Los Angeles, CA: 10,569 miles
I have finally limped, literally, back home. Something went horribly wrong with my left knee over Thanksgiving, but the car, Eva and myself managed to make it home relatively unscathed, other than that.
So, here's the tally (not the final tally, as there will be a few more events and signings to come) since the official West Coast Book Launch Party at The Mystery Bookstore in Westwood on October 6:
21 scheduled bookstore events / signings,
39 other drop in signings at stores that already had my books,
9 successful drop ins to stores that didn't have my books, but that subsequently ordered the books.
That's not enough. I've got to figure out what more to do. By the time the year ends I plan to have shown up at every single bookstore in Southern California that is carrying my books, so as to deface their title pages with my nearly illegible scrawl.
But, short of getting arrested, having sex with Britney Spears or running for office - three highly undesirable activities - what's an author to do? How do you publicize a book?
I keep telling myself the same thing that every single author tells themselves: "every little bit helps." And maybe it does. But sooner or later you can't help but do a little informal cost-benefit analysis. And once you do, it is nearly impossible to come to any conclusion other than that this is one really sucky business.
I've had a lot of fun, met some great new people, hung out with some increasingly good pals; but when you compare the number of books I've probably sold with the expense (in both money and time) and consider the fact that for the past two months I have been, by far, my publisher's most active (unpaid) sales representative, you do have to wonder: what's the point?
With a few exceptions, I am coming to the conclusion that book writing is work for people who are A.) Independently wealthy. B.) Possessed of massive egos. C.) Maniacs who have enough self-discipline to get their writing done in their off-hours from their day-jobs. D.) All of the above.
I guess I fit into some of those categories - although it's not all that comfortable a fit. Maybe I haven't quite yet rested enough from the road. Not enough home cooked meals, not enough nights asleep in my own bed, not enough mindless TV... But it's hard not to get discouraged.
Here's some more pictures:
Geese in Portland, OR
Unfortunately, I didn't feel like a drink when I passed the Bettie Ford Cocktail Lounge in Portland, OR
It was, apparently, chili season in Seattle?
Heavier people on the right, please.
What sort of experience is money lending for a palace? Pawnshop in Reno, NV
The ham & eggs were apparently "glorified" with some sort of caramelized banana, so I didn't order them. The huevos rancheros were very good, though. Reno, NV
I'd forgot how beautiful is around around, and from Mammoth Lakes. I did, however, for the first time ever experience some altitude sickness. View from Mammoth Lakes, CA