Drawing upon painful experience, Edward Docx presents an author’s survival guide to book toursby Edward Docx / May 24, 2012 / Leave a comment
Published in June 2012 issue of Prospect Magazine
“Christ if it carries on like this I’ll need decoy limos and VIP tables for the entourage”: when the book tour is going well, beware hubris
London. 2003. My first novel, The Calligrapher, has just come out in Britain. And it is about to be published in America. I’m at the launch party of a senior British novelist. I’m pretending to smoke so that I can hang out with him. He asks how it’s all going. I say that it’s going pretty well. And then add—with an effort to conceal my pride—that I’m doing a book tour.
He sucks his teeth. “How many dates?”
“About ten,” I say, doubling the true number.
He winces sympathetically. His reaction is disconcerting. To me the reality of an American book tour seems like a profound spiritual breakthrough of an order unmatched in at least 2000 years of human history. The guy is pretty famous though. So I assume ennui. I figure he must be down on the whole book tour thing—the endless airports, the needy crowds, the anonymous hotels.