A book trip to another country is still a business trip. A lot goes into the planning, especially the costs involved. That’s why it makes sense to fit in as much as possible while you are there. This might mean shifting around some family time to fit in an interview or chatting a bit longer with a potential reader. Your family might get a bit upset, but this is the business.
We stayed in Swakopmund for three days and in Windhoek for seven days. As mentioned in the previous post, a typical book trip consists of the obligatory marketing stops and, if possible, fit in a book signing somewhere. Strangely though, this was not my main reason for going to Namibia.
There is a number of projects I am currently working on. I am busy with a novel set in Simon’s Town, then there is one that takes a bizarre look at the insurance industry, and another which exposes the corrupt pharmaceutical industries. One of the novels were going to start in South Africa and finish in France. As is often the case, the research and the characters caused the story to evolve. Before long, the final part of this story had made its way to Namibia, without any influence from my side. I was simply following and writing down the story as it played off in my mind. It would be a big climactic finale, and Namibia would be the ideal setting. Think sand, heat and blood. A violent shoot out in the Namibian desert. Anyway, getting back to the trip, this was what I squeezed in over the next couple of days.
While in Swakopmund, I did an interview with the local radio station, WestCoast FM, and also visited the book shops in the area. I tried to be in full holiday mode for one whole day. My wife will probably say that even this day I was doing something work related. Thankfully, she is my light and my discipline when I really need it.
Then off we went to Windhoek, where a fellow author, Sylvia Schlettwein, helped open a lot of doors. She was vital in the planning and I will forever be in her debt. I urge all authors to keep contact with fellow scribes. Some take pride in distancing themselves from the writing community, but I love the art of writing and try to keep contact with those who share my passion.
I did interviews with HitRadio, UNAM Radio, RadioWave and NBC Radio, as well as a live interview on Good Morning Namibia. The book signing was done at the Book Den, an amazing book shop in the heart of Windhoek. Though shy, I love interacting with readers and enjoy answering questions, so this was great fun for me.
We all know that most authors struggle to make a living. If you don’t know, then this is a sad reality you will have to make peace with. So, in that vein, I set about planning a research trip, a book signing and marketing trip, and a family trip, and fitting it all in. This sounds easy enough, but it is not.