Sunday, 5 July 2015

Taking It On The Road by Mo O'Hara

‘What goes on tour, stays on tour,’ my friend said with a grin when she came back from her rugby team trip.  

Somehow, I think my ‘book tour’ was not the kind of tour she was talking about though. 

So, I’ll break the rule and spill the beans about what goes on ‘on tour.’ 

This Spring my publisher sent me on a book tour to promote my series, My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish.   

I think of myself as a fairly realistic person but in my head I pictured lots of this…

But in reality it was lots of this…

I thought the purpose of a book tour was to go to lots of book shops and sign books for the long lines of children who would be waiting to buy them. (Note lack of long lines of kids in photo of bookshop. You can just about see the tumble weed rolling by if you squint just right.)

The actual purpose of the book tour was to meet as many librarians, teachers and booksellers as was humanly possible.  Oh, yeah and meet lots and lots and lots of kids as well.  Those kids don’t tend to come to the bookshops though so we did lots of meet and greets at bookshops (to really meet and greet the booksellers) and then we took the mountain to Mohammed and went to meet the kids where kids spend a most of their time… school. 

This meant going to two , three or four schools a day and logging up lots of miles but it was worth it when I came across schools like this one in Las Vegas who had done a whole wall of zombie goldfish for me!

It also meant doing panels at festivals…

And doing events in the evening, conferences or dinners. 

It was an amazingly exhausting week and a half with long, long days and ups and downs.

What I learned though is that for all the promoting and performing the best connections were made with one on one conversation with people. Readers, booksellers, librarians, teachers or other authors and illustrators- I met some extraordinary people that trip.   Big and small…

And it was definitely worth it! 

At the moment I’m still catching up on everything that I postponed to do the trip and I’m not thinking of going away again… but…. never say never.  Watching the Muppet movie with my kids the other week I was humming ‘Moving right along’ and thinking, hmmmm…