Help Me Plan My Book Tour (Part I)


I recently came across this blog post from comics publisher First Second Books and was immediately drawn in by the opening statement: “So, you’re thinking about going on a book tour to celebrate the release of your next book.  How exciting!”


As a matter of fact, I am thinking about planning a book tour! My first graphic novel, Upside Down: A Vampire Tale, comes out from Top Shelf Productions (Blankets, Owly, American Elf) this October, and I could not be more excited! I’ve been making my own stories, characters and comics for as long as I can remember, so this book has been a long time coming.

When I was growing up, book tours were all part of the routine for an author: their book came out, and they drove and flew all around to book festivals, books stores, schools and libraries to promote the book and meet readers. Of course authors still do this today, but not nearly as much as they did 10 or 20 years ago. The internet has made spreading the word and announcing a new book much easier and faster — but it still doesn’t top meeting an author, face-to-face, in your local book store.


I’m planning a book tour because I’ve finally accomplished one of my life’s goals: I’ve written, illustrated, and published a book with one of my favorite publishers. I want to celebrate this book, and I want to include as many friends and comics-lovers as I can! Top Shelf Productions will, of course, be spreading the news about the book, but they have hundreds of books in their catalog, and can only bring so much attention to Upside Down: A Vampire Tale. I’ve been going to author signings and presentations with my dad and brothers ever since I was a boy, and now I’m ready to meet new readers and draw pictures for them as part of a book tour.


I thought it would be fun if we planned this tour together. Me and you. Right here, on this blog. What do you say? Feel free to add your thoughts here, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

5 Responses to “Help Me Plan My Book Tour (Part I)”
  1. Nick says:

    I don’t know how far you are planning on going, but Ada Books would be the place to go in Providence, RI… 🙂

    • Jess Smart Smiley says:

      Thanks, Nick! My biggest constraint is being away from my wife and kids for too long. That, and money. I can’t help but think about running an indiegogo project to raise travel funds. Isn’t there some sort of law that just allows authors to travel wherever they want, for however long they need?

  2. RoosterTree says:

    If you’re coming to Canada, you probably already know this: you should hit up The Beguiling in Toronto. It has an international reputation for quality comics, & is the organizer of TCAF. Good luck!

    (Comics Grab Bag was awesome, too!)

    • Jess Smart Smiley says:

      Thanks, RoosterTree! And I’m glad to hear you liked the Comics Grab Bag 😀 I’ve heard great things about The Beguiling, and I’m aching to go to TCAF. I’ll put ’em on the list and see if I can make it happen!

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] decided to go on a book tour this fall to celebrate the release of my first graphic novel, Upside Down: A Vampire Tale (out from Top Shelf Productions this October)! Thanks so much for all the feedback, suggestions, […]

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