The World’s Longest Book Tour Goes Virtual
Once upon a time, not so long ago (it was 2013), I got a totally crazy idea. You see, I’d had a very long (it was 13 years), rejection-filled journey to publication. So once my first novel (it was the eighth one I’d written) finally sold, I did the next logical thing.
Rented out our house, traded in two cars for an SUV that could handle Denver in February, and pulled the kids out of 1st and 3rd grades so we could all hit the road, car-schooling, husband working from the front seat. He’s a surgeon.
Kidding! (He’s in computers.) Shelf Awareness would come to call the total of 15 months and 115,000 miles we spent hitting bookstores, libraries, and book clubs in the lower 48 the “world’s longest book tour.” We did this with each of my first three novels, then when I changed publishers (‘nother newsletter), I was sent out on a 9 week tour on my own.
Then Came 2020
And things have changed. There are people who are fighting on the frontlines—thank you, from the depths of my heart—and tragically, people who are sick and dying. My “problems” due to the pandemic aren’t even deserving of the word. I know I am blessed.
So, the world’s longest book tour has to go virtual. There’s a chance I may get to see a few of you at real, live events, but I have to prepare for the likelihood that I won’t.
And since many authors are having to make the same switch, and since readers are looking for new ways to connect with their favorite authors, I thought I’d share some things I am doing in the hopes that they’ll be helpful, give you ideas, and also enable you to find me either in cyberspace or your own hometown!
First Chapter Fun
The brainchild of mega award winning and bestselling authors, Hank Phillippi Ryan and Hannah Mary McKinnon, First Chapter Fun lets readers hear the first chapter of a new book read aloud every Tuesday and Thursday.
It’s like an author event crossed with today’s fastest growing way to consume books: audio. And the dramatic flair Hannah applied to The Second Mother made it sound even better than I had hoped to write it!
You can join the FCF Facebook group—and this Wednesday evening, 7:30 pm EDT, attend a Watch Party co-hosted by me and author Tony Hubbard. We’ll air the reading, then kick off a conversation about The Second Mother—and the reading, writing life.
Readers love to win books, and authors love to connect via newsletter. #meta
One study found that newsletters are the best way to grow a readership, better than any social media platform. Book Sweeps takes these two goals and unites them.
Writers in the Storm
I promised to introduce a writers or readers resource in each newsletter, and this is a new favorite. Winner of the Writers Digest Best Websites for Writers, this one is chock full of honest and excellently written articles. Here Tasha Seegmiller elaborates on that canard about being a writer: If you can NOT write…then quit.
For those lucky enough not to be directly affected by Covid, these times still require flexibility and adjustment. One of the parts I look forward to most when I have a new book coming out is seeing all of you. And whether that takes place on tour or online, please come find me…because this writing life wouldn’t be what it is without you.
Love from the Hills of Wedeskyull,