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Author Topic: Raymond E. Feist on book store touring in the future  (Read 794 times)

Darkon

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Raymond E. Feist on book store touring in the future
« on: December 29, 2015, 09:53:01 AM »

Quote from: Raymond E. Feist @ Facebook
When Magician was published in 1982 about 34% of my sales in the US were through independent booksellers. In the UK it was even higher. That was pre-Amazon, pre-Barns & Nobel. Today it's about 8% in the US and a little more in the UK, Australia, NZ, SA, etc, but still under 10%. Which means there are a lot fewer places that care if an author shows up in person to flog his/her latest work. There are still great indies, like Powell's in Portland, Oregon, Elliot Bay Books in Seattle, and Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, but damn few left.

This has had a far more profound effect on publishing in the US than elsewhere, but to some degree the impact is still there. My last trip to Australia, for example, was a four day three city traditional tour sandwiched between two weekends at SupaNova Conventions, which are more like the San Diego ComiCon (smaller scale) than any sort of traditional SF/F conventions. Hence, different rules, different feeling, etc.

So, it means the realities of touring are changing.

Used to be I'd hit a store, do a talk for 10-15 minutes, then sign as much as I could before they dragged me away. That's still the case a lot of the time, but at the conventions signings are just that, I sign books, and maybe at some other place and time I'm on a panel with other writers, or have a spotlight of my own, but I'm still just one guy with a lot of other guys and gals doing the same thing,many of them far more famous than I am. I do not want to be giving a talk on my next book while the cast of Game of Thrones or Star Wars is over in the big room at the same time.
In the US particularly, there's just little interest in event touring any more. If you're a famous actress, politicians, partner of same writing a tell all, have a hot political topic, yes, they'll put you in a big store in Manhattan and you'll be on the 5 pm local news. I haven't done a signing in NYC in over 20 years. I haven't had national US tour in 15. My last US "tour" was me visiting stores in San Diego, Houston, Denver, Portland and Seattle, and I had to cancel for health reasons. Haven't had one since then. Just lack of interest.

So, if you ask, "Are you coming here," or "Will you visit there," the truthful answer in the US is, "Probably not." That may change and if it does, you bet I'll be posting that information here and everywhere else I can.

Overseas, things are a bit different, and there's still the tradition of the tour, so I will likely be back in the UK, ZA, Australia, NZ and Europe, but no dates set yet.


But if I can get to your local store, I will do my best.

Some interesting information mr. Feist is sharing with us! Equally important is his answer to the question whether touring covers expenses:

Quote from: Raymond E. Feist
No it does not. If my publisher spends x dollars to fly me to, say Des Moines, no way enough books are sold to cover costs. Which is OK, because it's not about making a profit or breaking even. it's about supporting the accounts and letting a given market know they're loyalty is appreciated. As brick & mortar stores started dying, that became less of a motivation. Some authors are touring themselves (which is very expensive) and eating costs, but for the most part it's a way to visit places they want to visit and write it off taxes as a business expense. So if you ever see me announce a tour of Maui, Las Vegas, New Orleans, and Miami (all pretty weak book places) you'll understand.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2015, 09:56:29 AM by Darkon »
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Darkon

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Re: Raymond E. Feist on book store touring in the future
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2015, 09:58:10 AM »

Earlier he said:

Quote from: Raymond E. Feist
Again finding it difficult to "approve" messages and have them show up here in a timely fashion.
The question was asked about autographs. I used to do them via the mail if you followed certain requirements. I stopped doing them because several difficult to find 1st editions were damaged or lost at which point I said "enough." So, I travel. I sign pretty much every book or book plate shoved in front of me until I get dragged away to the next event or to catch a plane or whatever.

Next year's schedule is not done, but it looks pretty certain I will be returning to South Africa. My best guess is Europe (UK, maybe The Netherlands, France, and/or Germany in 2017) Australia and New Zealand sometime in the next three years. If you show up, I'll sign them all.
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A nation is a group of people united by a mistaken view about the past and a hatred of their neighbours. - Karl Deutsch
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