Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Kilborn 200: Touring For Afraid

I'm touring the country again.

I will be dropping in a minimum of 200 bookstores, from April 14 until May 14, signing copies of Afraid in the following cities:

Indianapolis, IN
Cincinnati, OH
Louisville, KY
Nashville, TN
Atlanta, GA
Tampa, FL
Orlando, FL
Jacksonville, FL
Savannah, GA
Columbia, SC
Asheville, NC
Richmond, VA
Washington DC
Baltimore, MD
Pittsburgh, PA
Cleveland, OH
Detroit, MI
Milwaukee, WI
Chicago, IL

I'm humbly asking my fans, peers, and curious onlookers to give me shelter for the night.

If you have a spare bedroom, and you live in one of these towns, and you get your spouse's permission, I'd love to stay in your humble home as opposed to a cheap motel.

Email me if you'd like to put me up for the night. Keep in mind that the date has to be somewhat flexible, because the last time I did a tour like this I wound up getting delayed in various states, which threw off the whole schedule. I anticipate similar delays with this tour.

What's in it for you: A free signed book, scintillating conversation with a semi-famous author, and a signed piece of paper that says JA KONRATH/JACK KILBORN SLEPT HERE, suitable for framing, if you're into framing signed pieces of paper.

If you throw in dinner, I'll give you two signed books.

Now let us commence with the Q & A.

Q: So you're really asking people to stay at their houses on tour?

A: Yes. I've done this before, and it worked well. I only have limited touring dollars, and this is the best way to stretch a buck.

Q: I want to see you on tour and get some books signed. Do you have any scheduled tour times?

A: Nope. The only time and place I've specifically pinned down is April 23-26. I'll be in Orlando, at the Romantic Times Convention. Because this is a driving tour where I'm stopping in bookstores to sign stock, I have no clear idea when I'll visit a certain bookstores, or even if I'll be able to visit all the ones on my list. I'd hate to have a loyal fan camped out in a bookstore parking lot for three days just so I can sign their book.

Q: But I really want to meet you.

A: I want to meet you, too. But this tour doesn't have any scheduled stops. If you really want to meet me, you can always invite me over.

Q: What bookstores are on your list?

A: I'm still putting the list together. It will be many of the bookstores I've visited in the past.

Q: You're doing a lot of self-promotion on your blog, lately. When are you going to go back to posting advice and tips?

A: If you're a writer, the self-promotion I'm currently doing is actual advice and tips in action. I'll be posting regular tour updates, so both writers and fans can follow what I'm doing.

Q: You're linking to a lot of Afraid reviews, including bad ones. Why link to people who didn't like the book?

A: Everyone has an opinion, and all opinions are valid. I believe all reviews, even bad ones, have the potential to ensnare curious readers.

Q: I saw copies of Afraid at Walmart. Will you be signing stock at Walmart?

A: No. I'm only dropping in bookstores.

Q: I'm a bookseller and I want you to stop by my store. How do I get you to come?

A: Email me. If you're a bit out of the way from the cites I posted, you can entice me by saying things like, "I know you'll be in Cincinnati but my store is 50 miles away, but if you stop by I'll make sure I have 80 copies of your books for you to sign that I promise to handsell." That will lure me to your store. Also, I'll be giving booksellers free copies of Afraid. My publisher, Grand Central, is supplying me with a bunch to give-away, and they're also partially funding the tour.

Q: Don't you ever sleep?

A: I'll sleep when I'm dead.

Other news:

If you want to get in on the Books for Ads deal and get a free JA Konrath signed hardcover, click on the link. If you've posted a widget, I need your address to send you a book.

Graham Storrs has some smart things to say about blog ad trading:


The prolific and talented Jason Starr interviews me on his blog:


If you want to listen to me on Blog Talk Radio, doing my schtick about self-promotion on Morgan Mandel's show:


Finally, more Afraid reviews:











See you on the road...


Bill Barnett said...

Joe, work in a stop in Birmingham, and our guest bedroom is all yours!

Mary Duncan said...

Too bad you're not stretching out your tour as far as Maine. Picture it … sometime in July, warm breezes, lobster and blueberry pie …

Let me know if you change your mind.

s.w. vaughn said...

What, no upstate New York?

Fine. Be that way. :-P

Well, I'd offer if you were coming my way - but good luck on the tour, anyway!

Aim said...

I don't see Rockford, IL on that list! What's up with that. I offered drinks and everything!

JA Konrath said...

I'll be in Rockford. And Madison.

Maria Schneider said...

Hi Joe,
Remember me (from WD?)
I'd be happy to put you up when you're in Cincy. E-mail me at maria@editorunleashed.com
Maria Schneider

Noel said...


I admire your work ethic! Wish you were coming to Seattle.

Barry said...

Question from a curious writer (which you may have answered, but I don't think so): Not a single person is going to know when you'll be showing up at these stores. You'll simply go in and say hi to the staff and sign a few books. Why do you think this will be worth the enormous time and effort, and considerable expense?

JA Konrath said...

@ Barry - I'm guessing you didn't follow the last tour I did. :)

Short answer: meeting booksellers and signing stock is a more efficient and profitable way to sell books than having an official signing and meeting a group of fans.

Long answer: follow the link to my tour from 2006, read through it, and see what I was able to accomplish.

As for the time and expense, I've made a nice chunk of change in royalties, and I can attribute a lot of it to that previous tour. My books are still in print, still stocked on store shelves, and still continue to sell. In this biz, that's a rarity.

Martin said...

Re: I'll be in Rockford. And Madison.

Ew! Oh...nevermind. :)

So, what? No Canadian stops? I thought you said you liked beer. ;)

Janet said...

May I suggest telling the people who really want to be there when you walk into the bookstore to follow you on Twitter? You can give updates on where you'll be that way. If you turn up at a bookstore with a half-dozen eager fans buying books it can only improve your standing with the bookseller, it would seem to me.

Deborah Talmadge said...

Wow. 200 book signing appearances. That's a lot. It sounds exhausting. Sorry I can't help with your lodgings. I live on the other side of the world, almost. Wish I could be to one of your signings, though.

Kathryn Lilley said...

Someone who is talented with graphics must create a virtual map and post pins on it to keep a visual track of this journey...you could call it, "Following the wild Konrath."

Nienke Hinton said...

Come to Toronto, Canada and you can use my spare room. I'll even feed you!

kmt1976 said...

Looking forward to the Pittsburgh part of your tour!

Barry said...

Thanks for answering, Joe. Wow, that's great. I'd never have thought such a thing would be worth the effort. I'd offer you my house for a central New York leg of your tour, but with no guest room, you'd be on the couch.

Phil Hardwick said...

If you're passing through Jackson, Mississippi you're welcome at my house. A guest room and a back porch.

Phil Hardwick

Jamie Ford said...

I'm waaay off the grid in Montana, but you're always welcome. Have a safe and successful tour--godspeed!

JA Konrath said...

I'm humbled by all of the offers from folks to stay with them.

I'm currently going through over a hundred emails, so it will take me a few days to respond to everyone...

Vickie said...

The book arrived today. Thankin' you!

kmt1976 said...

There is a great Mystery Book Store (Murder on the Beach) in Delray Beach if you want to drive that far.

kmt1976 said...

We are about half way between Pittsburgh and Cleveland - AND have an extra room and a husband who cooks!

Elle Amery said...

Rats - no California stops. We could use your thoroughly Kilborn humor over here. My sides still hurt from laughing at the RT convention. BTW - had a Dirty Martini at the airport bar in your honor on the way home. The drink, not the book, that is.