Oh, how book tours have changed. And how sweet they are now.
Jon and I aren’t flying to big cities and staying in fancy hotels anymore. I’m not dropping him off and picking him up at the airport every few days.
And I know in some ways, that’s difficult for Jon. Just this morning he wondered out loud if it would have been better not to have experienced the old days of publishing. If it would be easier never to have had it.
For me, I’m glad I got to experience the way things used to be. It was fun and exciting to be a part of. But actually, whether we’re traveling around the country or going no further than Vermont, I get just as excited about Jon’s book tours.
Of course I wish he got the attention he used to get when a book came out. I wish publishing hadn’t changed as it has, for the sake of so many writers and for us readers. But that change helped bring about the success of Jon’s blog, Bedlam Farm Journal. A form of writing I believe Jon loves just as much, or maybe even more than book writing.
And that work, that creative struggle to make our lives according to our wants and needs, is something we share. Jon may not make as much money, or get TV interviews like he used to, but he gets the freedom to write what he wants. There are no regrets when it comes to that.
And it’s true, if we had more money, neither of us would have to work as hard or be as creative in creating and marketing what we do. I don’t believe we’d be as prolific and I don’t know if our work would be as good.
So Jon’s book tour may not be as big as it used to be, but it is sweeter. And it speaks to our whole life, not just one book.
Tonight Jon will give a reading at Battenkill Books. Our bookstore, in our town, with our community. Tomorrow he’ll sign more books, (in our bookstore, in our town) which will be shipped around the country to our other community, the on-line community.
Book Tours are not the same, and it may not feel like the same kind of success as the big crowds, long signing lines and dinners with publishers.
But it’s a different kind of success. A handmade success. It’s not just about selling the most books, it’s more holistic. It’s about freedom, and the creative integration of life and work and community.
You can buy Jon’s new book “Talking To Animals” and support our community bookstore Battenkill Books here.