The Mingle Returns June 10th

My name is Nowanda

Text your drinking buddies and send your good socks to the dry cleaners: THE MINGLE is back.

Jason Diamond and I are bringing the “party for no reason” to the Bell House, which we’re hoping is big enough to handle the crowd. (Mingle veterans will remember we hit capacity at the Tribeca Grand after fifteen minutes.)

There will be drink specials, excellent music, and even better people.

The Mingle
The Bell House, 149 7th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
(Near the 4th Ave-9th St stop on F/G/R)
RSVP on Facebook

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See You at Indie Bookstore Day

We all know how great Record Store Day is, right? Well, Independent Bookstore Day is going to be just like that, but with fewer bearded guys talking about Built to Spill*.

I’ll be at Greenlight’s Photo Booth at 2:00pm. Come say hello! We can compare our book hauls. I have my eye on The Monkey Wrench Gang and NYRB Classics’ The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll.

Indie Bookstore Day at Greenlight


*Just kidding! There will be the exact same amount of bearded guys talking about Built to Spill.

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Thanks for the Successful Launch!

Last night’s party at Greenlight was a blast. It’s thrilling and a bit humbling to see so many friends come out to support Conversation Sparks.

Here’s a roundup of the night’s festivities. Cupcakes courtesy of my wife, the amazing Summer Smith!

The small talk is free! The wine is also free.

A photo posted by Ryan Chapman (@chapmanchapman) on

I never get bored with @chapmanchapman #otherkindsofsparks

A photo posted by Summer Smith (@tsummersmith) on

A photo posted by Summer Smith (@tsummersmith) on

#omg @chapmanchapman made a book! 🔵🍰🎉 #celebration

A photo posted by Ben Hyman (@benjambments) on

ugh, get it together, ups! remember how to have a conversation again with the amazing new book by @chapmanchapman #sparkyourself

A photo posted by Victoria Comella (@victoriacomella) on

Want a signed copy? Order through Greenlight! Simply make a note in the online checkout page. I’ll even personalize it–one of the benefits of working two blocks from the bookstore.

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It’s Publication Day!

conversation sparks gif

It’s publication day for Conversation Sparks! I started my tumblr because I missed drawing by hand. (I swear it wasn’t the narcissism of repeatedly drawing a cartoon self-portrait.) 37 micron pens, 350 pages, and two rounds of fact-checking later, it’s a real book! With 50% new facts! …Or 52%, I’m bad at counting.

A few gems you’ll find in its pages:

  • Cat urine glows under a blacklight.
  • Women have shorter tongues than men.
  • Every day, 16% of searches are ones Google has never seen before.
  • Jimmy Carter was the first U.S. president born in a hospital.

If you’d like to get a copy, please purchase one at your local indie bookstore. And if you’d like me to write my chickenscratch of a signature in your book, come on out to St. Paul’s Subtext Books tonight (April 7th) or Brooklyn’s Greenlight Bookstore on the 15th.

And finally, a huge thank you to Wynn, Albee, Neil, & April at Chronicle and Rachel at Tumblr!

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Two Things for Your #SXSW Monday, Maybe? Why Not?

sxsw-interactive-logoFriends! If you’re down in Austin for South by Southwest Interactive, I’m speaking on a panel with my colleagues Iris Blasi and Jeff Umbro. We’ll be discussing book publishing’s new revenue streams, the unheralded (and essential) parts of the industry, and what writers can do in 2015 for success in 2016, 2017…

Disrupting Innovation: Book Publishing and New Media
5-6pm, Hyatt Regency Austin Texas Ballroom 2-3
208 Barton Springs Rd

And! Thanks to the excellent folks at Chronicle Books, I’m signing copies of Conversation Sparks:

Book Signing, Before the Book Even Comes Out
3:20-3:40pm, Austin Convention Center
500 E Cesar Chavez St, Level 4, just outside of Ballroom G

Words cannot express my terror at this book signing. I’m bringing my sketchpad to distract myself from the sounds of crickets sure to accompany the empty line.

