The Lock In Tour FAQ

I’ve gotten a number of questions from folks about the upcoming Lock In book tour, which starts in less than two weeks holy cow, so I’ve decided to post up this quick document to refer people to. Here are the questions I’ve been getting, in no particular order. All the responses are useful except possibly the last three.

1. Where is your tour going? Here’s the full tour itinerary.

2. Why are you not coming to [name of town I am not coming to]? Because the tour is already four weeks long and I will turn into pudding if I am out much longer than that. I will almost certainly be doing other tours in the future. Perhaps I will come then.

3. What about [name of country that is not the US]? If my local publisher there, and/or a local festival invites me to tour/appear, then I may do that. Ask them!

4. How much does seeing you cost? I am almost certain that every event on this tour is free — just show up at the bookstore at the correct time. That said, note that at least one stop on my tour is giving priority in the signing line to people who purchase Lock In at the store. So check with your local stop to see how they’re doing things.

5. Do we need to buy a copy of Lock In to attend your tour? No. BUT — you should buy a copy of Lock In from the store I’ll be doing my event at, to support that bookstore. You don’t have to wait until I show up at the store — you can pre-order the book from the store or buy it there when the book comes out. But please support the store that’s supporting me (Also note that every pre-order/first week purchase of the book — particularly the hardcover, but any purchase — helps in terms of placement on best seller lists, and that’s in fact pretty useful to me in terms of coverage, etc. So yeah, please, get the book early).

6. But I already pre-ordered/bought Lock In elsewhere! Then I would request that when you go to the bookstore to see me on tour, you buy another book at the store to show your support. It doesn’t even have to be a book of mine — any book will do. But give that bookstore some love, and by “love,” I mean “money.”

7. May I bring my spouse/significant other/friends/relatives/co-workers to your tour event? Please bring every single person you know or have ever met to my event. I promise you will all have a good time. I give good book tour.

8. What do you do at your tour stops? For the Lock In tour, I will be reading some new, exclusive material that you will only be able to hear if you come the tour, I will read a couple other funny short pieces, I will do a question and answer session which is usually entertaining, and then I will sign books. If someone brings a ukulele, I might serenade you. If someone brings hand puppets, I might do a puppet show. On a couple of stops, there might be special guests. And so on. And then I’ll be signing books.

9. Will you only be signing Lock In? I’ll sign (and if desired, personalize) any book of mine you set in front of me, and indeed probably anything you want me to sign. That said, depending on the size of the signing line, I may sign only three things at one time, so if you have more than that, you might have to go back and get in the line again for a second go round.

10. I am not able to see you on tour but I want a signed book! What do I do? If you live in a town I’ll be touring in, order the book (preferably Lock In, but any book) from the store I’m visiting and request that I sign/personalize the book. I’ll be happy to do so. If you don’t live in a town I’m visiting, just pick a store I’m visiting and ask for a signing/personalization, and I’ll do that when I’m in town, and then they’ll ship the book to you. I’ll also be signing book stock at each stop, so each store should have signed books from me after I go.

11. Hey, wanna hang out before/after your event? First, you’re awesome for asking and thank you. Second, at nearly every stop my time is spoken for either by business-related stuff or by friends in town who I already have plans to see. And then I have to get to sleep because most of my flights to the next town are early in the morning. So generally speaking I won’t be available for hanging out. It’s not you. You are lovely. It’s me.

12. I have a gift I want to give you! Is that allowed? Sure! Be aware that when I travel I pack very tightly (usually with just carry-on luggage) so depending on the size of your gift or the state of my luggage, I may ask the bookstore to ship the gift to my house. So if you see me hand it over to someone else, that’s likely what’s happening. With food gifts, let me request that you lean towards things that won’t spoil in a hotel room (cookies, etc).

13. Do people really give you gifts and food and stuff like that? Yup, and usually the stuff I get is pretty cool.


15. BUT DIDN’T YOU SEE THAT I HAVE UNGUENTS? I did. Not interested. Thanks anyway.

16. ALSO I WILL BRING YOU A COKE ZERO. Well, why didn’t you say so. See you in my room.

46 Comments on “The Lock In Tour FAQ”

  1. To be clear, no one really asks to be my groupie. I’m as mystified as anyone. All the other questions, however, I have actually been asked.

