Here are some questions that I've been asked this week:
Q. Are you burned out?
A. No. I’m not burned out, but I feel a lot of self pressure to make this last ten days or so worthwhile. That stress can come out in various ways including negativity and fear.
Q. What do you think of the trip?
A. I told Larry and Susan yesterday that I give it a B+. I have high expectations and I didn’t get as much media exposure as I wanted to. I thought I could do more than I did, but doing all the driving and knowing that any calls I make during the day is racking up a large cell phone bill, hindered me from booking as much as I wanted to, and with advanced notice. That said, I went to a cubs party and a guy there had read a review of Sand before even meeting me. And he remembered. Some of the media we got came prior to the tour.
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But yes, what would’ve made this tour an A rating is more media. Now that I’m in the final stretch and trying to make it worthwhile for all of us, it’s harder. I’ve stayed up to midnight on low connection speed in a Motel 6 looking up radio stations to blitz the next day. That’s nearly ridiculous. Of course I’m going to do it, but I would’ve rated the trip better if I’d had it inline and just had to show up. I wasn’t prepared for the last leg. We knew this, and more exposure is still good, but “more is never enough.”
Q. Can you calculate a return on investment for this trip? Was it worth it?
A. That’s hard to measure in dollars. I know for a fact that some of these stores would not have ordered or pushed the book without needing to promote the event. When they did, they saw them sell quickly. Several stores needed to re-order by the time we had the event. Square Books in Oxford was a good example of this. Same with Third Place Books in Seattle, WA. I also feel good and confident about the person to person contact I made with the booksellers. It will be no problem for me to pre-promote the sequel. They’ll know my face, will remember our visit, and be excited about what’s to come. I’m sure that will help upcoming sales.
Absolutely this trip was worth doing. For Travelers’ Tales and for myself. But like I said before, given more time to prepare, I could’ve done a better job.