7 Days of Books: Simply Green Parties

Over the next seven days, I thought it would be fun to look at the past and take a look at each book that I’ve done over the years.   Each day, I’ll blog about one book, starting with the very first book and ending with a sneak peek at my latest one, while sharing some insight into each one.   You’ll also have a chance to win an autographed copy of each book by simply leaving a comment for each book.  Hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane as much as I do!

BOOK:  Simply Green Parties


Sooooo…… guess what publishing a book on Sept. 10, 2001 does for book sales: well, nothing.     When you cancel a book tour, cancel TV appearances and basically have a shell-shocked country that really isn’t in the mood to hear my tips on “recycling a painter’s tarp into a canopy in the middle of the woods,” you basically have a book that does not sell.

Conscious Style Home tanked.    I’m being charitable here.    I think the only folks who bought it were my parents, my agent (and that’s questionable) and myself.

As an author, one of the worst things that can happen is this: BookScan.    It basically is this computerized program that allows publishers, book sellers and agents to look at the actual number of books sold for authors.    The key thing here is to remember this: not the number of books printed, but actually sold in bookstores to actual customers.       Keep in mind I had great sales for my previous books—on activism and community service—and my insistence that I write a lifestyle book despite my book publisher’s advice that I don’t go this route, didn’t make matters any better.

So, I had to basically disappear from book publishing for several years to erase those awful numbers.

In between 2002-2006, I kept busy learning how to be a magazine editor by joining the launch team at Organic Style, then onto to Country Home where I wore a ton of different hats: columnist, stylist, producer, celebrity wrangler, decorating editor, planner and—this felt like it was all the time—travel agent.    I hosted a TV show for the Fine Living Network called “50 Ways to Save the Planet” and even began production on my first series “Simply Green with Danny Seo.”    Here’s a clip from the new defunct LIME TV network:

Yep, defunct.   My experiences with LIME TV will be another blog post on another day!  Anyway, by the time 2006 rolled around, I was ready to go back into publishing and with my experiences at Organic Style and Country Home, I knew I could create small, colorful, beautifully illustrated lifestyle books on living green with style.

By 2006, the whole country was jumping on the eco bandwagon.   It was an easy sell and I ended up selling two books at once: Simply Green Parties and Simply Green Giving.     And lo and behold, guess who was the publisher for these books: HarperCollins, the same home as ReganBooks.     

At the book launch party at Stella McCartney in NYC, I was kinda thrilled to see Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter attend to support the book who came along with his lovely wife Anna Scott Carter.    For a split-second, I thought “well, I think I can celebrate the fact that I sorta ‘made it’ now that Graydon Carter is here to support this book!” and then he asked me to get him a drink.   You see, I think he thought I was a waiter.   And in retrospect, I’m kinda dressed like a waiter in this picture.    Back to the D-list for me….

There are lots of ideas in Parties that are perfect for birthday parties, evening dinners, baby showers and other events we all celebrate throughout the year.   If I had to pick on project that got the most attention, it would be this one: turning a craft store birdhouse into a “fairy tale” bookhouse as a nursery gift.     Use the jacket as the roof and decoupage the exterior with pages from the inside.   Here’s how to make it from NBC’s The Today Show:

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  1. Mary Kate says:

    This looks awesome – and it’s making me hungry since I haven’t had breakfast yet :)

  2. Mary says:

    I would love to win your book “Parties”. If I do not win, it will go on my wish list for Christmas. I already own “Simply Green Giving”, and love it!

  3. I love it all – especially the birdhouse! And you don’t look like waiter. Unless you are on the Love Boat. LOL!

  4. [...] Seo shows you how to transform a plain craft store birdhouse into a whimsical decor piece, using a children's book. It's a project from his book, Simply Green Parties, and he's [...]

  5. grace says:

    That’s a real shame that Conscious Style Home didn’t work out as well as you anticipated considering it’s a great book! But my favorite thus far is “Simply Green Parties”…it popped out at the NYPL under “New Arrivals” and I had to borrow it! I loved and and bought it immediately…then tried to have a Simply Green party. Not executed as well as the pictures, but I had a great time being inspired by the book and trying to be creative! :)

  6. Kathryn says:

    Adorable birdhouse, but I would have a hard time cutting up books!

  7. Faith says:

    I love the birdhouse book. I am a bibliophile, but I can see finding a book that a young child has torn pages out of, or one with water damage, and repurposing it for such a clever project. Great idea!

  8. These are some of the coolest upcycling ideas I have seen. Thanks for the amazing inspiration! Making ‘trash’ into art it really challenged you to see beauty in new places.


  9. jazibe says:

    i would love to win this book!

  10. kathie says:

    Finally a use for my hoarding….

  11. Kathleen says:

    Oh wow, I just love that birdhouse! What a fabulous idea. I’m stealing–I mean, using it as inspiration–for my baby’s nursery. So cool!

  12. [...] Seo shows you how to transform a plain craft store birdhouse into a whimsical decor piece, using a children’s book. It’s a project from his book, Simply Green Parties, and [...]

  13. Autumn says:

    I would loooove this book! It looks like such a fun, creative book :) .

  14. Lexi says:

    I love the birdhouse idea! I’m a librarian, and we end up with so many damaged (torn, usually, or puppy-eaten!) picture books- what a great way to reuse the fun images!
    Thanks so much for the idea, and for the chance to win!

  15. Erin says:

    I would love to own this book!

  16. karaalison says:

    Crazy about the book birdhouse idea… I see so many children’s books at yard sales that are kind of trashed on the inside. Going to try this out! And maybe use some of the larger pages as wrapping paper for small gifts…

  17. Lindsay says:

    I love to be throwing more Simply Green Parties, and could use the help of your great ideas in this book!

  18. Keely Yowler says:

    Fabulous idea, Danny! LOVE that birdhouse.

  19. Love these!! I cam over from “modge podge rocks” to see this great birdhouse… and now I am in a contest!! Happy Green holidays!! Yeah!!!

  20. Love your ideas…..and that birdhouse I will have to make……Modge Podge Rocks sent me and I would love to be in your contest……Merry Christmas!

  21. Jenniffer Dorsett says:

    I came over here from ‘Mod Podge Rocks’ and will definately now follow your blog. The birdhouse is wonderful!

  22. Beth D. says:

    found you through Mod Podge Rocks website!
    love the birdhouse and the crayons. Crayola is selling a melter (http://www.amazon.com/Crayola-Crayon-Maker/dp/B0000634SD) but I LOVE doing it myself!!!