I’d planned to drop a link to this article into a “Randomness” entry for later posting, but actually I want to talk about it.
Click through and check it out, please: Stephen Elliott did an unusual sort of book tour to promote The Adderall Diaries: A Memoir of Moods, Masochism, and Murder: he did readings in people’s homes. They were all complete strangers to him, but they agreed to pick him up at the airport and host a party for 20 people, minimun, in which he’d read from and talk about his book. At the end of the party, he slept on their couch.
It sounds like it worked out very well for him, mostly–so well, in fact, that he got himself an article in the New York Times (which I imagine will sell more books than the tour did). Personally, I think it’s a great idea for a non-fiction writer. I don’t think it would work for me.
For one thing, I don’t really like to talk about my book, especially with people who haven’t read it. For another, I’m uncomfortable visiting my friends at their homes. Traveling from one stranger’s house to another, unable to leave, sleeping on their couch… ::shudders:: It would be misery.
His lending library idea is simpler and more doable for me, but less interesting, too.
The reason I bring this up is that my wife attended a slightly unusual book tour event last night: She went to a “Words & Wine” event for Sir Ken Robinson, author of The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything. For $25, she got a copy of the book (signed, ‘natch), a little wine and hors d’oeuvres, a front row seat while the author was interviewed, and a chance to talk to him later. Annoyingly, the interviewer seemed to think the book was about finding yourself or finding happiness, when the author and the audience kept turning it back to its actual subject: education reform.
Still, she had a great time. She also spoke with the woman who ran it, who told her they don’t do sf/f. They tried it once, but the crowd didn’t match the elegant/affluent tone. And that’s fine by me; my wife loves me and liked to promote my work to the people she meets, but she’s a socializer. I’m not. I find the idea of mingling in a hotel reception room with a bunch of strangers much less uncomfortable than doing in a home, but I’d still rather kick back at home with a book.
Me, I’m still doing email interviews. Just yesterday I had a request for another one. ::shrugs:: It’s not exactly revolutionary, but I’m not exactly brimming over with new ideas for meeting new people.