I think I’ve written about this before, but as there are some questions popping up, I’ll repeat myself:

No booktours for moi.

Why? Let me count the reasons. First and foremost, I’m not a big enough name. It’s hugely expensive to send an author on a booktour, and publishers only do it for the heavy hitters. Those who regularly hit the best seller lists, for example, and the literary icons.

Now, most authors will tell you that booktours are hell and hey, they’d rather stay home. I’m one of those authors. When I have done booktours, I am in a high state of agita, I don’t sleep well, I get no writing done, and I’m homesick. And on top of all that, readings aren’t all that well attended. At least, mine aren’t. The smallest audience I’ve had is three people, and the largest (not counting the PEN/Hemingway award) was maybe seventy-five.

What I have just written is absolutely true, but it’s not the whole truth.

I don’t want to go on booktour, but it would be fun to be asked. I can’t pretend it wouldn’t be nice to have the publisher call and say, hey, can you spare two months? We’ve got twenty cities lined up and oh then, Europe…

Of course that would be really flattering. But I wouldn’t go. Not with a teenager and a house full of pets. Not reason enough? Well, for me it is. As a twenty year old I could travel nonstop, sleep on train station benches, wander for days. Now I don’t like traveling. I think I may be developing a touch of agoraphobia, but whenever I’m away from home I have trouble relaxing and enjoying myself.

I like my place in the world. I’d rather be right here.

7 Replies to “booktours”

  1. Hi, just finished Dawn on a Distant Shore. I was on the edge till the end. Well, done girl! Of course I hated the dog loss almost as bad as losing Rab.

  2. I too am a homebody; it takes an awful lot to get me out of the house once I’m home from work.

    That said, I WOULD attend a reading by you, were you so inclined to do a book tour. It is delightful to hear an author read their own words aloud. Dee-lightful.

    And there is something different about the website? Lots of little circles about?? Or am I going crazy???

  3. Stephanie: I finally got up the nerve to upgrade all my templates and the stylesheet to 3.2. At which point I decided on a background image, which may not stay, though I do like it.

    What I really need to do is figure out how to make the width of this page bigger, so the header shows up properly.

  4. I read through all the Donati books in a week and am now waiting for Queen of Swords – pre-ordered on Amazon. I would go to a book signing.

    On the other hand, after listening to Diana Gabaldon talk about her American book signings compared to European ones, as an author, I’d only want to do them in Europe! I can understand why no one would want to do one in this country, even if one didn’t have the reasons you listed.

  5. How about a virtual tour? Ayun Halliday just contacted me to do a virtual tour stop at my blog some time in June, and I’m just tickled by the idea (not just the chance to discuss food porn with the woman, but the idea of a virtual tour). Think about it. You could hit a bunch of blogs to get your name out there, maybe offer up a free ARC from a drawing of those who participate, etc, all without leaving your home.

    Touring in your jammies. The wave of the future.

  6. BC: that’s a good idea. But how does it work? I email a bunch of websites and offer (a) myself for an interview and (b) a copy of TTTT to go along with that?

    This feels like me, the geeky girl, asking a popular kid out on a date. Not just one popular kid, but a whole bunch of them.

  7. That’s exactly how it works. You make up a list of websites that you would like to hit, offer to send them a copy of the book so that they can be prepared, and then make with the blog hopping. The great thing about the internet is that a.) if we’re on it to the point of running a webpage, then its pretty much guaranteed that we’ve embraced our inner geek (my theory is that tucker Max and other celeb bloggers were able to remake their image via the web, thus making people think they are cool), b.)Everyone loves free stuff, and c.) if they can’t or won’t do it, they can tell you via email. It would be Geek love, not a cool kid and geek intermingling.

    Think about it, even if they say no there’s no face to face confrontations or brush offs, the people who say no don’t get a free copy of your book (only the yes men get those), and you can choose when and where you do it. In the end your name and book end up on a bunch of different websites just due to the fact that you emailed a group of people.

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