I am home from my 2017 book tour for a few days, and then I’m off to GenCon. After that I’ve still got DragonCon, Salt Lake City ComicCon, and HonorCon. But while I’m home and recovering from tour related brain damage, it’s recap time!
Overall it looks like Monster Hunter Siege is on track to surpass Nemesis as my biggest release ever, which is awesome. I’m pretty sure this is the most books I’ve ever signed on tour, and the most people I’ve had come out. It was all good, but a few of the stops had attendance that was just plain nuts.
I started in Florida, with a small signing in St. Petersburg. Then the next morning it was off to Tampa Bay ComicCon, with Jody Lynn Nye, Mike Stackpole, Brian McCLellan, and Janny Wurts. I’ve been to a bunch of Cons around the country, but this one didn’t strike me as a very reader based con. There didn’t seem to be much of a writing track. First day’s sales were zilch, second day was okay, but a fraction of what I do at Salt Lake or DragonCon.
I still got to meet a lot of cool people though. Plus, I ate a whole lot of authentic Cuban food (you will notice that my favorite part of book tour is eating whatever the locals eat).
Up next was New Orleans. Surprisingly I had never been to Louisiana before (I’ve been to 45 US states now. I still need to do Alaska, Hawaii, the Dakotas, and Maine) so I used my first day in the area to take the rental car all over to explore. My usual book tour trick is to hit as many of the book stores in the area as I can, sign the stock, meet the staff, etc. The reason being that if you have a store with a fan on staff, you sell about ten times as many books as a store where the staff don’t know you. Over the course of this trip I hit about 30 stores (not including the ones I was officially signing at).
The second day I mostly walked around and played tourist until the book signing. I found the French quarter to be mostly dive bars and hippy dippy t-shirt shops. The Garden District was pretty neat. There was so much good Creole food. I ate turtle, alligator, oysters, gumbo, and jambalaya. I went to really fancy places with jazz bands playing, and also little hole in the wall places. All of which was pretty freaking awesome. (seriously, I gain like 20 pounds every book tour, lose it by the next tour, repeat)
It was like 105 and really flipping humid, so I’m impressed these guys came to the signing.
Then I flew to San Antonio, where I would be driving from city to city over the next few days. Only I was in for a surprise, because as I was coming down the escalator I saw a friend of mine (Speaker to Lab Animals) which is weird, because I never post my flight schedule anywhere. But he said that this was just a coincidence, because he was here to meet another friend, and that he’d love to introduce me to her. It turned out the real reason Speaker was there was to record my reaction, because when I walked around the corner, my wife was waiting for me.
Bridget knows I get lonely and go all Hyper Focused Road Warrior Mode for book tour, so months ago she decided to surprise me and fly out for the Texas part of the tour. Apparently everybody knew this except for me. (they called it Operation Taco) and all of our friends in Texas decided to really up their game since the Lovely Mrs. Correia was going to be there. It was the highlight of my trip, and I was really glad I got to hang out with her for a few days.
Also, fellow Baen author and Book Bomb alumni Dave Butler was going to be in Texas while I was there, so he joined in the signings. At each stop he would take the first half an hour to play some songs from his book and read a chapter. Then I’d talk and answer questions for about an hour, then we’d sign.
Up first was San Antonio, a city that I’ve actually been to a bunch of times, but never as a writer (that’s where Lackland AFB is, and my old company had contracts there). I really like San Antonio. And apparently San Antonio likes me. 😀
That was a pretty big signing. The poor ladies who worked at the Twig didn’t get out of there until way after they were supposed to be closed.
But we hadn’t seen anything yet. Up next was Austin.
We spent the day getting a tour of the city from CorreiaTech’s marketing daimyo, Jack Wylder and his lovely wife. And we ate soooooo much barbecue. Then we went to the signing, where a massive crowd had already formed.
Yeah. I wasn’t kidding when I said massive.
Look at that line. It just kept going up and down the aisles. I was signing for a long time. It was one of the biggest signings I’ve ever and and it was pretty bad ass.
Then we went to Dallas. And Dallas must have sworn a blood oath that they would not be out done by Austin, so they threw down, and brought pretty much the whole city to the book store. I walked into this massive store, and there was just this line that kept on going and going.
Everything is bigger in Texas. Including book signings apparently.
The neat part is the book store staff said that despite the size of the crowd, my fans were about the nicest people they’d ever had. Nobody was pushy, bossy, or entitled. It takes a long time to cycle through signing that many books (like seriously, that dude who said 500 was routine is an idiot, just because of the logistics) yet the fans in line just kind of hung out and had conversations while they waited. The book store employees were kind of gee whized by how cool you guys were.
Then someone asked me to do an Atlas Shrugged pose with Wendell the Manatee for a pic (I had told them my pitch for the Target Rich Environment cover was me doing Atlas Shrugged holding up Wendell with Bridget doing a Boris Vallejo style leg cling), and Bridget saw and came over to pose too.
Up next, Minneapolis. My wife’s flight home meant that I needed to take her to the airport at like 4 in the morning. Luckily, this worked out perfectly because my later flight had mechanical delays and was getting delayed four hours already, and possibly canceled. Which meant that I would miss the Uncle Hugos signing entirely. But since I was there so early to drop Bridget off, I was able to squeak in and throw down my frequent flier powers and get moved to a different flight.
That’s the downside of the fly/sign, fly/sign, nature of book tour. One bad flight and you’re screwed.
But I made it and got to see these guys.
I always go to Uncle Hugo’s, because they ship autographed copies, and they’re the folks who introduced my self published book to Toni Weisskopf all those years ago.
Then I flew to Seattle.
Speaking of food, one of my fans in Seattle (who probably wants to remain unidentified) makes a lot of money, and is a bigger foodie than I am. So he took me out for Kobe beef steaks. Lots and lots of Kobe beef. He’d found out I’d never tried the most legendary beef in the world and that needed to be remedied. Holy moly, can’t even properly describe it. It’s like meat butter that melts in your mouth. They are magical cows, fed only sake and rainbows, massaged daily by virgins from the finest samurai families.
Then I drove to Portland, hitting a whole bunch of book stores along the way.
On interesting observation about that. When I first started doing book store drive bys, they’d have maybe one or two copies of my books. And odds are nobody there had ever heard of me. Nine years of doing this, and most of the time they knew who I was, I ran into a lot of employee/fans, and now there is usually a nice Larry Correia section on the shelf (it is all about turning over that back list) That’s why I keep telling aspiring writers, the most important thing you can do for your career is be prolific.
Portland was a good signing too, which is fitting, since this is the store where I was informed by a helpful SJW that real writers routinely have 500 people at a book signing. To put that in perspective, I’d have to add those Austin and Dallas pics together to get close to that, so I stand in awe of how fast Real Authors must sign, because those took hours to get through. 😀
Then I went to San Diego. Great bunch of people. I always love signing there.
Then after several days of nice coastal weather, it was off to Phoenix. Where the sick and weak perish, and only the strong survive! (okay, it was only 110, but it was a dry 110).
The next morning I flew back to Utah, where I had one last signing at my local B&N.
I was pretty much incoherent at this point.
That was a lot of fun, I really love my fans. Seriously, I wouldn’t trade you guys for a million Chinese robots, but I’m also really glad to be home (briefly at least).