Zen and the Art of Book Tour
We are 10 days past publication and on another countdown of sorts. The book tour launch sequence has begun and “there’s no stoppin’ us now!” Since our first official event, a party and book signing for about 150 Monday night, we have been prepping for departure. Being away from home for two weeks and in a different city (with widely varying mean temperatures) every day of those two weeks not only calls for state of the art packing skills it requires us to summon up BOOK TOUR mindset—the one we put away when the last tour is over and have only thought of since as an occasional anecdotal episode. “Remember when we were stranded in Sacramento airport and…” “Which airport were we in where the waitress invited us to her house?” “What was the name of the hotel where my bed collapsed?” (Most of these, “remember the time,” stories involve airports or hotels.) But now we have to find that "come what may" attitude again and strap it on tight. Book tour is, in many ways, like preparing for any kind of marathon event. Training, mind over matter and playing hurt are key to making the journey a success. We must stop thinking of things like sleep and regular meals as requirements, and see them as luxuries we are thrilled to have when they occur. We must remember not to be wary of strangers—most of the folks who cross our path are readers, and we have found readers to be warm, funny, interesting people we have enjoyed greatly. We must use our best scouting skills when navigating the path to our required destinations. As opposed to the good old days, when we had officially sanctioned and trained author escorts, most of us still lucky enough to have a publisher sponsored tour, have more responsibility for finding our way to the bookstore, library, radio station, etc. once we are in the city of the day. And although we are given detailed instructions and directions on how to reach a particular location, (including estimated times from one point to another by various means of transportation) there are always glitches. We must be Zen about weather and flights. We must learn to be at home at or near departure gates--listening to announcements while having conversations/emails/texts with our publicist, travel agent, editor and/or agent. Oh yeah, and our family and friends. Paraphrasing the oath we took as Girl Scouts many many years ago –We must do our best at all times to be friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong. And of course we must remember to be grateful for the opportunity to meet and spend a little time with those who make it possible for us to do what we do.

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