Everything is cancelled, so join us for Stay at Home Book Tour

Everything is cancelled, so join us for Stay at Home Book Tour

Friends, these are wild times. Bibliotherapy can’t solve everything, but by golly, it helps.

We’ve cooked up something new in response to the situation we’re facing right now. My hope is that you’ll find our series of video events fun, engaging, and intellectually stimulating, both good for morale and good for the soul. Let’s talk.

UPDATE: To read more about the origin of Stay at Home Book Tour, read on. If you’d like to watch the event replays, click here.

The backstory

I’m supposed to be in the thick of my Don’t Overthink It book tour right now, but this time last week we made the at-the-time difficult decision to cancel many appearances.

One week later, everyone’s entire lives are being massively disrupted by COVID-19. I’m trying to control the things I can, and I’m focusing here on the book angle.

Stay at Home Book Tour Modern Mrs Darcy Anne Bogel

I’m so disappointed that I’m not meeting readers in person this month as planned. And I’m definitely not the only one in this boat—so many authors, publishers, and bookstores are affected. With the CDC’s new recommendation to cancel or postpone gatherings of 50 people or more, it looks like we won’t be resuming book events anytime soon. Many bookstores are closing outright for the time being. It’s hard.

It’s not the situation anyone planned for. But this is where we are.

I’m not sure if you know this, but I run this thing online called The Modern Mrs Darcy Book Club. We’re a group of readers who gather online for community, classes, and conversation about all things books and reading. (If you’ve heard me discuss Book School here, or classes like 1 Hour to a Better #Bookstagram, those were Book Club happenings.) We talk books—and importantly, we talk with authors about their books—all the time. We have systems in place to do this via video chat. This is what we do.

(The Stay at Home Book Tour I’m about to describe is not being held inside Book Club; it’s free and open to all. But I wanted you to know why we’re in a position to host these events.)

The book tour plan

So here’s what we’re doing now: we’re inviting authors whose in-person book events have been disrupted by COVID-19 to join us online for a virtual, stay-at-home book tour. We’ll keep the format of a bookstore author talk, but we’ll do it online, in a series of events. We won’t do signings or selfies, but we hope to bring the delight of a good book tour event straight to you, wherever you are.

And we’re inviting readers to join us, because of course we are. If you were planning on meeting one of us out on the road, we hope you can brew yourself a cup of something, sit at your screen, and enjoy a little consolation. If an author you love wasn’t coming to your town, then maybe now you can catch them live after all.

We’ve been planning this for 11 days now, announced it last Thursday on Instagram, and have a finalized first week schedule ready to share. (Plans for subsequent weeks are still emerging.)

The first-week schedule

When I started dreaming up this event, I reached out to authors I admire and have a close connection to whose events were being disrupted, some for new releases and some for paperback tours.

Monday 3/23: Patti Henry, Becoming Mrs. Lewis, noon Eastern time.
Tuesday 3/24: Leesa Cross-Smith, So We Can Glow, 7pm.
Wednesday 3/25: Anne Bogel, Don’t Overthink It, noon.
Thursday 3/26: Kimmery Martin, The Antidote for Everything, 7pm.
Friday 3/27: Ariel Lawhon, Code Name Hélène, 11am.

The second-week schedule

All times Eastern. UPDATE: Click here to watch all Stay at Home Book Tour replays.

Monday 4/6: Mary Laura Philpott, I Miss You When I Blink, noon.
Tuesday 4/7: Susan Meissner, The Last Year of the War, 7pm.
Wednesday 4/8: Melanie Shankle, On the Bright Side, noon.
Thursday 4/9: Deanna Raybourn, A Murderous Relation, 7pm.
Friday 4/10: Jolenta Greenberg and Kristen Meinzner, How to Be Fine, noon.

How to join us

We’ll be meeting via the video conferencing platform Zoom. We will email out Zoom invitations to these events several days prior to each event. To participate, click the invitation link to join the discussion.

If you’d like to get these invitations in your inbox, please sign up for our Stay at Home Book Tour email list below for updates.

Our Zoom room can hold 500 people. Just like we would at a bookstore, we’ll admit readers until the room is full. Maybe this is wishful thinking on my part, but I recommend you come early if you’d like a seat.

