Wednesday, March 25, 2009

My Book Has Just Been Published! Now What?

This month, University of Texas Press published my memoir, Walking Nature Home: A Life's Journey. It's my twelfth book, but it's the one I've been working on the longest. (Yup, it's taken me the better part of two-and-a-half decades to get the story right. I may be slow, but I do not give up!)

UT Press did an outstanding job of editing, design and production: the book's a hardcover with a beautiful dust jacket, great blurbs, and gorgeous watercolor illustrations by my neighbor, artist Sherrie York. The design positively invites you to pick the book up and dive in. The Press has gone out of their way to get review copies out to national and regional venues and has even partnered on publicity for a few key events. But the rest is up to me.

So what am I doing? My first instinct was to run around like a chicken without a head--rush in all directions, accepting every promotion opportunity offered. But after thinking carefully about my limitations, both financial and in terms of my energy (see my blog post, Aiming for sustainability at work), I decided to be very picky, choosing only those events I felt gave me an opportunity to be at my best, and grouping events to save travel and energy (mine and the planet's). I also decided to go really green and make a big splash without leaving the couch where I often write by planning a blog book tour.

So today I'm off on two very different tours: Tonight I'm giving a talk on "Gardening With Nature" in Fort Collins, Colorado, for the City's Environmental Living Series. I'll draw on the restoration of the formerly blighted industrial area where I live and is conveniently featured in the last chapters of Walking Nature Home, thus giving me a good plug for the book.

I'm also headed off into cyberspace, visiting a dozen blogs over the next three weeks, beginning here at Women Writing the West. I'll be chatting with the virtual audiences of blogs ranging from one focused on writing women's memoirs and one about our ties to place to one written by a knitter who is fascinated by the connection between craft and life, a blog news-magazine, and a gardener in West Texas who also makes hand-crafted canoe paddles. Plus, I'll be interviewed on a national teleseminar on memoir-writing. (Details on my web site and blog.)

My next stop: Janet Riehl's Riehlife village wisdom newsmagazine on March 27th. That same night in the "real" world I'll be reading at Tattered Cover Bookstore on Colfax Avenue in Denver. If you're in the area--virtual or real, please stop by.

Thanks for joining me in this post, and let me know what you think of the book and my tour. The schedule for both tours is on my web site and also, of course, on my blog.

You can read the first chapter of Walking Nature Home on the UT Press web site. They're offering a 33% discount off list price for online purchases, a great deal! And here's a wonderful review by Susan Albert, just posted today on the Story Circle Network book review site. So off I go....


turtlewoman said...

Hello Susan -

My copy finally arrived yesterday. Unfortunately for me I had a lengthy meeting last night and parent-teacher conferences tonight. I am chomping at the bit to read this book but will have to wait until tomorrow after school before I can begin. I have read the first chapter (online) and I know I will not be able to put the book down once I begin.

I'm so glad to see a blog tour for this book as I'm sure many readers will not be able to make it to an in-person book-signing.

The best of luck with all the activities planned for promoting this book - from what little I have already read it is a real winner.


Susan J Tweit said...

Hi, Lindy,

I'm in Denver tonight in a champion spring blizzard. The snow's so bad that it took us five hours to drive the 98 miles from Fort Collins to Denver today, and my Denver Botanic Gardens talk that was supposed to be tonight (and for which they had already sold more than 100 tickets!) has been postponed until April 14. But last night in Fort Collins I talked to an audience of 200 people, and they kept me until nine-thirty, answering questions and signing books. Wow!

So tonight I'm on the couch attending to the blog tour while the snow blows by in a white curtain outside.... Enjoy the desert while I enjoy the much-needed moisture!

Sharman said...

Susan, your book signings in Fort Collins and Denver sound amazing. You are the future of writing and reading, I think, not chain stores or collapsing publishing houses, but people meeting people (on the web, too!) Much luck and love, Sharman

Susan J Tweit said...


Thanks! Like you, I love bookstores and I love readers. It just seems to me that we "mid-list" authors who don't get the mass-media attention need to reach out in new ways. And that's what I'm working on doing using what I've learned from others with far more time and technological savvy than I will ever have. I see Walking Nature Home as an extension of my heart and my spirit, and I believe this book can give us hope and inspiration at a time we most need those things. So I'm going to find audiences wherever I can.

And thanks for hosting me on your Love of Place blog (

Susan GT said...

I love the fact that you considered the 'energy' factor in your book tour especially your own 'energy'. A good lesson for us all.
More couch work!! :)

Susan Gallacher-Turner
Susan's Art & Words

Susan J Tweit said...

Thanks, Susan! I'm happy to be back at home on my own couch. "Real" touring has some wonderful benefits, including the people I've met in person along the way. But virtual touring gives this organic community a chance to make new connections and weave new patterns among far-flung readers. Often we disparage technology, but in this case, we're growing a community of readers, writers and thinkers where we couldn't have connected without the internet (there's a reason it's called the "inter," as in among or between, and "net" as in a web connecting disparate points).

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


©DGreer said...

I'm especially proud of your tour, having started my own blogging adventures with WWW right here on this blog! I'd never blogged before, and Ann Parker muddled through with me at the conference several years ago. You remember how I was totally sold on the idea of blogging as a promo tool, enough so that I continue to teach authors how to tour on blogs. Now will continue following your tour, even though it's a done deal. Love those permalinks! LOL.

Dani Greer

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