I got home Saturday night. I was exhausted. Big surprise. I haven't done much since. I did read a chunk of SHANGHAIED to the 70, 80 - it was a big turnout - people at the Sisters in Crime L.A. Chapter meeting on Sunday. A big shout out to SinC. It's a great organization. I'm proud and pleased to say that I'm probably going to be on the local board of directors next year.
It seems to me that this year's Drive-By Book Tour was a great success. Not that I'm on any best seller lists. Well, that's not strictly true, I did make it onto Poisoned Pen's June best selling trade paperbacks list and I won't be surprised if I end up on similar lists at a few other stores for June or July.
But I had events at 14 stores. I visited some 30 or so others. (Few of which were carrying my books, but at least they now know about me.) I met a whole lot of great people along the way, stuffed myself with things that are bad for my arteries - it's been grilled fish and vegetables since getting home - and saw more of this remarkable country.
People always ask me if I really think big book tours are cost effective. It depends on what you want out of them.
Did this one even come close to paying for itself in book sales? HELL NO!
Was it one of the best, though tiring, vacations I've had in a very long time? YOU BETCHA! (Do I need to put a registered trademark symbol next to that to acknowledge Sarah Palin?)
Is it useful in the long run in terms of career and sales building? Possibly, at least I like to think so.
It's a good thing that I drive, and that I carry around extra boxes of books in my trunk. I ran out of the books I brought. About half the stores I visited needed to "borrow" books from me to satisfy demand. That's a good sign.
In the past, I might have divided any number of things into the nearly 8,000 miles I drove on this book tour: number of people, number of books signed, number of times I was asked if Ray Sharp is me, pieces of chicken, bites of pork, etc. But nope, I'm not gonna do that this time. I enjoyed every single mile of it. Well, maybe not the 2.6 miles I drove looking for dinner in Fort Stockton, Texas, not so much.