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Let’s Throw a Party

conversation sparks launch party banner

The best parts about finishing Conversation Sparks? Realizing I could plan the launch party. Mark your calendars! This will be a hybrid trivia contest, scavenger hunt, literary mingle, and straight-up party.

Conversation Sparks: Wine, Writers’ Secrets, & the World’s Best Small Talk
Wednesday, April 15th, 7:30pm at Greenlight Bookstore

I’m transforming the bookstore into a social puzzle with trivia, secrets, and prizes hidden among the stacks. (The wine will out in the open.) There will be surprises throughout the night, all ensuring you will leave 8% more interesting and armed with the best conversation starters in the entire world.

Map  |  Facebook Event


And if you’re thinking, “Ryan, I want to pre-order your book before it arrives on April 7th. What should I do?” Glad you asked. I recommend calling your local indie and pre-ordering it through them. (If you have Amazon gift cards, here’s their link.)

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My Favorite Podcasts Episodes of 2014

These are the podcasts I raved about with friends, the ones that made folding laundry palatable, and the ones that put a stupid smile on my face during long subway commutes.

 The Longform Podcast: Buzz Bissinger and Episode 100
Buzz Bissinger (Friday Night Lights, GQ‘s “My Gucci Addiction”) has lived more than most people, and he’s radically honest about it. Just a solid interview with a great subject.

If you haven’t listened to Longform before, their hundredth episode is a handy introduction. They transform a bunch of clips into an inspiring, fist-pumping guide to journalism.

The Flop House: God’s Not Dead and Grudge Match
Pretty much every episode of this one is a home run. The premise–three comedic writers watch a terrible movie and then talk about it–belies the trio’s alchemical ability to turn Nicolas Cage jokes into solid gold.

Planet Money: Jubliee! (?), The Buffalo Talk-Off, and The Fondue Conspiracy
Even the worst Planet Money episode is better than the best episodes of most other podcasts. The show can be a salve (tackling obscure quirks of the economy, like the secondhand sneaker market) and a salvo (looking at income inequality from new and compelling angles).

StartUp: How Listeners Become Owners
The genesis and rise of Alex Blumberg’s podcast network is being chronicled through its own first podcast, which is chock full of the missteps and mistakes that comes with hanging your own shingle. Episode 7 is particularly illuminating in its look at why the average American is prohibited in investing in startups she believes in.

State of the Arts: Thomas Kinkade’s Industry of Light
This one was a happy discovery. Two academics discuss contemporary art through an accessible lens encompassing criticism, journalism, and cultural studies. Their investigation into Thomas Kinkade looks at how he managed to install “galleries” in seemingly every suburban mall, the conservative agenda beneath his work, and his crazy personal life.

Monocle’s “The Stack”: Episode 105
Monocle’s weekly review of the print magazine industry can err on the twee side now and then, but for the most part it’s a fascinating rejoinder to the endless “print is dead” jeremiads. Episode 105 is particularly excellent, as frequent guest Ian Birch gives a holistic analysis on the trends and changes he sees coming for legacy and upstart publications.

Slate’s Audio Book Club: Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle: Book One
This one makes the list purely on the strength of listening to Parul Sehgal on Knausgaard. Can she host her own “What I Read” podcast? That would start the year right.

Slate’s Culture Gabfest: “Gild This” Edition
I still enjoy my weekly check-in with Dana Stevens, Julia Turner, and Stephen Metcalf. This episode stands out for their helpful introduction to Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century and their larger discussion of the book’s impact.

The Catapult: Episode 04
Rosie Schaap is great as always, but I loved Isaac Oliver’s “How to Start a Gay Fire in 30 Simple Steps.”


Oh, and I visited the Dear Book Nerd podcast in March, though I can’t bring myself to listen to it.

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