Therese here. It’s the second Thursday of the month, which means it’s #IndieThursday—a day dedicated to independent bookstores here at Writer Unboxed.
Today’s returning guest is author Laura Harrington. Laura’s debut, Alice Bliss–the story of a girl’s adjustments to her father’s absence after his deployment to Iraq, and her development over that time from tomboy to teen–was recently released in paperback. It’s been widely acclaimed, chosen as a “People Pick” by People Magazine, a “Best Book of the Summer” by Entertainment Weekly, and as a book in Barnes & Noble’s “Discover Great New Writers” program, and so Laura is busy right now doing the sensible thing:
Which means plenty of visits to independent bookstores. But how can you help to ensure your indie bookstore visit is a splash and not a flop? Laura’s unboxed ideas are as fresh and entertaining as her novel. Read on.
Thinking Outside the Box for Book Tour Events with Indie Bookstores
How can you draw from different circles in your life, even when you’re on the road, and what are the possible ripple effects?
I’m very new at the book tour because I’m very new to the book world. When Alice Bliss launched in hardcover last year my publisher set up events that I could drive to. I quickly learned that even in my own area, if I did not work hard to get an audience, the numbers at my readings would be very small.
The prospect of an east and west coast tour for the paperback launch of Alice Bliss put me into a kind of anxiety free fall. On the one hand, my publisher is sending me on a book tour: Lucky me. But how were they deciding where to send me, and why? Was I actually going to fly around the country to places where I knew absolutely no one? Wouldn’t that make for a string of empty venues?
So I started to ask questions and I got out a map.
Nashville was not originally on my tour, but Tupelo MS was, which is four hours distant. I wrote to my publicist, promised that I could drum up some audience in Nashville and they booked it.
Aside from the fact that everyone wants to do a reading to Ann Patchett’s bookstore? [Read more…]