Author, Actor, Playwright, Excellent Parallel Parker

Rules of the Lake and Ashes to Water are now available for Kindle and Nook!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How I Survived a Book Tour Without Stabbing Myself in the Neck With a Fork

There are less tortuous ways to make a buck than organizing your own book tour. Like holding a stake in place while a blind person takes a whack at it with a sledge-hammer. That would be a cakewalk compared to traipsing the countryside in search of a readership. It's like searching for leprechauns. Not that I've ever done that. (Okay, once.)

I've had a few Come to Jesus moments when I've asked myself why. Why spend the money, invest the time, practice the speech, dust off the interpersonal skills, or check for visible panty line when the odds of me selling enough books to lift me from the Amazon Sales Ranking Basement of Shame is about the same as me aging backwards?

I used to think it was about books. But after my two events in Pasadena and the Simi Valley, I now know its not about the books. It's not about sales, ego or getting out of Dodge.

It's about reconnections.

Take this past week, for instance. My sister-in-law, Dawn Kowalski (far left) introduced me to the Women's Artistic Network in the Simi Valley, who are some seriously creative alpha-females. Then Dawn invited her friends to my signing at Bookem Mystery Bookstore in South Pasadena. And they came! And bought books! And a best pal from high school, Ralph Tropf showed up an hour early to set up a wine/fruit/cheese bar that was as lovely as it was refreshing. When Dennis Cochrum and Thurm Monsion walked in, (college friends and actors living in LA) I almost infarcted right on the spot. We didn't talk long, but we will see each other again because I will make that happen. I will MAKE THAT HAPPEN.

That's the thing about this Book Tour. I can't think of another scenario (that doesn't involve crying or getting drunk) where I might re-connect with so many friends and family. I've been to a dozen cities, and at each location, people show up and blow my mind out of my ears. (It a good look for me.) Excuse me while I have a sappy moment. I'm being sincere over here.

And it's the physical connection that makes it worth it, not this virtual social media kum baya. Hey, I like Facebook as much as the next office slacker, but as they used to say on American Bandstand, you can't dance to it.

So, to all you friends and family members who have braved weather and boredom to come to one of my bookstore signings, THANK YOU. Many of you have put me up, driven me around, bribed your friends, and reached into your wallets to support this crazy adventure of mine. You know who you are. If you ever have a signing, I will be first in line. And I will buy your book. And I will read it. And I will not sell it on eBay.

I have one more bookstore event, and I'm done. Am I glad I did it? Hell to the yes!

But not because of books. Because of you guys.


  1. This is such a terrific post. I got teary-eyed, really, about your re-connecting with people. Isn't that just the best?! Looking forward to your presence in our group.

  2. looks like you will be 'at it' again in the not too distant future. i think we are connected on fb (will check to make sure)...anyway, if you post travel events there, i will share them in hopes of increasing your turn out...giggle even if you are ignoring texas....POOP...i can't find you on fb! ok, if you are there, you can find me as Sandy Vaughan. did find you on twitter so retweet there (spvaughan). 'hope your sales go up!

  3. "now really, if some people would just scroll down, they wouldn't look so stupid!" I agree with you! forgive me a senior moment. uhhh...fb is being rude! it won't let me fan (like) or send friend request.