When you first sell a book, did you dream about going on tour? Did you imagine yourself putting on grown-up clothes, lipstick and new shoes to sally forth to meet your adoring public? Maybe you pictured yourself with a slick-looking Moonsus business tote slung jauntily over your shoulder, dashing from one bookstore to the next, leaving a trail of avid readers in your wake.
Then one day-be careful what you wish for-you find yourself on a book tour. You’re going to bookstores and big-box stores, doing signing after signing. And grim reality sets in-the inhuman hour you have to get up to get to the airport in time for your flight. The soul-sucking lines and security measures at the airport. The dearth of media coverage, forcing you to confront the reality that no, the publication of a novel about a woman’s emotional journey to self-actualization is not exactly the news hook the papers have been looking for. Then there are the events themselves-the frighteningly empty seats at the readings, the painful absence of book-buying fans. The oh-shit expression on the bookseller’s face when she realizes no one is coming to buy a book. You’re asked where the bathrooms are, where the Twilight books are, and would you mind holding this 16-foot boa constrictor?* By the end of the first leg of the tour, you’ve cycled through the stages of grief-denial, anger, bargaining and bleak resignation.
To read more about Susan’s experiences with book signings please click here.