I have decided that if I am to advance to the next level in my authorly career, I am simply going to have to launch a book signing tour.
According to my research on the subject, the key requirements for such a literary event are a book, an author, and a writing utensil. I am told that a Sharpie-brand1 permanent marker works well for most autographing needs, but in a pinch you can make do with a charcoal briquette or even an unfolded paperclip dipped in your own blood, which is especially appropriate if you are promoting a horror novel or a grade-school teaching memoir.
After a careful inventory of my dwelling, my clothing, and a couple of people who happened to walk by, I discovered that I did not, in fact, have a book to sign. So I called my publishers to lodge a complaint. Once they had searched their records, they informed me that the breakdown in the publishing process had occurred somewhere around the point where I failed to submit a book for publication.
As an American I am not used to tolerating this level of incompetence, so I fired my publishing company and immediately initiated a class action suit on behalf of all the would-be authors in the country that may also have been discriminated against in such a egregious fashion.
My more financially savvy friends have advised me to invest any settlement I receive in commodities that I support and believe in. When pressed,2 my lawyers revealed that my share of the upcoming settlement should be just sizeable enough to invest in a good cup of coffee.
Undaunted by this minor setback, I decided that I owed it to the American people to carry on with my tour, in the hope that my perseverance against overwhelming odds might inspire people, and get me a spot on Oprah3 to promote my absent book. As a contingency, I decided that should any fans insist that I actually sign a book on my book signing tour, I would simply autograph something from Dave Barry’s large catalog of publications. As long as I stay out of Florida, I’m sure he’ll never notice.
I thought that I would start my literary pilgrimage in small, local bookstores and then switch over to Barnes and Noble locations to take advantage of those nice Starbuck’s kiosks they have in their stores. As any touring author can tell you, book signing is far too strenuous to attempt without a ready supply of Cinnamon Dolce Lattés.4
From there, I will travel to other cities. After all, what is the point of being an author if you are surrounded by people that already know you, and therefore fail to properly appreciate your literary brilliance, celebrity status, and may even expect you to pay for your own meals.
At each stop I will be enjoying the deluxe accommodations of my tour sponsor, the Honda Civic Inn, who’s single occupancy executive suite is far more luxurious that the meager lodgings that I am accustomed to on the driver’s side.
Yes, it is shaping up to be a glorious tour, filled with joy, excitement, and of course, me. Which is as much as you could realistically ask for in an event of this literary magnitude.5
Soon, I will finalize the list of cities to be graced with a visit, chosen on the basis of their reputation for author appreciation and the enforcement stringency of their local vagrancy laws. Be sure to subscribe to this site to receive up-to-the-second information on this ground breaking literary event as it unfolds.
- Unpaid product promotion. To submit your product for promotion, please send me a working sample of your product and a briefcase full of small unmarked bills. If you could organize them by date due and amount owed, that would really help. ↩
- Lawyers must always be pressed if you wish to extract truth from them. I recommend an industrial steam press like the ones used by laundries and dry cleaners. It allows you to get to the truth quickly, while leaving your lawyer’s suit fresh-looking and wrinkle-free. ↩
- I refuse to comment on Oprah on the grounds that the Organization of Surprisingly Unpleasant Talk Show Personalities might again send their minions to address my “uncooperative attitude” with large blunt objects. ↩
- Dear Mr. Starbuck, please extend the limited, winter-only availability of your Cinnamon Dolce drinks. Don’t cut me off like this. My literary career, and the subsequent happiness of millions of people, depend on this life-giving product. Please consider the welfare of the nation as you make this decision. ↩
- I really don’t have anything to say here, I just hate having an even number of footnotes. Odd numbers somehow look much more professional. ↩