Sunday, July 01, 2001

American Gods Blog, Post 105

The problem with trying to keep some kind of record of a tour like this, is you need to have the time to write entries about the tour...

Today was DreamHaven Books in Minneapolis. I've known Greg Ketter, the owner of DreamHaven, since 1984 (we met on a train to Brighton), I've been signing in his store as long as I've been doing American signings, from a tiny store to a medium sized store to the giant purple building he currently occupies.

The staff of DreamHaven are good people. The customers are triffic. The DreamHaven web site at is without doubt the best place on the web for going and finding stuff by me you might not find elswhere. Some of it, like the book Angels And Visitations, or the CD Warning Contains language, Greg has even published.

I try and do too many signings there -- one a year or thereabouts -- just to make sure that the numbers don't get too huge. Even so, today's signing started at 2:00pm and I left the store, hand hurting, everything signed, a couple of minutes before 9.00 pm.

Barnes and Noble tomorrow marks the last of the US signings. I wish I'd got to write more about the various US stops as they went by -- I never talked about Keplers (700 people, but only about 300 of them braved the signing line) and Vromans (they gave me two bottles of ink. Burgundy -- although it's pretty much purple -- and brown) and Book Soup (my favourite bookstore for browsing and buying whenever I'm in LA, although much too small a space for the signing -- I wish the Library they were meant to be holding it in hadn't fallen through) and many of the rest of them I only touched on, or may not even have mentioned at all.

The UK tour will kick off with a Forbidden Planet signing next Saturday at 1.00pm, although there will be a lot of other stuff to do with launching the book that I'll try and report back on here, much of which is very different to the way it was done in the US.

For a start, there will be a launch party.

Launch parties are fun, on the whole, for everyone except the author (who has been out of the country for several years) and the publicist organising the party. This is because the invitations are split squarely between the author's friends (who all have several years of catching up to do) and People The Author Should Meet -- who can be buyers from book chains, people from publishing, journalists, or just people who somehow got to the party. And the trick is for the publicist to get the author around the room in order to talk to everyone there without the author's friends ever feeling slighted as he gets yanked away from them after a measly three minutes.

I have very understanding friends, but I still worry about getting all the way around the room.

(Normally, an hour into the launch party, everyone's downed as much of the publisher's wine as they can and the publicist is having a fit as two journalists are found trying to make love under an antique table, and an ancient feud about a long-ago book review surfaces and there's a screaming match between five old friends and someone else starts crying in a corner and the last thing anybody cares about is the author anyway, nor will they remember much in the morning. But still, as long as publishers persist in holding the launch parties, and as long as the wine keps flowing, people will keep coming.)

I'm looking forward to the UK tour. I have no idea how long the lines at the signings will be over there, or how the book will do. I know that Hodder are behind it all the way -- they're doing the hardback at a discount with a money back guarantee, which I learned when I saw it a couple of weeks ago -- as good as Stephen King or your money back. I'm not sure that's what I'd have said about it, and I keep getting the urge to write to Steve and explain that it really wasn't my idea. But if it gets people to pick up the book, I'm happy. I just hope they aren't looking for chills and real horror because, while there's a lot of stuff in American Gods, that's not really the territory it covers.

How long have I been typing this? I should go to bed. Good night.

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