Out-of-town author book tours can be an exciting time, but they can also be demanding on your energy, stamina and not to mention your wallet. If you need to drive long-distance to your gigs why not consider taking a friend, or literary roadie, along? The miles will whittle away so much faster with a traveling companion and you may need your friend along to provide directions when you get lost. It’s an extra bonus if your friend is a fellow writer. Plus, with a friend you can split gas and travel expenses.
I’ve traveled with friends to my gigs in Hickory, NC, Southern Pines, NC, Waynesville, NC, Charleston, SC, and Charlotte, NC for my book tours for Unfinished Projects and After the Steaming Stops. And not coincidentally, these trips have been the best ones!
Why It’s Better With Friends
- Friends are also very useful for changing your CD player and for picking up your phone when you’re about to head the wrong way on a one way street. Friends can also offer comfort when you’re wigging out due to hurricane force-sideways rain on I-40 with trucks speeding past.
- In the car you get to bounce ideas off of each other—be sure to write these great ideas down when you finally park!
- Road trips make for common, shared experiences the both of you can laugh about later.
- At the gig your friend can carry your merch so you only make one trip.
- Your friend can help you sell your books so you’re not doing all of the self-promoting all of the time.
- You look more popular at your gig since you brought a friend.
- Friends make sure you don’t have tomatoes hanging in your front teeth or if you have lipstick on your teeth. Friends also check out your background where you’re performing so your pictures don’t contain empty easels (oops that happened) and beer bottles (oops, that happened too).
- Friends will take photos and/or operate your video camera for you without demanding a tip.
- Friends can take stuff to your car so you can sign books and network.
- If your friend is a fellow writer, the gig may provide them to read their own work at the open mic portion of the evening.
Let me know if you’d like to be my literary roadie at my next out-of-town gig!
What has been your experience with travelling with friends? Please share your stories!