After answering a tweet in the autumn of 2009, I agreed to assist Graham Storrs’ virtual book tour (blog tour), on the release of his new book “TimeSplash”. At that time I also asked for two interviews with Graham; one to cover his feelings and findings before the start of the tour, and the second one after the tour to ask how, for him, the tour went.
As is the nature of things, we quickly realised that a single after-the-event-interview, could not do justice to what was occurring during the tour. So we chatted together after each event, whilst the tour was running, which has resulted in a post of seven and a half thousand words.
This is now too big, so to help the weary reader I have serialised it over a few days. I hope you keep coming back to see what Graham did next.
We first join Graham at the end of day one, nearing the finish of his novel 24 hour world Twitter tour.
I have been following your Tweets during the day, and you must be about to drop right now. As I type you are winging your way across the Atlantic and rapidly approaching the starting point of your around the world blog tour.
There have been loads of good tweets today, all talking about this innovative launch to the tour, so the question is … What made you think of doing a 24 hour around the world Twitter tour?
Launching an ebook isn’t like launching a printed book. I can’t sit in a book shop and sign copies! I needed to do something more appropriate to the medium. What’s more, when the book went on sale, it was available everywhere in the world at the same moment. So I thought about Twitter – mostly because it’s the social media site I enjoy using most. But if you tweet at any particular moment half the world is asleep. That’s when it struck me that I could ‘pretend’ to be in a particular timezone and just address the people there. In fact, by making it the same time 7 to 8 PM, for a full 24 hours, I’d be constantly jumping back in time as I moved around the world from timezone to timezone. The time travel aspect was the clincher! The idea was a bit complicated and most people didn’t get it before the event, but once they saw it in action, everyone understood.
Did you do any planning or did you just launch right in and trust in luck?
There wasn’t a lot of planning. I tried to pick a good time (7 to 8 PM) when people would be home from work and not in bed. I Picked New York as the start and end point, because that’s where the book is published. And I had in mind the vague notion that I’d say things like “Hello Vladivostok” and “Good to see you Minnesota”. I also made sure I had a good map of the timezones, a good map of the world, a good automatic translation website open, Wikipedia was open, and I had talked my wife into bringing coffee and meals to my office so I didn’t have to leave for any extended periods. After that, it was all played by ear. Fortunately lots of people joined in and chatted to me as I toured the globe – far more than I expected – so it wasn’t just me saying “Hello Tokyo” all the time.
What has been the best comment you have had all day, apart from “you can go to sleep now”.
Lol. It was really great when I reached a country and someone local shouted out to me. When I hit Alaska, there was a chap who not only chatted with me about the State but also bought the book and started reading it. He gave me some very positive feedback later in the day too. The point of the tour was really just to get the fact of the book’s existence out there – to let people know it was available. Yet quite a few people tweeted to say they had bought it and were reading it. The best by far was a guy who bought it, read it in a single sitting and loved it so much he did a very positive review on his own blog even before the tour was finished! I definitely did not expect that! But what a great thing to happen. I was also very pleased with the number of people who tweeted to say they had enjoyed following the tour around the world.
What impressed me was the way that your 24 hour Twitter world tour managed to keep the hashtag #TimeSplash and all the blog links up on Twitter for a solid day, without seeming spammy, which I hasten to add, they weren’t. The only other way to get that coverage would be to spam the message, which would have upset people and Twitter. Your 24 hour tour didn’t upset people; instead they got into it, behind it, followed it and tweeted it. I just wish that I had thought of it first! You must have realised just what a good idea it was that you had, when it came to you?
It’s in the nature of Twitter that everyone who follows you sees everything you tweet and I was worried people would get bored or even irritated. It turns out I have a very nice and very tolerant Twitter following. Yes, I think I saw that it was a good idea. It certainly appealed to the geek in me – jumping back in time, the Groundhog-Day-like notion at every hour the clock got reset to 7 PM, the fun of talking to every country in the world in a 24-hour period – and I pick my followers quite carefully, I mostly reject marketers and try to stick to writers and fellow geeks, so I suppose it’s not too surprising that many people responded with interest. I must say that I tried to tweet about my personal experiences of the countries I visited, telling little anecdotes and mentioning interesting facts. Engaging in all those conversations, trying to keep it lively and interesting, and keeping track of where I was, was very engaging, sometimes quite intense. I’d expected to get a little bit bored but, in fact, it was a fascinating 24 hours.
This post is a bit like your 24 hour round the world tour in that since the last answer, a whole week has slipped past, and the reader should realise that we are now two more tour stops down the road.
It’s time travel within a single post!
OK, I’ll come clean, really it’s time compression within a single post. The geeks out there can hold back from flaming me.
But before we move on, let’s jump back a bit. On the original tour plan there was no mention of an interview with Lux Zakari. Yet a few days into the tour and an impromptu stop pops up, tell us a little bit about how an unplanned stop gets added to the tour.
Click here for part two, when Graham explains who Lux is and the hold she has over him.
TimeSplash Virtual Book Tour (Blog Tour)
This interview is part of the virtual book tour running from 16th of February to the 5th of May. To find out more about the book, characters, Graham, publication and inside information about writing the story, go to the virtual book tour schedule page at “TimeSplash – The Blog Tour 2010″
About Graham Storrs
Graham Storrs is someone who thinks a lot about the future. It’s a place we’re all going, whether we like it or not, a place where we, our children and their children will have to deal with changes we can barely imagine. Some of us can’t wait to get there, to see what it’s like, and how we will cope. That’s why Graham writes science fiction – he wants to know what happens next in this amazing story we’re all living.
After a career in research and software design, Graham has turned his gaze firmly to the far horizons and now lives and writes on a remote mountain-top in rural Australia. Surrounded by gum forests and wild animals, he relies on his wife, Christine, and their Airedale terrier, Bertie, to keep him anchored in the present.
Released: February 15, 2010 · Lyrical Press Inc.
Purchase: TimeSplash can be bought as an eBook direct from the publisher, by clicking on “Buy now”.
e-Book: All six popular formats supplied with each purchase
Price: US $ 5.50,