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The “Everywhere BUT Bookstores Tour” Ended at…a Bookstore!?!?! (A look back at that thing I did that time.)
I wrote my debut novel (Switchers, a novel about teens in 1996 who get into a time travel war against their adult selves) and released it back in July 2022. I figured I’d spend a few months trying to promote it at live events in and around Grand Rapids, Michigan. Here I am on the first day of October 2023 finally not doing anything.
Looking back at the EVERYWHERE BUT BOOKSTORES TOUR, I don’t think I had more than 3 weeks between events for almost a year and a half following the dang book release. Wow.
I loved this “tour”, if you can really call it that. I met a bunch of really cool readers, and a few writers that I keep in touch with. When it started I figured I’d have a handful of events, but man…things really got outta hand fast. Haha.
Why was it called the “Everywhere BUT Bookstores Tour”?
Because as a debut, indie novelist (and a self-published one at that) I had a hard time dealing with libraries and bookstores. They have a habit of saying “No” to self-published authors. And I get it, man. There’s plenty of not-super-high-quality stuff out there in that world. But if you aren’t somebody, or at least have somebody in your corner…I don’t want to say they were ever rude and dismissive at worst, and at best mostly ignored my requests. I don’t want to. But–I mean…
Coffee shops, cannabis dispensaries, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, local musicians, and a bunch of art markets were SUPER cool in working with me to let me sell some books. OK, it’s not that bookstores weren’t cool to me as a person, but their business model made it so that I (as an author) couldn’t make much (if any) money selling with them.
And for anyone asking, I’ve sold somewhere around 400 paperbacks (I stopped counting after a certain amount of boxes came and went) just in the Grand Rapids area, selling books face to face. Everywhere but bookstores.
There was ONE bookstore…
The very last place I sold books.
Although technically it was outside the bookstore, not in the bookstore. So I maintain the title is not misleading. Any more than the claim that there are berries in Crunch Berries cereal.
The last place I sold books was in Brighton, MI, in an alley outside a cute little store, 2 Dandelions Bookshop. I actually had to turn down a gig in Grand Rapids, as I feel I’ve sold about as many copies of the same book as I’m going to in GR. So I opted for another city.
Now that’s done, I’ve still got a dozen or so copies left at the house. And I believe there’s four or five copies for sale in the lobby at Pharmhouse Wellness.
How Many Events Was the Everywhere BUT Bookstores Tour?
Dude…I don’t know.
I started out listing all the events, but they just kept coming. I stopped listing them close to the one-year mark of the release, but didn’t officially stop until exactly two weeks from writing this. I probably averaged 3 events a month, so…14 months…carry the 4…
Probably in the neighborhood of 40-50.
What Were Some Memorable Moments from the Tour?
I was able to put together my own Artist & Writers Fair through a venue that allowed me to sell books. I invited some of my favorite local (and not so local) artists and writers, and a musician I met when I sold books at a concert came in to do a solo performance. Whole families came out, bought art, wrote poems. It was great. I actually didn’t sell much that day because I was walking around so much enjoying the event, haha.
I also got to be on TV a couple times, sitting on a couch talking about my silly shenanigans.
But all the events were cool. If anything, the best part was having people come up to me weeks/months later at different events saying how much they enjoyed the book.
Thanks to all you cool people!
What Are You Doing Now?
I’m not doing events anymore. I also stopped doing my podcast, Creative Ops, for the time being. I’m calling it a hiatus. I’m enjoying the time off, but I imagine I’ll want to start doing it again sooner or later. Here’s the last episode:
Just creating some new fiction and working on an audiobook for Switchers. Which is great but it’s going to take a minute to fully switch gears, ya know?
But I’m tryin:
Big Gulps, huh? Well. See ya later!
Christopher Tallon is the author of the dark, adventurous, time-travel novel Switchers.
Row row row your boat / Gently down the stream
Merrily merrily merrily merrily / Life…is but a dream