PLEASE NOTE: We are recording every event. Click here to view all Stay at Home Book Tour recorded events.

A note for authors (and publishers and publicists)

If COVID-19 is wrecking your book tour, I’m sorry. You know I get it.

If you’re interested in participating in our Stay at Home Book Tour, please email my events manager Shannan at shannan@modernmrsdarcy.com and tell us about your book, your release timeline, and your canceled/postponed events. Together with my events team we’ll begin making a plan for the weeks to come.

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98 comments | Comment

98 comments

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  1. Ann says:

    Love it! Elizabeth Berg (on Facebook) suggested buying a book from an author- (I have yours!) to support authors that would not be able to do their book tour. Maybe she could join your group!

  2. Mary says:

    I love this idea. I was supposed to see Patti Henry at my local library – and also you in Suwanee. This is the next best thing!!

    Bless you for organizing this bibliotherapy! ❤️❤️

  3. Sarah Lott says:

    While I can understand the disappointment about not being able to hold to the traditional tour, I am happy that tech allows you at this time to reach those who may never have been able to show up to an in person event. Hoping to be one of the first 500 for at least one or two of these! Thanks for bringing in something happy and uplifting to look forward to at a time such as this.

  4. Lori says:

    What a clever idea to stage a homebound tour! I was planning to sit in on Min Jin Lee visit to my local library so this is a nice ‘instead’. thanks for the good idea.

  5. Breanne says:

    What a thoughtful and innovative idea, Anne. I’ve never been able to come to a book signing and now I’ll be able too! Book people really are the best kind of people.

  6. Ann Perrigo says:

    Wanting to be prepared for book talk, and also believing in supporting indies, I ordered Don’t Overthink It from my favorite local bookstore. It’s in, so I sent my DH the 30 miles to pick it up—our store is closed for the duration! So sad…

  7. Amy says:

    Anne and Team,

    Thank you SO MUCH for this brilliant idea, and the hard work to bring it to all of us. An additional BIG THANK YOU for recording the Zoom sessions, for those who can’t be there at the specific time but still would like to be “in” on the tour. Wishing you all success as you “tour” with your new books!

    Happy Reading,
    Amy

  8. Ioana Nan says:

    I hope to be there for the first event, but the time zone difference might be an impediment. Will the video recordings be available on Zoom, or where would we be able to see them at a later time?

    Thank you for taking the time to do this during a time of chaos and uncertainty!

    • Anne says:

      Yes! Like it says in the post, we’ll make video replays available. (Please sign up for those Stay at Home Book Tour emails to get those; I want to make this information available to all without bombarding everyone with emails. 🙂 )

  9. Terrell says:

    What a great idea. Will the interviews be available after the fact (like with MMD bookclub) for folks who are working?

  10. April Holm says:

    As a mom to two medically fragile children this lockdown is reality for us every winter so it’s actually exciting for me to have access to something I would never be able to go out to. Thank you for doing this!

    • Jenni says:

      Also, for me with a chronic illness, which severely limits my energy capabilities…not getting out is my normal. Thank you Anne!

  11. Michelle says:

    Thank you. Seriously, thank you. I’m marking all dates and times now! I’d love to hear/see Lian Dolan talk about her new book The Sweeney Sisters.

  12. Katherine Hardee says:

    You are so clever Anne…thank you! I am very much looking forward to joining the Stay at Home Book Tour. I am thoroughly enjoying Don’t Overthink it too…lots of practical ideas for not overthinking the COVID-19 hysteria now. See you soon…if only online XOXO

    • Rose Frit says:

      Reading Don’t Overthink It as my first ebook EVER, I cannot thank you enough for the distraction at this stressful time ( in NY)
      Wonderful book so far and helpful immensely and immediately!

  13. Kaethe Pittman says:

    This is great — you weren’t going to be anywhere near me, so I feel like I just won the lottery. Another author O follow, Courtney Carver, has also postponed her book tour. She has written about her Project 333 minimalist wardrobe concept. Perhaps she would be amenable to coming aboard!

  14. Julie says:

    Anne, This is brilliant! Thank you for giving me something to look forward to. My library is closed for the duration. Thank goodness for ebooks. I was supposed to see Glennon Doyle on her Untamed tour. Maybe she could join in the virtual tour?

