5 KEY LESSONS I LEARNED FROM MY FIRST BOOK TOUR.
Three different countries in three weeks. It was exhausting but I’m happy to say The Comeback Tour turned out better than I had ever expected.
An epiphany arose when I had the opportunity to be in America to launch my new book, Everyone Has a Plan Until Sh!t Hits the Fan, which lead me to say "Why wouldn’t I just make a tour out of it?". Well, when you have a balls-to-the-wall personality, it makes perfect sense.
I’m glad I went through with it because surprising things happened:
I met people that wanted a big hug after my keynotes because they no longer felt alone.
I met those impacted by the book in person, or through private message.
I did a book signing at SXSW next to billionaire hedge fund investor, Ray Dalio.
I managed to hit ‘best-seller’ and had it featured at a bookstore in a different country.
The irony of it all is the book title. Incredibly fitting getting everything ready and especially on tour. I had venues pulling out on me, added costs that I forgot to take into consideration, lacked all the sleep, and even had some books printed upside down. Though, things will go haywire on anything for the first time. I did have five key lessons I learned that you can use today if you’re looking at starting a book tour for yourself:
1. IT’S ABOUT THE HUMAN CONNECTION.
You could grab an x-ray of a person from every country and you wouldn’t know who’s who. Meaning, we’re all humans made up of the same elements but spread out across the globe. I was very fortunate to bring the tour to many cities and the number one thing I noticed was the powerful human connection in any part of the world you’re in.
Meeting kindred spirits has a profound effect on us. We don’t feel alone and we start to empathise with each other, despite everyone’s pasts. The most gratifying thing at each book tour stop were the hugs I’d receive because these people didn’t feel alone.
2. IT’S ABOUT IMPACTING ONE PERSON AT EACH EVENT.
Speaking in front of an audience can be daunting. Sometimes, we start to worry about our performance but need to remember we’re on stage to give. Otherwise, one thing leads to another and now the self-doubt and constant anxiety kick in.
The key to this is to take yourself out of the equation and focus on impacting just one person in front of you. It doesn’t matter if five or 5000 people show up to see you speak, you just need to catch the attention of one person. For me, it was to ensure someone didn’t feel alone or inspire them to break their own limitations.
3. IT’S NOT ALWAYS ABOUT THE MONEY.
To be honest, I lost quite a bit of money on this tour but I knew that was coming. Yes, I managed to get sponsors to ease costs, yet, I didn’t take into consideration a few other things like catering, travel costs bouncing between venues, and additional baggage fees because I was carrying so many books.
Any future book tours will definitely have these costs noted. It also allows room for an extra sponsor to jump on board to help with funding.
4. PREPARE TO BE TIRED.
If you’re travelling between seven different cities among three countries, chances are you’ll be bouncing between time zones. I brought The Comeback Tour to Austin, Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, Gold Coast, Brisbane, and Sydney. This meant a great deal of time in a plane.
I hadn't had much sleep leading up to this trip what gave me fuel every morning to push through were the messages I received on how the book impacted the readers. A tour like this certainly had me feeling the power of what my body was up against.
The moment the tour was over, it hit me like a ton of bricks but it felt good to finally have that rest. The bigger the task, the greater risk and reward.
5. HAVE A LOGISTICS TEAM WITH YOU.
You can do anything but you can’t do everything. Yes, I had a team but I was managing a lot of the logistics myself. As much as I’m hustling and getting by, the next time I do a tour I will involve a small team to help me with the planning.
I can tell you all the lessons I've learned but note, there is still work that needs to be put in. If you want something bad enough, you'll make it happen. I know now that when I were to make a second (and many more) book tours, that I can make it a run more smoothly. It’s always better to fail quickly and be hyper-observative that way I can see what didn’t work and ensure they didn’t happen again for the future tours to come.
Lastly, I have a few brands to thank for jumping on board with this tour! Big ups to Book In A Box, CTRL Collective, dReem, Lioncrest Publishing, Wotso Workspace, WeWork.
QOTD: if I were to do another book tour, what cities should I visit?
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