Do a quick YouTube search of writer and geek icon Neil Gaiman's public appearances and you'll see how charming, funny and engaging he is. That explains why every time he announces a book tour, readers come out in droves (that and, you know, the really good books). But now Gaiman says he might be hanging up his touring boots, forever, after next year.
Gaiman's new novel for adults, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, is due out in the United States and the United Kingdom in June, and the author is planning a major signing tour to accompany the release. It will be his first full-scale signing tour since his novel Anansi Boys was released in 2005 (he did a tour for his children's novel The Graveyard Book, but only for readings), and Gaiman's billing it as his "last glorious US booksigning tour." Why? Well, because book tours are exhausting.
"I think the OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE tour will be the last actual signing tour I ever do," Gaiman wrote on his blog. "They're exhausting, on a level that's hard to believe. I love meeting people, but the sixth hour of signing, for people who have been standing in a line for seven hours, is no fun for anybody. (The last proper US signing I did, it lasted over 7 hours and I signed for over 1000 people. I'd suspect a lot of the signings on this tour will be like that, or bigger.)"
So if you're hoping to catch Gaiman on a book tour, next year might be your last chance. He's trying to make it easy for you, though, planning "a bunch" of U.S. dates, including "places that I don't normally get to, like the US South." He's also planning to spend time heading out to countries he doesn't usually visit, like Brazil.
It's also important to note that Gaiman isn't swearing off public appearances. He'll likely still turn up, just not on organized signing tours.
So, one of genre fiction's most popular authors is preparing a last hurrah for his old-school book touring days. Will you be trying to catch a glimpse of Gaiman on his final tour?