Dunitz lets management choose the charity that benefits from the signing at its establishment.
The action in ‘Louder Than Thunder’ centers on a riddle, “What is louder than thunder, as highly charged as lightning, and more powerful than the fierce North Wind?” The book has nine illustrations by Dunitz’ daughter, Helen Gotlib, who received second place at the number one art fair in the country Labor Day Weekend. The illustration of the riddle features the hand of Thor, holding a hammer; the hand of Zeus with lightning coming from his fingertips; and the face of a Japanese Buddhist wind god.
Dunitz, who is well known for all the costumes she wears at her presentations, dresses as Athena at her book signings to pique interest and maintain the tone set by the illustration. “I wasn’t going to cross dress,” she explains, “so I decided to appear as a goddess. I chose Athena because she is the goddess of wisdom. ‘Louder Than Thunder’ is all about the wisdom that the little girl’s parents impart to her as a child, which she in turn passes on to her employees as a mature woman.”
“I have a very creative costume,” she confides. “I bid for my helmet on ebay. The sword came from ToysRUs. I purchased the shield at a costume shop. And my garb is a classic Halston gown that was my mother’s.”
Dunitz has signed as many as 30 books at a single signing. “I sell between 10 and 20 books at an average signing,” she says. “I send restaurants a poster and literature to display in advance of the signing. It helps when people who work at the restaurant are excited about the signing and talk it up in advance.”
Dunitz has focused most of her book signing efforts in southeastern Michigan. “December 24 th is my last signing for 2005. I will have completed over 100 book signings since late August. I won’t start up again until the second week in January,” she says. Dunitz plans to start signing books in Chicago or Cleveland by the middle of February.
‘LouderThan Thunder’ is a parable about a CEO who calls in her three vice presidents to tell them she is about to step down and that one of them will succeed her. She poses a riddle for them and tells them that whoever comes back with the best answer will be the next CEO.
‘Louder Than Thunder’ shares important communication lessons through a series of vignettes. These vignettes deal with the insights of a young person while coming of age and subsequently achieving lifelong aspirations. The reader is taken on a journey with the book’s protagonist as she learns to deal with the world around her by carefully listening and observing. In the process, the reader comes to understand how to communicate more effectively in every day interactions in and out of the workplace.
Carol Dunitz, Ph.D. is the author of “Louder Than Thunder.’ She is also a speaker, writer, producer and consultant who is the principal of The Last Word, a communication and creative services business in Ann Arbor, Michigan.