It used to be that publishers would send their authors on national book tours to promote new releases. That still happens with a few titles, and most authors still travel a bit to help their books find an audience–even if they have to pay their own way and sleep on the couches of their friends.
In recent years, the “virtual book tour” has become popular. In the VBT, the author or publisher sends copies of the book to bloggers and may arrange for interviews or guest-blog appearances on specific dates. I did one of those and I appeared on nearly 20 blogs during the month just after the release of my last book.
But Press 53 is doing something I’ve never heard of to support David Jauss’s new book, Glossolalia. A small press like Press 53 can’t send Jauss all over the country, but it can arrange for the book to travel. I was a little confused about this until I agreed to participate. And then a few days ago, the book arrived in the mail–not from Press 53 or Jauss–but from the previous host. The book includes instructions. I am to read the book, sign and date the back page along with the previous host/readers, and mail it to the next person on the list. The copy I’ve just finished reading has been to Texas, New York, Maine, North Carolina, Iowa, and Minnesota, and from here (Virginia) it’s headed to Connecticut.
(The instructions also recommend taking a picture of the book being read in a public place, hence the picture above. I took it to my bookclub meeting this week.)
Check out the progress of the tour here.