Book Tour Gratitude, 63 Cities Later


Thanks so much to everyone out there who was a part of the 63-city Unconventional Book Tour, which just wrapped up in beautiful Vancouver last weekend. We’re working on a bigger project to document the whole experience for everyone, but for now I just wanted to express my gratefulness.

While I’ve been touring, I’ve been learning a lot more about the publishing industry. People have asked me, over and over, “What’s the verdict on the tour? Was it worth it?”

Worth is a curious word. When some people talk about worth, they’re obviously referring to money. Technically speaking, it wasn’t “worth it” to go to every state and every province to meet readers. I paid more for the tour than I was paid to write the book.

But if we look at worth in terms of value and adventure, it’s a much easier conversation. Under that analysis, the verdict is that it was totally, 100% worth it. I would do it again tomorrow. Next time I want to do a 7-continent book tour.

Most authors don’t tour at all now, or if they do, there are all kinds of conditions—“I’ll go to your city if you agree to purchase 200 books in advance” is one common condition. Well, no one bought 200 books from me in Fargo or Little Rock or Newfoundland or any other number of small stops, but they were incredibly rewarding visits regardless.

Speaking of the publishing industry, I hear a lot of fairly negative conversation about its current state. Perhaps I’m still naïve about the process, but if I’m naïve after four months of touring 63 cities, I’m not sure what would cause me to be less enthusiastic. You mean I get paid to write another book? I’d do it for free. (Don’t tell my publishers.)

Print books are dead? I signed thousands of this one on the tour, and translations in a dozen languages will be going out all over the world this year.

Book readings are boring? At ours we had cupcakes, afterparties, liquor (thanks, Houston), short talks, and long conversations. Mostly, we had fun, amazing people who took the time to come out and make it a much better experience for all.

So yes, it’s been great and I’ll do it again. If you love something, you have to protect it. That’s what I intend to do wherever and however I can.

Thanks again for being part of the journey, either physically or virtually. Tour photos (from many stops) are here. For everyone outside North America, I hope to head your direction at some point as well.

Always choose adventure. It usually works out very well, and if it doesn’t, well, at least you had the chance to go to Fargo.

– Chris


Image: Holly

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  • Joshua says:

    And thank you Chris for giving us the opportunity to meet with so many other remarkable people. I had a great time, and I’m sure others did too.

  • Gillian says:

    Chris, it was a pleasure to meet you in Vancouver. You know, I wondered to myself why it was that I wanted to take a car, a ferry, a train, and a bus to come and meet someone I admire. I wondered what it was that was compelling me…what would I get out of it? Well, I learned that you are just as gracious in person as you are in print but, even more, I learned that I came to meet the other people who came to meet you! I had a wonderful time meeting and chatting with Angie, and Trevor and Sarah and realized that being around like minded people is very energizing! I can’t wait for WDS to see where that takes me. Cheers!

  • Amelia Lim says:

    come to Singapore!

  • Itai says:

    It was great to have you visit Montreal! I’ve almost finished reading the book and feel invigorated by it. Thank you for motivating me even more to expand my unconventional life 🙂

  • Mark Dykeman says:

    Very happy that you were able to make it to Fredericton, NB, which was within driving distance! We were a small but happy crowd!

  • Ann Jordan-Mills says:

    The pleasure was all ours Chris! We shared vicariously in your adventure 62 times as we read your updates – and we were part of it in person one (1) time … when you came to Calgary. Apart from, obviously, meeting you, like Gillian, I met some great people at the meet up and in the line to talk to you. What a great chance to network with like-minded people.
    I once lined up for ages to speak to Janis Ian (a favourite!) and she made me feel that I was the only one in the line as she spoke ‘just’ to me. You have that quality, too, I felt as if you concentrated only on me for those few minutes that I sat in that chair. For that, I thank you – again.
    p.s. And by the way, I’ve been to Fargo; it was OK.

  • Marnie says:

    Sounds awesome. I agree with your definition of “worth it”.

  • Tory says:

    I wish I could have been a part of all of it.
    Since everyone seems to appreciate the thanks you’ve shown, I thought it was appropriate to applaud you in the work it must have taken regardless of what you were told about print books being a dead fad. (Fads ALWAYS come back!) Congrats Chris.

