What I Learned On My Summer Vacation (Book Tour)

July 26th, 2012

I just spent the past two weeks crisscrossing the US (well, mostly just the Midwest. I did West coast and East coast last summer, so it was the Midwest’s turn) on my book tour to promote Size 12 and Ready to Rock . . . which, just to get this out of the way, you can buy now for a special sales price of $7.99 everywhere ebooks are sold! Also, the first three ebooks in the series are only $4.99! My publisher is calling this the “Size 12 Days of Summer” sale.

This was my idea ^^^^^! I know, I should work for Target or something, I LOVE making up the names of special sales promotions!

(When I worked in a bookstore, I also loved making the window displays. Sometimes I would put one rude thing in it to see how long it took someone to notice. Often no one ever would. People don’t see what they’re not expecting!)

I know how people love having cute fun mysteries (with a dash of sexy romance) to read in the summertime. I long for these to read as I’m whiling away the long hot summer days, too!

(Actually right now all I’m longing for is some free time to while away, but whatever.)

Anyway, my book tour was an amazing mid-summer adventure and a smash hit (at least to me). Everywhere I went, readers defied the 100+ degree heat and turned out in what seemed to me (and to my publisher) like droves.

Over 400 people were at the Des Moines Public Library event (Des Moines! How fun were you? So much fun!), and over 500 attended the Cuyahoga Public Library in Cleveland! (OMG Cuyahoga! I still can’t spell or pronounce you but I love you!)

Pittsburgh_RtR_tour
Awesome photo, whoever took this! Glamour girls with glamour background!

I had some fantastic signings at bookstores, too, like at Joseph-Beth’s in Cincinnati, Books and Co in Dayton, Schuler’s in Lansing, MI, and the Carmel, IN Barnes and Noble!

RtR_tour
Schuler’s! And Whitney, the manager! Whitney rules! Why am I doing this with my face though? I don’t know.

Here are some of the highlights of my trip, and some of the valuable life lessons I learned along the way, which I hope, will you, as well:

There seem to be quite a few eight year olds out there in America who are concerned that they haven’t been published yet.

I know there are some 8 year olds who’ve gotten published. Believe me, I’ve met some of them. But here’s a little known secret:

The vast majority of them never published another book again.

If you want a long-lasting publishing career, I think the best way to spend your tweens and teens and early twenties isn’t worrying about getting published, but figuring out who you are and what you’re good at, experimenting with your style, and developing your own voice—in other words, just live your life.

As Heather Wells states in Size 12 and Ready to Rock, our brain doesn’t become fully formed until age 25 (if you don’t believe her, click here).

This could explain a lot (like why a certain under-25 starlet recently confessed to a fling with a certain married movie director twice her age. If you ask me, HE should have known better. She’s the one with the pre-frontal cortex that is not fully formed).

So I think all anybody ages 8-28 needs to do is live—collect material, write many many drafts about it, THEN try to get those drafts published when she’s ready.

Here’s another thing I learned on my recent book tour:

You CAN depend on the kindness of strangers in most cases.

When my 6AM flight from Dayton to Cleveland was canceled for no reason by United Airlines (they randomly canceled all the flights leaving from Dayton that day, how nice), book lovers came to the rescue to drive me, including the indefatigable media concierge Kathy Tirschek, and the amazing Cleveland librarian, Pam Defino and her husband, Vlad!

But none of this would have happened without the tireless work of the extremely beautiful and talented Pam Jaffee (and Jessie Edwards and the entire Harper publicity and sales team, missing from the photo below). Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey . . . I mean, amazing publicist Pam Jaffee and Meg Cabot, pre-Rita!
Pam and I both usually dress this way for work.

Another thing I learned:

Don’t forget to look up while signing books! Or, as Grandmere would say, “Get your hair out of your eyes!”

Dayton_RtR_tour
I regret that some of the signing lines were so long I could not properly pose for photos. We were worried people might faint on line because of the heat. Next time, I promise, we’ll go faster!

I did get an awesome photo of myself with my 11th grade English teacher, Mrs. Ryser, who came to my signing in Carmel, IN (LOVE THE STAFF OF THE B&N in Carmel, IN!!!) but I can’t figure out how to get it off my cell phone and onto my new mini MacBook Air (that I just bought which PS also does not have Adobe Flash and I’m really unhappy about that), so until I do, just imagine a picture of me and Mrs. Ryser here:

PHOTO HERE (just imagine it)

I also got an adorable picture of me and Ryan, a guy who lived in Hayden Hall at NYU (aka Fischer Hall where Heather Wells works) where I used to work 15 years ago, who came to my signing in Homestead, PA, with his AMAZINGLY cute little daughter and baby son! THANK YOU RYAN! When I got back to my hotel in Pittsburgh, everyone was SO JEALOUS because Ryan brought me TaB, and they all wanted to know where I got it. My favorite drink! He remembered! I seriously could have cried:

PHOTO OF RYAN HERE (just imagine it. And no, Ryan isn’t Gavin! Gavin is made up, alas, ladies.)

Finally, because I have to go, as I am writing this from my in-laws (NO COMMENT), just a reminder, on July 31st (Meg Cabot Day in Bloomington, IN!) I’ll be having a live chat about Size 12 and Ready to Rock with Book Club Girl on Blog Talk Radio, so be sure to tune in!

Since you’ll have finished your copy of Size 12 and Ready to Rock and the entire series by then thanks to the Size 12 Days of Summer sale (see above), you’ll be able to join the discussion, and find out what’s happening to Heather in the sequel, and everything else going on in Heather’s world (and my own)!

Until then, stay cool, stay safe, and stay happy!

More later.

Much love,

Meg