  2. Wishing I could be at one of your tour stops and be your First Groupie! (But as I am in the UK and the stops are in the US, I’m guessing you are safe for now :). )

  3. I’m sure it is silly of me, but I’m nervous that you do not appear on the Tattered Cover’s schedule for September 2d. I don’t think you would ever set up poor Denver for a Lucy football pull. But, I’m a bit gullible.

  4. Aw, John – Decatur, GA right in the middle of the afternoon in the middle of DragonCon? Somewhere the Gods of Scheduling are pointing at me and laughing. (Choose your geek alliance, fangirl! Choose now!)

  5. And speaking of the Tattered Cover, which one? How can I print out a map if I don’t know? Does my car have enough gas? #maybeoverreacting Also, can’t wait for Sept 2nd.

  6. Denver people, I called Tattered Cover earlier and yes it is on their schedule in store, just for some reason not listed on the Events website. It’s at the Colfax location. :-)

  7. Thank you for urging people to buy books from the stores where you’ll be signing without requiring that they buy the book to attend. I will not be going to the local book tour stop of an author I very much wanted to see because after urging people to pre-order his book (which I did), many of his stops are requiring the price of his book to get in and I’m neither able nor willing to pay for the book twice.

  8. The Tattered Cover event is now on the website. I apologize we had some missing emails. We all good and super excited to have John coming to Denver. Coke Zero is already in the fridge.

  9. I am probably going to be in DragonCon Registration. I would love to meet you, but DUTY FIRST.

  10. I am horribly, horribly disappointed that you’re coming to Raleigh a month after I moved (to a state that didn’t even make the list).

  11. you need to add another…
    judging from your latest photos your daughter seems to be keeping getting you off your butt to exercise. this kind of travel is a death sentence for diets. got any plans to keep the weight off while you travel? you just lost weight you could easily pack on 10-15 pounds during this trip if your not careful. that wouldn’t be fair to your Athena since she had to put up with all your whining and complaining about the exercise all summer.

    seriously. you look like you lost weight.

  12. You’re in Gurnee, IL Sept 10 and then Chicago on Oct 21. I realize in our traffic it could take a month to get from one to the other but any reason why not hit both places closer time-wise or is that just how the schedule fell together?

    Also, The Seminary Co-Op has two locations, any idea which one? Or have you slipped and finally revealed that there are more than one of you out there!

  13. Hmm maybe I should get my friend who works at U of C to go since I’ll be in Scotland when you’re in Chicago and I doubt I’ll be motivated enough to drive out to Gurnee. Or at least make her pick up the copy I order for signing.

  14. I might be able to make it to see you in Philly. I couldn’t make it last time. Stupid real life responsibilities, always getting in the way. However, I have a question if I can make it.

    If you found yourself caught up in a spinning bear hug by a giant man, imagine an offensive lineman, who then proceeded to noogie you as he enthusiastically told you how much he enjoys your books; would you find this appalling? alarming? complimentary? sweet? bothersome? weird? awesome? all of the above?

    It is the kind of question one should ask when the idea hits one’s brain. Especially since we have never met.

  15. Mary and DC peeps: The Decatur Book festival is really, really close to DragonCon. The year I took of Saturday morning of DC to go to it I think it was a 10 min subway ride. The festival is right off the subway stop. It’s really easy to pop down for a few hours.

  16. @Aurora It would be kind of fun to show up in my Deathface Ginny cosplay…But DC is already so busy and exhausting!

  17. Too bad you have to scoot after your appearance in the Boston area (Brookline Booksmith at 279 Harvard Street, written in large letters in my calendar). You’re going to miss the IgNobels at Harvard that Thursday. If you want to change you plans we’ll try to smuggle you in with our delegation.

