Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Book Touring

022 Right now, even as I type, I’m getting ready to pull out of Apex, NC, and return home from a book tour.

Molly Weston of Meritorious Mysteries is a fantastic tour guide and hostess extraordinaire who has planned the tour I’ve taken in central North Carolina with Krista Davis, Ellery Adams (Jenn Stanley), and Avery Aames.

The grand finale was a wonderful panel discussion and signing at the Paige-Walker historic hotel in Cary. Molly has been conducting a lecture series there on Monday nights for years and has built up a great following of mystery lovers. We were fortunate enough to have them all come out and see us last night.

We’ve been in central North Carolina since Friday. Here are some of my thoughts on book touring:

It’s really nice to go with people who you get along with well. Not only does it make the time pass a lot nicer, but the folks in audiences have a lot more fun, too. Each one of the ladies I toured with has a great sense of humor. It means a lot when you’ve been to five bookstores in one day.

Calling the bookstores ahead is the best way to go, even if you’re doing a stock signing. The bookstores had all ordered more copies of our books and we went to at least 12 stores, signing stock. Frequently, the stores put our books on a special table or end-cap near the front of the store after we signed them….and they had those great “autographed copy” stickers on them.

It really helps if you’ve got a local contact in the towns who can drive up attendance at different events. We were on the front page of one of the local papers and Molly mentioned our events to her mystery reading groups. In addition, Molly offered us great advice on venues.

Schedule a few breaks. As you can tell from the photo above—you can get really tired out from all the events! :) (Or have these mystery authors been murdered in the McIntyre’s book store?)


Lisa Bork said...

Wow, Elizabeth, that tour sounds like a winner! Good for all of you.

G.M. Malliet said...

Molly Weston is a real powerhouse who has done a lot for the genre, and for authors. (God bless her.) Sounds and looks like you had a blast!

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Looks like a fun, productive and exhausting time.

Alan Orloff said...

I think you should all use that picture as your author photos on the book jackets.

Darrell James said...

Excellent! Looks like you had a great time, Elizabeth! Thanks for the advice.

Lois Winston said...

Sounds like a fun experience.

Kathleen Ernst said...

I'm exhausted just reading about it. Way to go!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Lisa--It was such a great time! I really did enjoy it.

Gin--She's amazing. An incredible book booster for mystery writers. And she told such interesting stories!

Sue Ann--All of the above!

Alan--Wouldn't that be a sight!

Darrell--Thanks! :)

Lois--It was a great group of writers--and the readers, booksellers, and librarians were wonderful, too!

Kathleen--Tiring, but inspiring and fun!

Keith Raffel said...

As the Beach Boys once sang, "Wouldn't it be nice...."

To have someone else do the scheduling.

To have the bookstore expecting you when you show up -- every time.

To have a crowd to listen to you -- every time.

To sell a boatload of books -- every time.

To bring your moral support along with you -- every time.

"Wouldn't it be nice...."

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Keith--Wouldn't it?! Definitely. Although I did have a lot of help for this tour and a good number of the stores remembered we were coming. (There's always a few, though...)

Beth Groundwater said...

Great photo, Elizabeth, and it sounds like you had a great tour.