Best of the Comma Commentary

Building My Career With A Book Signing Tour

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-brand 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…

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.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

55 replies on “Building My Career With A Book Signing Tour”

I was all excited there for a minute!

Good choice of plagiarism: Dave Barry the Pulitzer Prize wining humorist.

At the risk of sounding like a complete and total brown nose, you are actually funnier than Dave. Dave is a bit crass. Your humor is much more refined believe it or not.

Dave has been described as “having the ability to charm us with nonsense so compelling that it almost makes sense.”

Move over Dave…there’s a new kid in town.

Mr. Light is correct, I’ve always thought of authorly signatures as gradiose and illegible. So Mr. Light, did kids at school ever give you grief over your last name? I believe that the good Dr. could help you overcome the childhood hurt of that experience.

DanDan, before I can meet your demand, you must relase a hostage as a show of good faith.

(Heckler-Terrorists are the most dangerous kind)

I have a front row seat to the Brent vs. DanDan showdown.

Brent, I noticed the new humor links and will check them out soon.

I of course prefer for everyone to get their humor fix here, but if you’re jonseing for a hit on my off days you can link over to

They have a little competition going on over there and the more people that go there from this site, the better I do and my cute little DanDan banner will rise higher and higher on the scoreboard.

They have not actually reviewed my site yet for content quality and until they do, the only way for me to “advance” is to send them traffic.

For what it’s worth.

But always remember who your humor daddy is.

(It’s me. Just so you know, DanDan.)

Oh I see how it works now. Well, no site will ever get more hits from me than the Comma (as far as the blogosphere), unless of course you start to suck.

Humor Daddy = Brent
Humor Heckler = DanDan
Humor Honeys = Debbie & Lynn

I jest all in good fun of course!

Well, I would really have gotten grief if I was “Mr.” Light given the way I look. RJ is a Mrs. Yes, I have heard every Light joke on the planet. Although when I was in radio in college and my partner was Miller it did make for a good Miller-Light show…:)

Hi – OK I’ll bite. I will peruse this site as one of two I look at – make me smile or I too will refuse to release any hostages.

Humor Honey = Magee

This is all DanDan’s fault. He has made me a Heckler. Never thought I was an easy influence…don’t ponder that too hard…oh there I go again.

Welcome to the madhouse Mr. Magee, we’ve been expecting you.

I hope you find the straightjacket to your liking. It’s my own design.

Ooops! Lynn and I can’t seem to get the gender correct…my apologies Mr. Magee.

That’s Okay Debbie, Dr. Toboggans got back from Tibet today and I am expecting him in the office tomorrow.

I’m sure he can straighten us all out on gender confusion and still have time left over to broker peace in the the middle east.

Thanks Brent. Be sure and tell the good Dr. how extra special we all are and to be gentle.

Hey Lynn! The Doctor is back from Tibet and we get our own personal gender confusion session. Um…I’m kind of scared.

Not to worry – Gender – as we are told here – is constructed anyway.

Lord Farnsworth

Anonymous in this case was me. Not quite up to logging in I guess – Brent may be better able to sort this gender snafu thing out.

I am enjoying the read – may plagiarize some of this myself.

It’s not really plagiarism if you provide proper attribution.

Just don’t forget the second m in Amazing Stud-Muffin, it makes you look uneducated.

ok, ok so I was gender confused, but how do you know that Lynn is a female! My grandfather’s name was Lynn. I am named after him. In this case I am a female, but it is most difficult to tell by just a name.

DanDan, I would have went for the jet. Much more comfortable.

Ms. Light, you are very gracious with the gender mix up.

Debbie, the good Dr. has a 3pm appt. open tomorrow for us. I hope that will be a good for you. I asked if we could also have the 4pm in case we go over, but someone else was already booked.

3pm works for me, I’ll be there. I’m sure the good Dr. will re-schedule his 4pm with DanDan. We could use the extra time and there is really no hope for DanDan. I think they just goof of during his hour anyway.

