Fiona Palmer is a successful author published by Penguin, her latest release is The Sunnyvale Girls which came out just last week. To help with publicity Fiona is off on tour and we asked her to come on over and talk to us about book tours so pull up a chair and see what she has to say about the importance of book tours.
Touring is a big part of being an author, especially for one who lives in the country. As a writer it is easy to stay in your comfort zone (for me that’s trackies and ugg boots) while tucked away in your computer room writing. No one sees you, everything is just left up to your brain and fingers. Your hair can be a mess, you can have coffee stains and biscuit crumbs on your shirt. Life is great. Even social media can be done from the comfort of your home.
But touring, well that’s a whole different ball game. We become the face of our books and it can be a daunting task. Especially for someone like myself who detested public speaking. Absolutely hated it at school. I didn’t want to be seen or have everyone’s attention. Luckily it’s not as scary as it once was because at least I know my topic inside and out. But I can still remember my first few talks in front of large crowds. I finished and had no clue what I’d said or even if it made sense. What my brain thinks and what my mouth say are often two different things.
The fact remains; if we want to help get our books out there then this is what we have to do. So I soldier on and now I can honestly say I like doing talks. (Well not the ‘talking’ part as much but more meeting the fans.) It’s really inspiring to meet those who love your work and this is essentially what keeps me writing. If there were no fans, there would be no books.
I also like to get along to the rural field days. Dowerin Field Day, Newdegate Machinery Field Day and the Wagin Woolarama are just a few in Western Australia that I like to attend. Living in the country there are no book shops but this is one way I can cover large areas. And they are lots of fun, exhausting, but fun.
This year I’ve teamed up with my author mate and fellow West Aussie to do a book tour. Rach and I write similar styled books and our new ones are out at the same time. So we put our heads together and decided we could afford to do a big tour through WA if we went together and shared costs. Plus, this way we get to keep each other company, we both get to talk and help support each other and by having two authors speaking, hopefully we can give our fans a great event. Rach and I both have children, so getting time away is often very tricky. We rely on our husbands and family greatly. That is also why we have jam packed our tour. 9 events in 6 days. Yep, we are already feeling a little tired thinking about it. Also slightly worried about losing our voices. Rach and I did a talk together last year and then went to the Dowerin Field Day. Rach had nearly lost her voice and struggled to talk. We really hope this doesn’t happen and have planned to take lemons and lots of honey! Anyone have any great idea’s to prevent this??
Now that I’ve written my sixth book, I’m hoping to get out and tour a bit more. With a bit of luck I’ll be coming to a town near you.