Question of the day: I was wondering if you have any input on where you go on book tours?
On the surface, I know that this question isn't big enough to merit a huge blog entry, but I wanted to pull it out and answer it anyway, because it demonstrates the changing nature of our industry.
So, to answer this question, yes, I do have input on where I go. In fact, I only go places where I have connections and/or can pull some folks in. Because there is just no point in flying all over the place and doing a reading/signing for five people. Super-big authors (in fame, not girth) are indeed sent to all corners of the country but even the folks who have had good but not huge success mostly stay home.
Because with the internet and blogs and twitter and Facebook, there simply isn't the same need anymore to schlep every which way, and there are much more efficient ways to target and reach your audience. I'm spending a week on the road and that only takes me to a few cities. What could I accomplish from the comfort of my home office in that time (and with that money spent?). SO MUCH. Which isn't to say that there's not something worthwhile about going to bookstores, meeting readers face to face and signing. Of course there is, it's just that there are some really good, viable, cost-effective alternatives now that help you reach an even bigger audience than in-person appearances can.
All of this aside, it's certainly a lot of fun to head to stores and read and sign and shake hands and catch up with old friends. (Well, it's fun if, in fact, people show up.) But that be-all-end-all question of the past: "are you going on a book tour," just doesn't merit the same weight anymore. A week on the road is plenty for me. For the rest of the time, I'll be parked here, chatting with all of you who don't live in those cities.
So what do you guys think? Do you turn out for authors you like when they come to your cities? Or would you be just as happy communicating with them online?