Life and Adventures on Book Tour: Part I


Greetings from Orange County, California! I started my brand-new tour earlier this week and have been to “only” four cities so far, but the pace will pick up starting next Wednesday.

In this new series, I’ll share a few highlights from my stops. I’ll also write some general notes about the process of touring itself. Lots of people have asked about the behind-the-scenes process of putting together a major cross-country tour, and I’m always happy to share what I’ve learned.

There’s no “author school” where you go to learn about these things. When I did my first “Unconventional Book Tour” back in 2010, I made things up learned as I went along. Back then I wanted to go to all 50 states and all 10 Canadian provinces, and I planned the stops by buying a big road atlas and spreading it out across the desk with a ton of post-it notes.

A few hours later, I had the rough outline of where I’d go and how I’d place the events on the calendar. The events themselves came together from a few different sources. My publisher at the time helped to arrange bookstore gigs in some cities, but just as many venues came from readers who volunteered to host.

It was a great experience and I went away at the end feeling tired but also fulfilled. I had the genesis of ideas for The $100 Startup, and I knew right away that I’d want to do it again—though not necessarily to West Virginia or New Brunswick again.


This Week: Portland, Santa Monica, San Diego, Orange County

I’ll be at Powell’s City of Books (my fourth time!) at the end of the tour for a public event, but we started this tour with something different: a private party for friends and family.

The gathering was held at WildFang, an awesome clothing store that has its own manifesto (I like manifestos).

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I got to fulfill a lifelong dream of giving my talk while standing on top of a bar… and I didn’t even fall off!


The next day I flew down to LA for the first big public event. This was held at General Assembly in Santa Monica, right next to a beautiful pier and beach. I’m doing several other events with General Assembly later on (New York, Atlanta, Chicago) and they are fantastic to work with.

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You can see more Santa Monica photos here. Thanks, Mermaid! (Yes, a mermaid took these photos.)

The next morning I went to San Diego, traveling on Amtrak from Union Station in Los Angeles. Fun ride! In San Diego itself I did a private talk for Qualcomm employees, and then headed north to La Jolla for an appearance at Warwick’s.


San Diego is always a highlight for me, and this was no exception. We had a ton of awesome people!

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You can see more San Diego photos here. Thanks, Enso Photography!

Friday morning, I got back on the train and rode up to Irvine in Orange County. This event was held with 106 Miles, longtime friends who have hosted me on several previous visits.

[Photos for this event are coming soon.]


Coming This Week: Phoenix, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Philadelphia

And we’re just getting started… I’ll be back in Portland for two days before heading out for a much longer stretch.

Here’s this week’s schedule:

Remember, you can register or send your friends to Everyone is welcome, and I try to keep the events fun and informal. You won’t be bored, and just in case you are, there will probably be cupcakes.


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