Slate Magazine senior editor Jonathan L. Fischer recently filed this great piece: Southwest Airlines Knows How to Make Your Flight Even More Fun: Book Readings at 35,000 Feet!
He happened to be on a Southwest flight with his wife recently where author @, nonprofit founder, best-selling author, and former Navy SEAL, described his latest book—a series of letters about resilience and self-reliance that he wrote to a fellow veteran who suffered from PTSD—and read a chapter to passengers.
According to Fischer, “While this was the rare book reading in which a chunk of the audience was either sleeping or wearing headphones or both, much of Greitens’ captive crowd did seem to be engaged, though that may have been partially thanks to the Southwest employee who announced that submitting a question for Greitens to answer would qualify you for a special gift.”
Turns out, this is another new angle to Southwest’s Artists on the Fly series, which before now we’d only heard was featuring musical artists (among them Imagine Dragon). Artists are compensated with free airfare (and a captive audience, it would seem).
Imagine the possibilities.
So maybe it’s not just @. Maybe your own favorite airline would be up for doing an author reading.
This might be especially relevant if your book has a regional focus. We could so hear a chapter of something like Gone with the Wind heading to Atlanta, or something from Anne Rice and the vampire Lestat flying into New Orleans… So if a city figures prominently in your work, might it also not be an appropriate “destination reading?”
Or maybe you’d rather stay “grounded” but can arrange something to entertain travel-weary passengers stuck in a beige-walled airport? Have you reached out to the local airport bookstore?
And of course let’s not forget about cruise ships, those floating captive audiences yearning to be entertained (readings from the captain’s table, perhaps?).
Remember our piece last year on Amtrak’s Free Rides to Writers? They ended up doing a 24 writer residency program (which all began from a Twitter campaign!) Now, imagine a cross-country book-signing tour from the dining car…
Have more “travel-related” book launch or book signing ideas? Share ’em with your comment below!