Have Tarot Will Party: A Comprehensive Guide to Party Reading for the Tarot Professional by Jenna Matlin is a short book on how to effectively set up your party-reading Tarot business. The book is a very short read, and a follow-up to her book, Have Tarot Will Travel.
This self-published 2019 book outlines everything that a Tarot Reader wanting to break into the business of reading at events would need to know, including contracts, Health and Safety, setting up locations, ‘Training the Host,’ how and where to advertise and so on.
Matlin has 25 years of Tarot-reading experience, and you may know her by her website, Queen of Wands.
The book is very straightforward. She quickly addresses how and why she got started, the nitty-gritty of the business, and makes the very firm argument that we, as Tarot Readers deserve to get paid for our services. The often repeated lesson that people will try and get out of paying begins in the first chapter, and she provides tips for how to remain strong when in this situation.
There are only five chapters in the book, though they are highly informational. The first chapter acts as the introduction to the business, and the second chapter looks at Training the Host. This section includes everything from how to make sure you don’t get lost, to being on top of the host about their duties regarding booking you, holding them to a contract, pricing, and allowing personal breaks during this time.
The third section of the book deals with the in-between stuff, such as when to give free readings at a party, difficult hosts and guests (the ones who want to test the psychic, or get drunk and handsy), personal conduct at parties you’re working at, etc. Much of the information in this section, while important, is repeats from the first two chapters.
The fourth section focuses on what to have with you whenever you go to an event. While a lesser lesson, I found this quite intriguing. There are things I never would have thought of to bring and make sure you have on you at reading events. This includes what kind of deck you should have as your ‘party deck,’ extra copies of your contract with the host, wavers for guests to sign, things for your throat, timers, table runners, and so on.
The fifth chapter deals with self-care. There are a lot of people a party-reader will be exposed to, and thus, there are energetic things that reader needs to keep in mind while working. In this chapter she looks at preventative measures, taking a day off the day after a party, and how to replenish yourself.
While there are five chapters, there comes with the book a set of Appendixes, which include samples of her contracts, proposal letters, host letters, sales receipts/invoices, disclaimers, a list of what to pack, and a party spread.
What I liked
There is a lot of information in here, and there are a lot of aspects that I just wouldn’t have considered.
Matlin opens the book with a story in which she was scheduled for an event that was a long drive away, and with vague directions regarding the apartment complex upon arrival. She couldn’t get ahold of the host, and didn’t have any print-out of the instructions to double check, and so after 45 minutes she went home. The story continues, but what she doesn’t explicitly mention is the danger of that situation in which something awful could have happened to her.
Having personal stories like this drives home the importance of security while building a business. Often when we’re getting going in a business, especially like this one, we might be so eager to build up client experiences and reviews, that we will take any job at all, and I think it’s important to remember that safety is always first.
What I Didn’t Like
It is extremely nitty-gritty, and delves into the ‘ugly’ side of a Tarot business. This is a good thing as it can dissolve any illusions about what this type of living might be, but for me, if I didn’t know any better, I would have been completely put off party-reading altogether.
The job of the book isn’t to sell you on the idea of being a party reader by any means, but to tell you what to expect and to prepare the budding party-reader.
For my personal experience, I just finished reading and reviewing Tarot for Profit, which provides the positive with the negative, and kind of left me with a bit of a warm fuzzy feeling. In contrast, Have Tarot Will Party is strictly advisory, and almost comes across as cold, despite the personal stories.
I had to sit with this book for a few days before I decided what I thought about it. My initial response was that I didn’t like it. However, as mentioned earlier, as a book that follows the ‘listen to Grandpa’ styled Tarot for Profit, it will come across as cold.
Thus, I needed to reconcile whether the book itself wasn’t likeable, or if I just read a couple of books in the wrong order.
After spending some time digesting the book, I concluded that it was the later. The book is filled with very important information, and I do think it’s essential for any budding party-reader to read.