Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Day #11--Last Day of Book Tour

Today was an all drive-by day, no event signings scheduled.

I tell you, I question the wisdom of sleeping on my brother's couch vs. a bed in a 5 star hotel. Though I didn't get to enjoy the facilities at any of the hotels, they sure had nice beds.

My brother has a lumpy couch. Plus he's got one of those hairless Japanese dogs that heats up to about 120 degrees and likes to sleep on people's heads. Not the best night of sleep I've had on tour.

I woke up early, took the dog off my face, and began the drive-bys:

Borders in Tukwila, signed 3 hardcovers and 8 paperbacks.

Barnes & Noble in Tukwila, signed 4 hardcovers and 5 paperbacks.

Waldenbooks in Tukwila, signed 3 hardcoveras and 5 paperbacks.

Borders in Tacoma, signed 4 hardcovers and 15 papebacks, sold 1.

Waldenbooks in Tacoma, signed 2 hardcovers and 5 paperbacks, sold 2.

Whoddunit Books in Olympia, signed 1 paperback, but chatted witht he owner and she'll order many more.

B. Dalton in Olympia, signed 2 paperbacks.

Barnes & Noble in Olympia, signed 2 hardcovers and 10 paperbacks, sold 1.

Barnes & Noble in Lakewood, signed 4 hardcovers and 9 paperbacks.

FINAL TOUR TOTALS---I signed a total of 933 books at 105 bookstores, and passed out 775 signed coasters. I shook hands with over 300 booksellers and hundreds of customers and fans.

FINAL THOUGHTS---After hitting the 100th store, there was no ticker tape parade or round of applause. All I felt was tired, and somewhat overwhelmed. There are over 5000 bookstores in the US, and I'd only visited less than 2% of them. Does that make a difference? Will all of this hard work impact my numbers significantly?

Rather than be satisfied with a job well done, I can only think of the work left to do. I take the red-eye home tomorrow morning, but instead of going home I have an event in Wisconsin that night. Then, a day to play catch up (I'm judging a Writer's Digest contest) and then off to Michigan for a week for more drive-bys during my family vacation.

But I'm happy I hit my goal of 100, and I believe I've impressed my publisher, which is a good thing.

While the publisher sponsored part of the tour has ended, I'll continue touring for the rest of the year, doing events and drive-bys, getting my name out there.

But for the time being, I think I'll have a beer...


Robert Wayne said...

Congrats on finishing your publicity tour, and also on the release of your new novel. I found your blog through Lee Goldberg's blog, and am now anxiously awaiting my "Whiskey Sour" (score 1 sale for the blog).

It's obvious that you're committed to promoting your books. My only thought is that the drive-bys are a very time-consuming approach. Could you have tried to use the time between your scheduled book signings to schmooze the local papers into reviewing your book locally, or is that unrealistic? (I know nothing about the publishing industry, and even less about marketing, and I can't even spell jernalism--see.)

It seems that getting a review or other writeup in the local paper would have more impact than several drive-bys.

Also, don't forget to think long-term. Many public libraries offer Story Times for young children, and I'm sure they'd love to have a real live author read his work. Kids gotta learn about necrophiliac vampiric cannibals someday, and many parents simply aren't getting the job done. Educating a new generation through literature would be both a public service and a boon to your branding efforts in future decades. I promise you, when those kids grow up, they'll remember your name. As will the neighbors, whom you met while introducing yourself as part of the neighborhood notification effort required by the parole board.

Good luck, and get some sleep!

Anonymous said...

Kudos to a job well done, Joe. I'm sure it did some good, though it may be unmeasurable. And it sounds, compared to many I've heard, that your tour was relatively catastrophe-free, even counting the GPS thing and the LA booksigning.

I'll try to catch you somewhere in Michigan. Romeo's not far from my house. I'll keep you posted re. the Bankrate interview--she liked it, but said it was too long and cut it up, so I've got a bunch left. Once it's pub'ed and I can figure out what she cut, I'll try to post the rest on my blog.

In the meantime, you can start your new public service campaign: FIVE STAR HOTELS NEED HAIRLESS JAPANESE DOGS TO SLEEP ON YOUR HEADS!!

Mark Terry

Jim Winter said...

Yeah, drink beer. Lots of beer.

Bill Peschel said...

A vote for beer; it's good for you.

You deserve it, J.A.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I am impressed. There's no way I could do this. But Mary and I do promote as much as possible on the web. One thing amateur writers tend not to realize is the level of effort necessary (in both the writing and the promoting) to even get one's foot in the publishing door. Will your tour do any good? I don't know but you have talked to about 300 more store folks than me. It can't hurt and it must also be good for you to have so much contact with those buying and selling your books.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the tour,
we're so proud of you.
Now grab a comfy recliner,
and throw back some brew.

Susan said...

Congrats, Joe, on the conclusion of your tour. Get some rest, Buddy! Spend some time with your family. Enjoy that beer.

Good luck with the novel. I'll try to scare you up a few new readers. See you in DC next spring.


Susan Tunis

David J. Montgomery said...

What's happening in DC? I wanna go.

Bob Farley said...

You are a credit to your breed, Mr. K. I will do the best I can to emulate your work ethic, especially the drive-by spiel. I just hope I don't wind up sounding like that guy in the hardware store in Garden State. Thanks for the window into your world.

Anonymous said...

Man, Joe, can't you even take a little time off during your family vacation? (Shakes head maternally.)

Martha O'Connor said...

Congrat Joe, excellent work. I am so sorry I didn't get to see you in San Francisco, but life has been consumed with this insulin pump approval business.

I admire your tenacity! Oh, and just started Whiskey Sour... laughing my ASS off at some of those one-liners... loving it. Martha

Anonymous said...

Thanks for blogging your tour, Joe. It was an inspiring and frightening read.

See you at B'con!

Anonymous said...

Yoda! JA. Where are you? Miss your posts.

Anonymous said...

I think he's still recovering from his whirlwind tour. Or maybe he's in rehab...

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Unknown said...

Nice! you traveled a lot!