  15. Robin says:

    Thanks for organizing this to help other authors – so proud of us when we can pull together and make something good happen even when the world is a crapstorm.

  16. Paula says:

    Thank you, Anne! This is a great idea and I’ll be looking forward to it very much. I enjoy our book club meetings every month and all that you do for us. We will get through all of this!

  17. Allison Woods says:

    Anne,
    Since you are in KY, are the times for these talks Central Time? I have another Zoom meeting on Mondays at noon Central Time, but really want to catch the Patti Henry one, so wasn’t sure if I will have to watch it later??

    Thanks for putting this together. Great idea!

  18. Ally says:

    This is delightful! My library is closed through the end of the month, so I’m hopeful some of these are available on ebook. Thankfully I’m stocked up on print books, both from the library, and in my own TBR shelf, but knowing I have some extra to download is anxiety-reducing.

  19. Nicea Demers says:

    Does the author make any money from doing the show? Or is it more to bring exposure to their book? Just wondering. Is it legal to charge a small fee to benefit the author?

    • Anne says:

      Nicea, I’m absorbing all the expenses myself. We wanted to make this as easy as possible for readers to attend, and we also wanted to replicate as much as possible the experience of attending a free, in-store bookstore event. (It’s very rare for an author to be paid for such an appearance.) That’s why we’re not requiring registration or payment to attend.

  20. Mary Lou says:

    This is a fabulous idea – it will surely help to keep us all sane as we socially distance and try not to get cabin fever. And will hopefully help authors get their books out there to pique interest and promote sales. So grateful to have found MMD, Anne, the book club, and now this stay at home author talk series.

  21. Brilliant! Thanks so much for doing this. It not only supports authors and readers, but you’re also modelling a wonderful way of connecting in spite of distancing. Bravo!

    Patti had been scheduled to be here in Beaufort this week. I’m delighted that I’ll get to see her, and delighted that more readers will experience her energy and passion for Mrs. Lewis!

    My book was released last summer, so this hasn’t hit me quite as hard. But if you continue the virtual tour, Trouble the Water and I would love to be considered.

    Again, thanks so much for this gift of authors and their books!
    Rebecca Bruff

  22. Angela Ulseth says:

    Great idea! I was so looking forward to the Tucson Festival of Books this past weekend, but it was also cancelled. I’m sure there are lots of authors on that list to reach out to. 😊

  23. Amy says:

    Such a lovely idea. I just love your blog and am so grateful to you. I am sorry about your book tour. I pre-ordered and already read your latest book and thought it was so valuable. Will re-read (which is the highest praise I can give a book)! Also I wanted to let you know that lately whenever I see a new book featured or reviewed somewhere and am tempted to add it to my TBR list, I think to myself “Well, let’s see what Anne thinks about this one first…” Thank you for helping to rekindle my love of reading!

  24. Megan Haworth says:

    Disappointed for you, Ann but what a great way to pivot! Would love to see you include Laura Fabrycky’s book “Keys to Bonhoeffer’s Haus” as well as she is in the same position. So hard for many authors right now. Keep up the great content on the blog and podcast. I have found many books and new beloved authors due to your wonderful recommendations!

  25. Robin Dance says:

    I’m seeing this a few days after the fact, and good gracious, I love your heart and intention in this. My book launched in January, and between Christmas and the world we find ourselves in, it’s been such an interesting season.

    I just KNOW this will be such a blessing to both reader and author…and one day I hope our real life paths cross <3. Bravo!

    xo

  26. Anne D. says:

    that’s so great, if only it wasn’t such a disappointment for you. But I live in France and I really will enjoy it as we are nearly “stucked” at home. So thank you so much to all the team of MMsDarcy.

  27. Janelle Carlson says:

    Thank you very much for organizing this Anne, it’s a brilliant idea.
    Two other authors I would suggest are Chris Bohjalian (Red Lotus) and Kathy Reichs (A Conspiracy of Bones).
    Both of their books released yesterday and have had book tour events canceled.
    I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Kathy Reichs before and she is lovely in person. And Chris Bohjalian seems like such a nice man from his correspondence on Instagram.