  • Justin Hamlin says:

    Unfortunately I was not able to make it out to any of your stops, but I kept up with all of your updates and am very happy to hear what a great time you had. You are right, book tours are a thing of the past, too many authors don’t value that personal interaction anymore, it is all a business to them, money money money, without thinking about their readers.

    Can’t wait for the next one

  • Brigitte says:

    I am so very grateful for having the opportunity to meet you. And, meeting other readers who shared so many of the same ideals was an unanticipated bonus! I keep up with a number of the people I met during your Chicago stop. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!

  • Laura Lee Bloor says:

    Congratulations again on your book tour, Chris! It sure looks like you had one incredible and fun adventure, and yes, I would agree that it would be absolutely worth it … although I’m not sure I would have the energy to hit all 50 states and Canada! I’m sorry I wasn’t able to come see you when you were in LA.

    I just wanted to thank you again for keeping me inspired. My latest uncertain adventure is organizing/producing a local charity production of “The Vagina Monologues” (having ZERO theater experience) in my town of San Clemente, CA, and I’m having a blast! It’s shown me that when you take the leap, you can usually find wonderful, like-minded people to help and support you.

  • Linda says:

    I have to confess that when I told friends that I was going to your book signing in West Hollywood, there was many a cackle. You see, since I left the “west side” due to the congestion, and general over-stimulation, I’ve not been back but a handful of times in a decade.

    “Wow–Chris must be very special if you’re making the trek.”

    On a Friday evening, no less.

    Was it worth it?

    You bet!

    Thanks for the never-ending inspiration Chris:).

  • Roy says:

    Chris, if you do a 7 continent book tour can one of the stops be my cruise ship?? 😀

  • The Literary Lollipop says:

    When it comes to publishing, I’m a pretty traditional gal. However, I’m learning to be more flexible. I’m not a big fan of the Kindle, but I certainly understand why it’s so handy. I think print media (in general) is going through some serious growing pains right now but I’ll always love to hold a real, tangible book in my hands. I’m so glad you enjoyed the tour!

    Peace out,

  • Brett Henley says:

    Brilliant time meeting you out here at the Sanctuary in Franklin, TN.

    Keep doing what you do … it’s a beacon for many of us. Best of luck.

  • Tanya Veleva says:

    I’m really glad you made it to Boston! It was great to see you and hear your speak. Glad the tour went well and I look forward to WDS in June!

  • Hiro Kawabuchi says:

    Chris, thank you for the thoughtful article.

    I really like the mentioning about “worth it”. These days I really feel money should come afterwards on you if you are just having great time pursuing on something you for (although you have to be smart enough and equipped with appropriate moral to be successful financially).

    Would you be coming to Japan for a tour? I hope that happens!

  • Mylinda Elliott says:

    Lovely post. For some reason it gives me hope. You hear about things like this being so bad…. You had a good experience. Wonderful.

  • Sarah says:

    Well, I’m one of the few that actually live in ND, but far enough from Fargo that I wasn’t able to make the treck during your stop (’twas on a weeknight). Just the fact you were stopping in our small yet overly stereotyped state, was very exciting to hear about.

    I really was looking forward to meeting you, and the others in my area that have been impacted by your words.

    I hope you recieved much love from the group that was able to make it. We appreciate your blogs so much – keep on moving forward.

  • Miriam Moriarty says:

    I read that line ‘always choose adventure’ and it gave me chills. Why? Because for the last ten years I’ve been forcing myself to do the safe, boring path so I can have some stability, a home of my own etc. Why? Because I always used to ‘choose adventure’ and ended up falling flat on my face so many times I got tired! But it never goes away, that little voice inside me with all these amazing dreams to write books, study acting in New York, and go trekking in the Himalayas. In one way I feel like I am living my dream because I’m building a house in the country – in another I feel trapped in working in a safe, deathly boring job to pay for it! Does any one else have this conflict?

  • virtualDavis says:

    Always choose adventure. Check. Always share the adventure stories so others can experience vicariously, or better yet, so others will be inspired to chase their own dreams. Check. Always measure the “worth” of your sharing, community building and inspiration in broader terms thank just $. Check.

    Keep aspiring to inspire, Chris, and keep venturing out. Perhaps next time your wanders will take you to the Adirondacks?

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