After these comments I am now questioning my gender…but then I look into the eyes of my sweet children and remember the tears of torture I mean joy when they came into this world and have no more confusion…

If DanDan was in at 4pm, why did I see him at 9am? Is he consuming all of Dr. T’s time? The masses will surely riot when they find this out. I think I will sell this story to Star or Enquirer.

I think I witnessed Dr. T and DanDan discussing case files. Maybe DanDan is the mastermind behind Dr. T’s entire operation. Despite this prospect being completely illegal, I think I’m on to something…

Maybe we shouldn’t investigate this too much farther. The Dr. does so much good for so many. We wouldn’t want to lose him to prison, although if he was in jail he wouldn’t be able to leave the country again and he would have no control over how much of his time that we could monopolize inside of visiting hours. Maybe we should contact Fording.

That’s tempting Lynn but incarceration hardly seems fair. If we contact Fording he will just distort and manipulate the facts all while directing the camera man to be sure and zoom in on his good side.

Let’s just keep it quiet for now. If the good Doctor resorts to arrogance or condescension during one of our therapy sessions then we’ll pounce!

Great just great and I was already planning what snack to bring with me to visiting hours. Ok, but I sure do hate having to share Dr. T. What about DanDan? Is there anyway that maybe we could get Fording to check him out without it effecting Dr.T?

Well Lynn, probably not. DanDan and the Dr. go way back.

We already get extra special treatment being adorably female, let’s not push it. Dr. T loves women but would give his left arm to defend DanDan. Let’s not rock the boat.

I am glad you girls got that all worked out. I myself am very confused, but as long as the two of you are happy, I will just quietly nurse my migraine and stop trying to figure it all out.

We don’t normally provide bail-bonds here at the Comma, but for a fan of your caliber perhaps I can pawn some of the doctor’s many awards to free up some cash for you.

Hey! I could use some cash…

Maybe you could convince the good Dr. to pawn that hideous autographed pic of fellow psychologist Dennis Leary or is that Timothy Leary…one is a comedian and the other a psychologist. Well, I guess they are both good visionary explorers of the mind.

(Plus, I think Lynn meant that last comment metaphorically)

Don’t worry Lynn you are still the Dr.’s favorite!!!!!!!!!!!

The doctor does not play favorites. Everyone is equally pathetic in his eyes, incapable of curing themselves and depending heavily upon his wealth of wisdom and therapeutic prowess.

Thanks for the clarification. It’s good to be as equally pathetic as Lynn.

Thanks Debbie. We, the pathetic needy, must stick together.


Dr. T says that I must stay in prison until I learn whatever it is I’m supposed to learn. What am I supposed to learn?

For me to tell you would be cheating, and that would violate my own parole.

Maybe you should take this opportunity to re-examine your life. It looks like you’ll have plenty of time.

Well, what kind of help are you? Debbie please give me some assitance. This Brent guy seems to be in kahoots with Dr. T.

Oh goodness Lynn that is a tough one! Well, let me think. Have you ever noticed that the Dr. always has a little sarcastic remark for us each week under his handsome photo? I believe that is his way of keeping us pathetic and under his “control” forever. How else could he keep his cash flow constant? That is his big lesson.

Extremely bright patients, such as you, Lynn have a hard time with his dry sarcastic brow-beating technique because you are such a sweet happy spirit. Try a little reverse psychology on him and see if you get any positive feedback for once.

My advice is to just play along…I bet the good Dr. needs us just as much as we need him. Of course he would never admit that…

Check my most recent post for your opportunity to put the doctor in his place. That’s right, a caption contest with the winner to receive a 12 piece Adhesi-Core gift set.

Thank you Debbie,
Your help was far more impressive than Brent’s. I will try the reverse during our next session and see what kind of results turn out. You, of course, are a well meaning person:)

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