The Organizational Elements of a Book Tour

Jeff VanderMeer • October 24th, 2009 @ 10:47 pm • Writing Tips


(What’s this all about? Check out Booklifenow Monday afternoon.)

Time’s sped up and is roaring forward. Only about three days until we leave for the World Fantasy Convention, after which I embark on a five-week book tour you might’ve heard about once or twice on this here blawg thing.

A long and complex book tour has more people involved than just the author. In addition to all of the venue contacts and others on the ground at the locations, as well as the good folks at Underland and Tachyon, there are the people at VanderCentral who’ve been masochistic enough to be conscripted sign up for the experience.

Ann, my wife–Logistics, management, coordination, and consultation. She’s been helping me with everything from buying a mini computer to creating itineraries, contacting places I’ll be staying and building up a comprehensive road map bible for the travel parts. She’s the one watching my progress on tour from home and making sure not only that plans go smoothly but that those projects we’re involved in progress without my assistance. She’s the one I’ll be turning to for advice as issues come up and need to be dealt with. She’ll also be joining me for the National Book Awards and for the Thanksgiving break, spent with friends in New Hampshire.

Matt Staggs, my friend and publicist–Event set-up, media outreach, street team organization, and interview organizer. Before and during the tour, it’s Matt who has to handle a lot of intricate timing issues that involve the listings of events, providing books to local media, following up on other opportunities, and incorporating any intel I feed back to him from the ground and using it. In addition, he’s the one who will be monitoring coverage of both Booklife and Finch, and using that information in his work for the tour, but then also using the tour to generate more visibility for the books.

Luis Rodrigues, another dear friend and a web designer (among many other talents, including acting)–Development, graphic design, management, and monitoring. Luis created the wonderful Booklife site that gives me an easy focal point to guide people to while I’m on tour. It also allows me to go on tour while still having an easy way to sustain interest in the book. In addition, Luis created and runs Ecstatic Days and will be providing assistance to the guest bloggers who take over while I’m gone. Luis also created the press kits to Finch and Booklife, which are most essential while I’m on tour. Having to email attachments would be a pain. It’s so much easier to just email from my phone a link to cover and author photos and other info when I get queries.

Jeremy Tolbert, designer–Awesome graphic design and photography work for the Finch Insurgency campaign to be unveiled in the next couple of weeks, in addition to banner ads and photographs for the Booklifenow site that help provide a consistent tone from week to week. Some materials from the insurgency will be used by the tour venues, too.

Will Hindmarch, good friend, writer and designer–Several events posters, in bold black-and-white, that are being used by events venues and by fans in those cities to spread the word. Will also found a place in Atlanta for a fun gig.

S.J. Chambers, writer and editor–In addition to intel and research for tour events, she took on the gargantuan job of making sure the national events sites, like Bookforum and Booktour, had all of the information about the tour, including more detailed descriptions.

Arthur Burns, IT guy–computer related “stuff”. He recommended the tiny computer I’m taking with me on the road and then took it and got it loaded up with everything I need. No small thing, given time constraints and being a little fuzzy on the technical side.

…and this doesn’t even include the people all over the world who’ve turned in video clips for the other super sekrit project I hope comes together by around November 1st. So, thanks, all. I won’t forget it. It simply wouldn’t be possible without you.

6 Responses to “The Organizational Elements of a Book Tour”

  1. Hellbound Heart says:

    hope all goes well for you on your tour, jeff…..bugger heck damn and fooey for not being able to see you in action……

    peace and love….

  2. S.J. Chambers says:

    It is going to be an amazing tour, Jeff. Godspeed!

  3. Drax says:

    Wow. Cries of battle, “Move out!” Will check out Monday’s Booklife on Tuesday. Strength and Honor. No Mercy.

  4. Michael says:

    Have fun on the tour! :)

  5. Kelly Barnhill says:

    Onward, soldier. We will be with you in spirit as we sit here on our asses with our laptops on our legs and our beers in our hands. Cheers.

    Actually, as I’ll be in a similar predicament next year (though not for thirty five days – I’m not that much of lunatic – I’m at about 74% lunacy, currently) so I’ll be interested to see how you keep yourself sane on the road.

  6. Booklife Book Tour Supplement–Links! « Booklife says:

    [...] —My thoughts on the organizational aspects of book tours [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>