1. Hire a publicist. Not only should your publicist schedule your book events, she should also make your hotel and travel arrangements. This extra service is worth the expense, since it prevents missed opportunities. I only listened to half of this advice by hiring a publicist to arrange only the book signing events. Because my publicist did not plan my travel arrangements, I ended up being unable to reschedule one leg of my flight to take advantage of a last minute TV interview. If my publicist had managed the entire trip, this would not have happened.
2. Hire an author escort or roadie. An author escort meets you at the airport, takes you to your hotel, and drives you to the event. She may also highlight points of interest in each city and suggest places to go for meals. If you can’t afford an author escort, you can also hire a roadie who will carry your bags to and from the airport, drive you to your hotel and events, and take pictures for your website. The roadie won’t pack your suitcase, so you may still forget that beautiful angora sweater on the hotel duvet, which is exactly what I did.
3. Bring your own pen. Every bookstore manager asked, “Where’s your pen?” Not only was I unaware of the expectation that each author has a special book tour pen, I only carried those fine tipped ball point pens I use to jot down notes when inspiration strikes. If I had known better, I would have purchased a red fine tipped felt pen for autographing books – red to emphasize the title and the message of happiness.
4. Bring your own bottled water. Most bookstores supplied water, but the schools I visited did not. You do not want to lean over a water fountain with a highway of students pushing and shoving down the halls between periods in the hopes of quenching your thirst. It does not work. If I had brought my own water, I would have been less hoarse and tired after giving 5 presentations in one day.
Special thanks to Carol Lueck for hosting the event. She makes every occasion warm and wonderful just like her store–the best place to buy one-of-a-kind gifts, mostly locally made, and easy to ship from the onsite USPS service station.
It’s been a long and glorious trip, full of adventures I’ll cherish forever. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Not even the crying babies on the two-and-a-half hour flight from Washington DC to Chicago. It’s all been good.
I had a wonderful time in San Francisco reading from Red Eggs and Good Luck and discussing growing up biracial during the Great American Melting Pot and autographing books for readers. I especially enjoyed the lively discussion with readers who shared the same upbringing that I did. They have inspired me to continue to tell my stories.
Special thanks to my publicist, Eva Zimmerman, for arranging the event and the entire staff of Green Apple Books for making my visit memorable.
Only one more stop on my nationwide book tour…stay tuned.
I enjoyed spending the day with students in Tomah, Wisconsin, discussing the themes of my memoir, Red Eggs and Good Luck, and answering questions about writing, Chinese culture, and what it means to be true to yourself. I appreciated the attentive audience with their enthusiastic questions. Their pure joy of learning fueled me through five presentations, three at the middle school and two at the high school, for a full day of fun!
I kicked off my first reading at One More Page Books in Arlington, Virginia. Staff member and avid reader, Sally, gave an enthusiastic and well-researched introduction. The bookstore owner, Eileen, and her mother, Joyce, made me feel at home.
A special thanks to all of the readers who attended the event, purchased books, and made me feel welcomed, respected, and loved.
As a footnote, One More Page Books is where President Obama shops with his daughters for their latest reads. Although he wasn’t here tonight, I enjoyed seeing the pictures of his latest visit with the staff and shoppers.
This week I’ll be traveling from city to city to speak about Red Eggs and Good Luck. I’ll be posting blogs when I can and updating Twitter or Facebook when I can’t. I’m looking forward to meeting some fans and making new friends and exploring new cities. Special thanks to my publicist Eva, my longtime fan Sydney, and my fellow writer Amanda for helping make this trip possible.