Bad Advice Wednesday: Create a Tour!

categories: Bad Advice / Cocktail Hour

1 comment


My long-former student and great old friend Melissa Falcon Field had a book coming out, and mine had just been published, and so we put our heads together and thought–Let’s do some a reading together.  Just that.  And then we figured out where, adding one another to invitations already received, until we had several events lined up, then several more, from Maine to New York City, and back again.  We named it after an element both of our books share: TAINTED LOVE.

Melissa was my student--early 90s

Melissa was my student–early 90s

We might have called it FIRE AND ICE, as her debut novel–What Burns Away–is about a frustrated young wife and mom captive in suburbia who takes up with a former love and their hobby, which was arson…  And mine–The Remedy for Love–about a pair of strangers getting caught together in a cabin during a terrible and enormous snowstorm.


Later she was my friend

But the idea wasn’t so much to promote books as to have fun promoting books.  Tours can be lonely even when you’re surrounded by people, or maybe especially then.  Best to bring a friend.  My own tour was already done–a lot of travel last fall, 2014.

Our evenings were built on chemistry–the two of us riffing off one another, stories and jokes, also serious discussion, and short readings from the work.  Her friends and fans and family turned up to join mine, and bookstores got more excited about the duo than they might have been about either one of us alone…  And we had real crowds turn up.

So, when your book comes out, find a friend who’s also trending, and do the thing together.  It’s fun, it works, and you can sleep when you’re dead.


PicMonkey Collage 2

Bill Roorbach is a writer who got home and slept two days straight.  He’s also headed to Portland this very day to introduce Melissa at her solo reading at the Portland, Maine, Public Library, at noon.  Need some love?  Follow him on Twitter: @billroorbach #DailyLove

  1. Tommy writes:

    I remember Melissa from an earlier post, maybe a couple years ago, or. rather, I remember her photograph with you, and another with a toothy grin under a graduation cap. Bill, your reading here in the fall was masterful, dreamy, the best I’ve ever been to, the weaving of your story, an amalgamation of events and characters from your own experience into this beautiful book, was truly spell-binding! Congratulations on your hard won success!! Congratulations, Melissa, whose voice I’ve never heard, and now whose voice. I can read!