Saturday, June 5, 2010

The second time around there are still surprises

I thought I was experienced at the book tour after book number one. But I was surprised to find that everything was different the second time around. (Does this fit the book theme today? You’ll excuse me as a wing it and just pick out particular words like “surprise” and “book.” I'm doing a Sophie Littlefield (Anthony Award nominee ) today...

I decided to be less ambitious (and more sane) the second time and do less traveling. I still had three major trips planned (DC, New York and North Carolina), and each trip I tried to pack as many activities in as possible. As this appears, I am through with my trips to DC and New York, and embarking on a trip to North Carolina. So far everything has been fun, but exhausting. Perhaps I needed to put in more “relaxing” time or time to sleep on the tour. I'll make a note of it for book number three.

Here’s the bad news: your friends just aren’t as excited once you’re a “veteran.” They all came out for the first book, and cheered you on and bought your book. But not as many show up for the second. You may still feel like a newbie, but as far as they’re concerned your career is established.

Now here’s the good news: you actually have a few fans the second time around. Fans, you ask? Yes, fans. At BEA, I had several people tell me that they enjoyed the first book and were looking forward to the second one. Whoa. I never get tired of hearing that.

On book tour number one, no one knew me so I spent a lot of time saying what my book/series was about and who I was exactly. This time I have had complete strangers show up at my signings, people who came because they think, since you’ve now published two books and were nominated for an award, that you might be someone they want to check out. Wow.

So far so good. And now I leave on the “Unarmed and Dangerous” portion of my tour. The exciting part is that I’m traveling with three other writers–Donna Andrews, Elaine Viets and Rosemary Harris– who have way more readers and fans then I can dream of at this point. And they are three of the funniest women I know in the mystery community (present company excepted, of course). So I'm going to be laughing for four days straight.

Here's our schedule:

Today at 2:00 PM Mcintyre's, Fearrington Village, NC

4:00 Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

7:00 The Regulator, Durham, NC

Sunday - 2:00 The Halle Center, Apex, NC

Monday - 2:00 Jamestown Library, Jamestown, NC;

7:00 Page-Walker Hotel (Cary Library)

Tuesday - 4:00 The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

7:30 Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC

And there’s one guarantee from this leg of the tour – I will return home legitimately exhausted. But hopefully there will be lots of good surprises, and I will still be laughing.


Sophie Littlefield said...

Just what I needed to read today since my own "sophomore" effort is nearly out. AND because I think I and my tour partner Juliet Blackwell are going to NC this fall. Thanks for putting all the work into creating a schedule for us :) I hope you have a wonderful trip and come back with many stories to tell!

Kelli Stanley said...

I wish you guys could have a camera crew with you, Meredith, 'cause I know it'll be a blast!! :)

Have fun and relish the road and all that it can bring you in the way of inspiration (a pay off for the exhaustion!) :)


Meredith Cole said...

Thanks for stopping by Sophie and Kelli. Our first day has come to a close (I finally got an internet connection--and my first break!). Our three events today were fun, and all really different. And I got to eat BBQ and fried okra for dinner. Yum. Oh--and as promised, there was a lot of laughing...

Gabi said...

What a great group to be traveling'll have a ball and fans and would-be fans will be rallying to you. I wish I could be there.

PS - Your friends and family pre-ordered the book this time around which is why you haven't seen them. They're busy reading and you've got to love that.

Shane Gericke said...

Just tell friends and family, "You don't have to like it, you just have to buy it," and you'll feel better when they don't show up :-) Your tour sounds like fun. Hope it's great for you, Meredith!