Sunday, July 30, 2006

Tour Day 28 and 29

Miles driven so far: 5655
Bookstores visited so far: 262
Books signed so far: 2322
Books hand sold so far: 165
Bookstores remaining: 238
Time spent writing fiction on tour: 0
Movies watched on tour: 0
Books read on tour: 0
Minutes of television watched on tour: 0
Magazines/Newspapers read on tour: 0
Video games played on tour: 0

Yesterday I managed to drop in 21 bookstores (it was actually 22, but one of them was a college bookstore that did absolutely nothing for my career.) The day began at 7am, and ended at 11:02pm, right after the last store closed.

When I finally got to my charming Days Inn room in Warwick, Rhode Island (Now With 30% More Stains!), I took a few minutes to dwell on the tour before passing out from weariness.

Since I have so many stores to hit in a limited amount of time, recreation is the first thing to give up while touring (sleep is the second, food is the third.)

I knew this would happen going into this tour, and I try to justify this unhealthy behavior by rationalizing that I'll eat, sleep, have fun, and spend time with my family when I'm a bestseller.

There are many problems with that philosophy, but the most immediate is: how do you define bestsellerdom? Hitting #1 on the NYT list? Hitting #99 on USA Today?

So I've refined my criteria. I'll be more comfortable when I earn twice as much money as I'm earning now. This would mean I wouldn't be living off credit cards between checks, and I'd actually be able to afford health insurance and maybe even have a savings account.

How do I make more money? The answer seems obvious: sell more books. Which is why I'm putting in so much time on the road. I think of this tour as trying to start a fire. Hopefully I'll cause enough sparks that the flames will become self-perpetuating.

Here are some things that I want to happen in my career:
  • Earn out my advances.
  • Sell more foreign rights, especially to England, Germany, and Australia.
  • Write more than one book a year.
  • Sell book club rights.
  • Option movie rights.
  • Make sure my backlist stays in print.
  • Get into the big box stores (Walmart, Costco, Target, Sam's Club, etc.)
  • Make sure each book sells better than the previous book.

Looking at these goals, it's apparent that many are out of my hands. My agent and my publisher have the control when it comes to subsidiary rights. I can write another book a year, but I don't have any guarantees it will sell.

All I really have power over is how much self-promotion I can do in order to sell more books. If I keep doing that, hopefully everything else will fall into place.

Which is why taking time out to see a movie isn't in my best interest right now.

If you're looking for signed JA Konrath books, visit one of the following bookstores.

Borders Marlboro MA

Walden Marlboro MA

BN Framingham MA

Walden Natick MA

Borders Chestnut Hill MA

Walden Needham MA

BN Chestnut Hill MA

Borders Shrewsbury MA

BN Millbury MA

Walden Worchester MA

Tatnuck Westboro MA

BN Manchester CT

BN Canton CT

BN Waterbury CT

Walden Waterbury CT

Walden Auburn MA

BN Worchester MA

Borders Providence RU

Borders Cranston RI

BN Smithfield RI

Brentanos Boston MA

Walden Medford MA

Walden Saugus MA

Jabberwocky Books Newburyport MA

BN Blemont MA

Walden Lexington MA

Walden Swansea MA

Walden Brockton MA

Walden Taunton MA

Kate's Mystery Books Cambridge MA

Borders Cambridge MA

Borders Braintree MA

Borders Express Swampscott MA

Borders Peabody MA

Borders Express Hanover MA

Waldens Danvers MA

BN Brookline MA

BN Saugus MA

BN Braintree MA

BN Burlington MA

BN Peabody MA

BN Hingham MA

Walden Burlington MA

I'm finishing up Rhode Island and SE Mass today, then on to Albany, Philly, and Jersey over the next few days. I should hit the 300 mark by Tuesday if all goes well. By the time I trek down the east coast and finish Florida, I should have 400 stores. Then in California I'll easily hit another 100, bringing me to my goal.

Hope to see some of you on the road!