Friends, Generosity, Fun: The New Book Tour (1)

09May10

I sent my father a copy of my new novel, Dear Money, and he wrote me a letter that made me think hard about one significant fact: I have never been able to enjoy the publication of one of my books.  In his note, he urged, commanded rather, that this time around I do.  As it happened, the letter arrived when I was wallowing in a bit of that dread: exposure, fear, self-doubt.  And though it took a day for his message to sink in, it did.  I stopped to think about how this time around is different.  In the 4 years since I published my last novel, the publishing industry has transformed and is in the midst of a massive sea change.  One of the side effects is that writers like me (mid-list, literary) are essentially in charge of our own promotion. Daunting though it is, a beautiful consequence is that friends and sisters have reached out to support me and to help me to celebrate, and create a small tour of readings that should, above all else, be fun.  This makes it much easier to do as my father has instructed: “…to savor an accomplishment that floats above all else.”

 

Christina Ball, the host of my first celebration, was my roommate freshman year in college.  I will never forget the first time I met her.  She came into our dorm room with her brother, two sisters, elegant parents, and her aged grandmother (who, by the way, all these years later, is into her 100s and still going strong).  She assessed the room, took one look at a brass lamp that I had brought, and that had been my grandfather’s when he went off to college, and said to her mother that that lamp would have to go. Christina is hosting a launch reading and discussion at her beautiful Speak! Language Center in Charlottesville, VA on May 27: A Rich Hour.  And if no one comes, we’ll drink all the wine ourselves.  She was the subject of a piece I wrote for More Magazine a year or two ago: Unforgotten Italy.

While this new model for a tour is still in front of me, and it’s success in terms of FUN remains to be seen, here’s a reminder of the old book tour version: Book Tour

More friends and sisters, more stories, more readings, other cities — too much for one post — coming soon.  Events.

 

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3 Responses to “Friends, Generosity, Fun: The New Book Tour (1)”

  1. 1 Pat Newman

    If usual book tours are really like you describe in “Dear Money” i.e. you weren’t “lying” with the malleable facts, I can see why you would dread them. But I agree with your father — you should enjoy. The book is wonderful and you should be nothing less than very proud that 1) you actually could and did write it and 2) a publisher wanted it, and 3) people are buying it. Best of luck.

  2. 2 Grace Suh

    I’m telling you — you should come to Kansas City. You’re selling well here already, and Rainy Day (located a 5 minute walk from my house) LOVES you.

    • 3 marthamcphee

      Oh Grace, I’d love to come!! How could we work it out? Did you say you have a book group? Let me know if you have some brilliant ideas. And I’ll keep dreaming too. Thank you.


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