Wednesday, November 14, 2007

My (Abbreviated) Book Tour

Most authors dream of being sent on a book tour—those glamorous whirlwind trips through Spain and Germany and Japan, or at least to New York City and Boston and Philadelphia. On a book tour, one is feted and wined and dined and treated as a celebrity. Quite a thrill for writers who normally labor in relative obscurity.

Do book tours really help sell books? According to the conventional wisdom, the answer is no. Americans don’t turn out for booksignings they way they do in, say, Europe. True, local press will sometimes feature a visiting author, and that kind of impact is difficult to measure. But for the most part, book tours are said to be expensive and exhausting. Yet authors still continue to yearn for them, and to go on them when asked. John Connelly recently finished a three-month, around the world marathon. I saw him half-way through and he said he was starting to feel his age. I think he’s 39.

I’ve never been sent on a book tour. But this weekend, my publisher is flying me to Houston for a 4:30 booksigning on Saturday at Murder By the Book. One destination can’t exactly be called a “tour,” but it is a step in the right direction.

Now, if I could just make my next stop Paris…

5 comments:

Steve Malley said...

They ever swing you through the literary hotbed that is Christchurch, New Zealand, we do have a guest room!

Charles Gramlich said...

I'm trying to figure out how to extort money from my publisher by "threatening" to go on tour. I figure they'll want to keep me out of the limelight so maybe they'll pay me to stay home.

Farrah Rochon said...

Oooh, to actually get paid to go to a book signing instead of begging, pleading and promising chocolates to the book store owner and all employees! That's what I call super cool!

Here's to a great signing!

cs harris said...

They don't pay ME, Farrah, they just pay for the airline and hotel! And Steve, if I ever do get sent to your part of the world, I intend to do everything I can to make sure Christchurch is on the tour. Charles...I'm not going there.

Lana said...

Hope your signing went well!