My Surprise at the Author Event and More Travel Reading

My Surprise at the Author Event and More Travel Reading

Last month I had the chance to participate in my first author event hosted at my local library. There’s a few reasons why I thought this was important to do, and if you had asked me what I thought would happen, I would have told you that I thought I would meet a few readers, that maybe they’d be curious about my book, and that I might sell a few copies. I had realistic(ish) expectations, this is the local library after all. So, I did what any newbie author would do: I prepared a color-coordinated display with free trinkets, I thought through my book pitch, and I had a stack of my books ready to position on the table.

My expectations did not quite meet reality. Sure, there were a couple of books sold– not by me, but by the lady sitting next to me with a children’s book. It turns out the same rules that apply at a grade school science fair also apply to an author event, where the kid with the nicest display and biggest smile gets a lot of traffic. The lady next to me wore straightened hair, red-lipstick and a smile, she had the put-together look of a local news anchor, or your kid’s favorite teacher. A really nice lady. She must have been popular at the school science-fair too.

For the rest of us, we had the chance to meet other authors and rubber-neck one another’s book projects. And, there were several aspiring authors passing through rubber-necking our projects who wanted to know ‘How did you publish your book?’ and ‘Did you do your own cover?’ (No, I did not.)

Conclusion- it was okay. At least now I know that an author event at the library is for meeting other authors who are more-or-less in the same creative situation that I am in and not necessarily a place to meet readers. That’s okay. Now I know, and if nothing else book writing and publishing is about turning unknowns into knowns one experience at a time!

I do have a book to share with you today but unless you’re going to Neuschwanstein castle it may not be a fit for your next read. Rather than share with you this particular book, I’m going to plug Travel Reading.



If you Google travel reading (as I just have) you’ll turn up books about travel, as in, other people or characters traveling someplace, making you want to travel too. Think, Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations show, or Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert might be a book that falls in this “travel book” category, but I digress. What I think of when Travel Reading is finding a book that is native or as near-to-native to the place I’m going to as possible. In this vein, I discovered The Swan King by Christopher McIntosh as I searched for books about Germany that are not about war.

I admit it was hard to find a book that breaks away from an American perspective on Germany but that’s still written in English. The Swan King was good enough (McIntosh is English) and the book primed me for not just being in Germany, but in Bavaria, Germany, and for noting the nuances between the different German states, and the distances between the city palace in Munich and the epic hideaway castle in village of Hohenschwangau, and how it would take nothing short of a monarch to create something like the Neuschwanstein castle, a monarch with total creative and executive control to realize his over-the top vision for a private castle, just because.

Travel Reading- use it to break away from your native perspective and turn more unknowns into kind-of-a-known, one experience at a time.