  18. While I love my job it forever frustrates me that by the time I know about [cool event] it is entirely too late for me to get the day off. Because my job is weird and our scheduling is super weird.

  19. NB to San Diego folks: Mysterious Galaxy, in San Diego, is requiring in-store book purchases on or after the sale date for the signing line (website purchases/pre-orders won’t automatically get numbers.)

    Sounds fun! I’ve got Lock-in pre-reserved on Audible. Digital audio-books being difficult to sign (and I’m not big on autographs anyway), I think I’ll show up just for the pre-signing song and dance, which sounds pretty fun. Gives me a chance also to check out a local bookstore I’ve never walked through the doors of.

  20. My helpful suggestion is to ALWAYS reserve or pre-order the book ahead of time. When John came around for the Redshirts tour, we didn’t find out about it until the day of, and when we got to the bookstore all available copies had been claimed. We got signed copies, but had to wait for the store to get them, ship them to him, sign them, and send them back.

  21. John, someday, when the moon is in the 7th house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, and peace guides the planet, and love steers the stars…you and I will be in Beavercreek on the same day.

    Until then, have a great time in all those places I won’t be.

  22. John, I know the BEST barbecue in Austin, and it’s probably not any of the places you’ve been told about. And I’m not going to reveal it here because I don’t want everyone else going there and eating all the great food before we can get there on our bro-date.

    Crap, I think I just ruined my chances. Uh, unguent-less Coke Zero?

  23. I feel so disloyal. Lev Grossman is in Chapel Hill on the 28th and I’m considering going to his signing instead of yours. Will you ever forgive me?

  24. Can’t wait for your Seattle visit at the UW Bookstore! I will bring a green ukulele for the occasion :) Since I also preordered the audiobook, would you be terribly upset if I bring a glossy print of Lock In cover to sign? (To support the store I’ll probably buy some art supplies.)

  25. You want to visit Lincoln NE for the Human Division 2 tour. Or maybe Omaha. But really Lincoln. I mean, how many cities have a coin named after them? There might even be droids there, possibly the ones you’re looking for.

  26. Thank you for coining the phrase ‘the failure state of “clever” is “asshole”.’ When I know I am about to say something so very clever, I recall that phrase and sometimes rethink my plans, like just a moment ago.

  27. I am planning on dragging friends away from Dragon Con to your book signing in Decatur. Can’t wait, as I missed your last book signing in Decatur by about 2 days when I moved down here.

  28. Just wanted to validate John’s claim that he Gives Good Book Tour. He does. He does indeed. Sadly, he won’t be coming to Pittsburgh, probably because we are a desert inhabited only by Barnes & Noble stores located in suburban malls.

    (Yes, there’s the excellent Rickert & Beagle books south of the city, and Mystery Lovers Bookshop to the northwest, but there should be at least one bookstore that sells NEW books in town, dangnabit! I live in a city with walkable neighborhoods, and universities all over the place, and I shouldn’t need to get on a freeway, or spend more than 45 minutes driving to get to one.)

  29. Just pre-ordered a copy from Brookline Booksmith! It is an early birthday present for my sibling, but I’m looking forward to meeting you!

  30. I’ve been a fan of your work for a while, and now I’m reading some of your books with my 11-year old daughter. She loved The Android’s Dream, and now we’re doing Old Man’s War. (I know, it’s a lot of language for a kid that age. But I don’t think she has ever in her life laughed harder than when we got to the part in OMW when everyone listed the names they gave their Brainpals. Positive trade-off, I think.) Anyway, I was hoping to take her to see the reading on this tour, but unfortunately we’re going to be out of town when you’re here. We’re sad about that. But I just wanted to say thanks and keep up the good work, since I won’t get to say it in person. You’re helping make a new generation of science fiction fans.

  31. Whenever I see the word unguents I somehow read it as ungulates. So then I picture someone trying to slather you with hooved mammals. Hooved mammals that are TOTALLY not into this process. Anyway I’m hoping to come see you at Borderlands, and will not be bringing unguents OR ungulates. Or ungulate-flavored unguents.

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