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Dooce Signs With CAA Speakers; 10 Months Later, Her Husband Links To CAA On His Blog

Dooce Signs With CAA Speakers; 10 Months Later, Her Husband Links To CAA On His Blog

Remember back last May or June or something, when we were wondering what the fuck Dooce was up to with her HGTV deal and buying a house and all that crap? And we thought maybe Dooce was going to buy a new house and HGTV would be buying it for her or paying her to fix it up or whatever, for a reality show? And then Dooce showed up on my blog and offered to invite me over for sweet tea if she ever moved to LA?

Wasn’t that awesome?

What was I talking about again?

Oh yeah. Right. I still don’t know what is going on with any of that stuff.

But look, if I really wanted to be a real journalist and try to stick to stuff I knew about for sure, I’d have very little news to write about here, because very few of the people I write about will tell me anything until like 10 months after the fact. Like for example, now I know for sure that Dooce was in the market for a new house, just like we guessed she was way back in June. It turns out that it only took us a few weeks to find out that that particular wildly speculative instinct was correct, because the Armstrongs announced the fact that they had bought a house just a few weeks after that. (Go us! though.)

And hey, here’s another thing we speculated about in the comments that it turns out we were correct about — remember when Dooce cancelled her SxSw appearance to go to Los Angeles last March, but she wouldn’t say why, and we thought that perhaps it was for some kind of HGTV or otherwise entertainment-bidness related reason? Well, it turns out that it was!

If you read Jon Armstrong’s recent post, you will have noted that one of the things they did in Los Angeles was sign a deal with CAA. Now, for those of you who don’t already know, CAA stands for Creative Artists Agency, a large agency out here known for representing big time celebrities and other big shots in the entertainment industry. And because Jon Armstrong talks about CAA, links to the main page of CAA, mentions a “production company” they have started in a nearby paragraph, and talks about being relieved to finally have “professional dealmakers” at their disposal, this all points to a lot of important entertainment industry related goings on at the Blurbodoocery! So exciting.

I did a little digging, and it turns out that, while Dooce does seem to have signed signed a deal with CAA, it might be more specifically correct to say that she signed a deal to be represented by CAA Speakers, the division of CAA that handles professional speaking circuit deals. CAA Speakers represents a ton of people on the professional speaking circuit, many of whom you have heard of, and many of whom are getting extremely lucrative speaking deals on a regular basis from corporations across the country. Public speaking can be a good business to get into, particularly for people who have already made a name for themselves in other contexts, and hiring somebody to broker deals for this kind of thing seems like a good move.

Naturally, I was curious what it might cost to get Heather Armstrong to come to speak at one of my (many) upcoming events. So I contacted CAA Speakers and inquired about her going rate. According to Amie Yavor, a representative at CAA Speakers, the cost to have Heather Armstrong speak would be $12,000 plus first class airfare for one to and from Salt Lake City (FYI since I live in Los Angeles, this stipulation would run me an extra couple thousand).

Heather Armstrong spoke at Hallmark Headquarters in 2008, and there is some evidence that she might have had paid speaking gigs elsewhere (Sunstone Symposium in 2008?) since then; however, I have not been able to find a reference to public speaking engagements since she signed with CAA outside of the appearance that is scheduled for later this month at Alt Summit. My assumption is that she won’t be charging her quoted fee for that conference, because to do so would in effect bankrupt the conference, unless they have far more lucrative sponsorship deals than I had imagined. On the other hand, I don’t think that all private speaking deals are necessarily going to be accessible to the public, so how many gigs and how often Dooce is speaking is anybody’s guess.

In any case, private speaking gigs can provide a good living if you can get them. This clears up a lot of questions for me, actually, about the goings on at the Blurbodoocery. Kudos to them, I hope it works out.

Comments (7)

  1. Jan 11, 2011

    Speaking gigs are definitely the sweetest kind of gigs (I’ve heard rumors of the price that Chris Brogan commands for his, and holy $$ batman). This has been true for authors for a long time, and always represents a pretty lucrative (and steady) kind of work.

    I’m sure there will be sliding costs for some of what she does–there usually are–but this is definitely taking her into a completely different realm of business than most!

  2. Jan 11, 2011

    Well, that is much, much smarter than a reality TV show. Good for her.

  3. Jan 11, 2011

    Amazing! I was kind of wondering how you keep a good thing like Dooce’s blog going when you have, perhaps, maxed out the deals that can be made based on available web-space alone. I find the growing of this business to be a great example of the many ways that blogging can morph into any number of other profitable venues. Good stuff and very good for them.

  4. Lisa
    Jan 11, 2011

    Question: How do they negotiate rates for this kind of stuff? How much knowledge can Blurbodoocery have about the market for this kind of thing before signing a deal? Is there some kind of scale based on popularity, experience, following, etc. or is it just ‘public speakers run about $x per engagement’?

    Reason I’m curious, I’ve heard rumors that that Maci chick from Teen Mom (ick) is doing the public speaking circuit at universities, and that she is fairly well paid for it. Enough that at least a few schools don’t have the budget for her. I would hope that Heather has a higher pay rate than Maci the Teen Mom, but it kind of sounds like they might be in the same ball park. I don’t know, maybe they’re similarly paid because they both have similar name recognition in the own niche?

  5. Jan 11, 2011

    I wonder what she speaks about.

  6. Jan 11, 2011

    It seems interesting to me that corporations pay so much for a high-profile speaker without any promise of promotion. I think that it would make sense to pay a large amount for a professional speaker under two conditions:

    -Said speaker is the Albert Einstein of their field
    -Said speaker has a large audience that will garner the brand a ton of promotion before and following the talk.

    I could see Hallmark really benefitting from hiring Heather as a speaker on creative writing or inspiring ideas. However, it would have to be a really specific purpose to hire her with such a high price.

  7. drhoctor2
    Jan 11, 2011

    She really is so smart. I bet corporate loves her and a “motivational” speaking tour career has a longevity factor that blogging has not yet been able to prove out. She is comfortable in front of cameras. It’s interesting to watch this all play out. SUPERSTAH !! (nod to Molly Shannon)

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