Update: This tour has ended but the memories live on!
Seventy-five days from today, my first print book hits the stands all across North America. As promised, I’ll be traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada to meet readers and raise money for our Ethiopia project.
The book is currently on pre-order for a whopping $10.08 over at Amazon. It tells my story and outlines a road map for your own world domination plans. I’ve been fortunate to get some kind reviews from other authors, and I know that a lot of people will love it. (Since it’s fairly provocative, some people won’t love it, but that’s OK.)
Once the publication date gets closer, I’ll tell you more about it… but for now, I’m gearing up for your help with the massive book tour.
Every State, Every Province… Crazy or Epic?
Because I like big goals, I decided to visit all 50 states from September through December. That includes Alaska and Hawaii, of course, and the District of Columbia, and since I couldn’t decide between a couple of hard choices (Dallas vs. Houston, San Fran vs. L.A.), I threw them both in. Then, I didn’t want to forget my friends north of the border, so I added all 10 provinces in Canada for an extra leg in January 2011.
At first glance, there are a lot of reasons NOT to embark on this project. The whole thing is self-funded and will actually cost more than I was paid to write the book. Most authors go to only a few cities, if anywhere at all these days. Doing the tour forces me to curtail my international travel for at least four months, which will be the longest I’ve been in one country (OK, two) for an entire decade.
Last but not least, most people in the publishing industry don’t believe in book tours anymore. They’ll put authors on a.m. radio stations that no one listens to, but they don’t think it’s effective to actually go out and meet real people.
All of these valid points raise a good question: why spend four months traveling to events in 63 cities?
The first answer is that at all of the meetups I’ve done so far, I’ve heard fun stories from fascinating people doing remarkable things. A great deal of my daily inspiration comes from all of you reading and participating in various ways from all corners of the planet.
The other day I was on an Alaska Airlines flight and someone tapped me on the shoulder to introduce themselves. A few days later I was in a hotel room in Vancouver and someone called my room because they saw my MacBook on the shared network and said that they read the blog. You guys are everywhere! So let’s take it up a level and go out to meet more people and hear more stories.
The second answer is that this project scares me—in a good way. Not everything that scares you is bad; in fact, many things that scare you are exactly the kinds of things you should be doing. Personal growth and overcoming fear are often correlated.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing a day that scares you.” By setting up this tour, I’ve got 63 days taken care of. I really have no idea how to manage the logistics for this kind of thing, so that’s why we decided to put the registration site up now. Better to see who’s out there and who wants to get involved, then we can know more about how to make it happen.
A Few Notes
Co-Hosts and Special Guests. At many of the stops, I’ll be joined by co-hosts: other authors, bloggers, entrepreneurs, travelers, aid workers on leave, and other people from our community. I always like doing my meetups with a co-host anyway, but this time it’s even more important: many of the tour dates are back-to-back, so there’s no way I can arrange the logistics for so many events on my own.
Charity Project: A while back I mentioned our Ethiopia project. I’ll be ramping up the promo for it soon, and this will be a major part of the book tour. Among other things, I’ll be donating 100% of my book royalties for every reader I meet on the tour. More on this important project later.
International Readers: Right now the book is only being distributed in North America, so that’s why I’m focusing my efforts here. Maybe later on I can visit every state in India (28) or every province in China (23). Don’t put it past me! But for now, traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada will take up most of my time through next January.
Most important! Thanks for reading this. You’re awesome. I’m excited to hit the road in September.
I hope to see you on the Unconventional Book Tour. Are you coming out? Can you help? Let me know where you are, here in the comments or on the registration site. There are still a couple of places where I’m not sure what the best stop is (Tampa or Miami? Calgary or Edmonton? etc.), so we’ll see where people are, and that’s where we’ll do the event.
And by the way… are you doing things that scare you?
It’s worked out pretty well for me, and all of you are a big part of the journey. Thanks for rocking my world! See you soon.