  28. Megan says:

    I don’t know if this is the right place for this, but I thought I’d try! I discovered Mallory O’Meara on your podcast. The book tour for the paperback version of her book, The Lady From the Black Lagoon, has been canceled. I don’t know if she would fit in with your plans, but she was just commenting on her podcast today how bummed she is about the cancellations. She might be an interesting person to add to the tour.

  29. Holly Bryant says:

    Hi, Anne, and thank you for doing this to support authors and inspire readers. I second the recommendation to invite Glennon Doyle to discuss Untamed.

  30. Deborah Foley says:

    Hi there,
    This a great idea! I signed up for this and was wondering which zoom app to get on my iPad. When you send out the invitation will you have instructions for this?
    Thanks,
    Deb

  31. Ruthie says:

    Ditto all of the gratitude and excitement about this delightful-sounding series of talks! Thanks, Anne, to you and your author buddies, for giving your fans and followers something to look forward to!

  32. Sally Spilman says:

    Don’t think I’ll make it for the event but I look forward to watching the video replays. Really cool as I’ve never been to a book your event.

  33. Jennifer Geisler says:

    I’ve signed up for the book tour twice (5 days between signups) – have yet to receive a confirming email. So close but so far away.

    • Anne says:

      Jennifer, our service indicates that you were sent an email with the subject line “Confirm for details about Stay at Home Book Tour”. Please click the button in that email to confirm you want updates on this. If you don’t see that email, I would suggest searching specifically for that phrase and checking your spam folder.

      • Jennifer Geisler says:

        I did check, and it is not in my spam folder – apparently it is floating out there in cyberspace. Is there anyway to participate if I don’t receive the email?

        • Anne says:

          Jennifer, I’ll try to add you manually, and we’re also sharing the zoom links in this blog post. If you scroll up and look at the authors/dates/times, you’ll see them here. (Click “click here to join” shortly before the event time.)

  34. Jennie says:

    Loved Patti Callahan’s talk about Becoming Mrs. Lewis. Can’t wait to read this book!! Thanks for the great idea, and making it easy to do!! God bless!

  35. Roxie Weaver says:

    We tried to attend today and it was full. When will the video replay be available? How early can you enter the Zoom waiting room, we will try again tomorrow and get there earlier? Thanks
    Roxie

  36. Jennifer Tanner says:

    Today was wonderful. So excited for you and Ginger with that response! So many people on zoom that I was initially turned away ( how great for Patti too, audience of 500-possibly better than the book tour?) I tried zoom again and was able to get in a few minutes later as someone must have dropped off. What a great discussion, so interested to read this book based on the extensive research she did and her next about the Savannah ship. I couldn’t help but be so excited to dive right in to ( a new author’s work for me) and her books. It was a much needed refreshing time today, thank you!

    • Anne says:

      Kelsey, we sent out Patti’s replay video to those who signed up for Stay at Home Book Tour info that same evening. If you’d like to get that and future replays, please sign up for those emails at the link in this post.

  37. Lisa Richey says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed joining your virtual book tour interview this morning after finishing your book within a few days of receiving it last month. It was my first experience with Zoom, so I put mascara on for you just in case the screen worked both ways. I now realize that (thankfully) your beautiful face and sweet smile (not to mention cute bangs) were all that were seen by all. Anyway, I would love to send the link for the video recording to friend. When and where is that available?

  38. Julie says:

    This is a wonderful idea!! So far I spend my morning walks outside listening to the birds and WSIRN!! I’m loving it! Anne, I hope that we will see you in Evanston in April, or that it will be rescheduled. I would love to see you in person.
    I can’t always promise to watch in person, so could we make the way to watch them later accessible?

    Thank you and everyone keep reading, and stay well!!

  39. Lisa Rainey says:

    How do we find the video replay of each of these? I missed the first 4! I am going to catch tomorrows, but I would like to see the others. Is that possible?? Thanks so much!!

  40. Mary says:

    Love this idea..l don’t have an independent bookseller by me so now I have the opportunity to “meet and see” some of my favorite authors.

  41. Debra Benton says:

    So excited to see Deanna Raybourn again. I have already read the latest, so satisfying after the wait. When you picked her book last year, I read all four in quick succession! Thanks for doing this – brilliant!

  42. Donna says:

    Hi Anne,
    I thought these were going to always be available, but when I tried to click on a couple today, the zoom meeting had expired.

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