How I organised a 12 city book tour without losing my mind

Today I am talking about lessons that I've learned from doing book tours. Even if you’re not an author, there’s still loads of juice in this episode for you because it’s about mindset shifts and how to simplify, simplify, simplify! 

Time to get your ahas from my mistakes!

I’ve done three book tours, two kind of stressful ones and one super easy Chill and Prosper way. On my first book tour, I took my very young kids to London. I was breastfeeding and my boundaries were all over the shop! For the second one, I was still breastfeeding but I decided to go to EVERY city! With kids in two. And my mum! It was so stressful and I was exhausted. Oh, AND it cost me $100,000.

I vowed never to do another tour. But then I saw Nigella Lawson on tour and she inspired me to do things with comfort and ease. And pleasure!

My big take away: there's always an easier way to achieve your desires. 


In this episode, you'll learn: 

  • How to make events pleasurable
  • Why you should always choose the same seat on the plane
  • What you can learn from Mariah Carey on tour
  • How to travel like a diva
  • Trust that there's always more clients!



Denise Duffield...:            Hey, friends. It's Denise here. Welcome to another episode of Chill and Prosper. Your podcast for money mindset and all sorts of fun stuff about making your life in business much, much easier. And today I am talking about lessons that I've learned from doing book tours. Now, you might not be an author. You might not ever have aspirations to write. You might be an author, but you never want to do a book tour. I think you'll still get a lot out of this episode because it really shows how, sometimes in business, we overcomplicate things and it just takes a few mindset tweaks and the desire to make things easier. And my philosophy, there's always an easier way, but sometimes you have to go the detour and make things a little bit more complicated before you learn that lesson. Okay. So, even if you're not an author, please stick around because I want to hear some of your ahas from my mistakes, as always.

                                                Okay. So, I have been an author since, I've self-published my book 2011, which was Lucky Bitch. I then did Get Rich, Lucky Bitch in 2012. Then I published with Hay House. And so I published a book called Chillpreneur with Hay House, but at the same time I sold them, my self-published books to republish. So then, I had three books with Hay House and then the new addition of Chillpreneur is called Chill and Prosper. Okay. So, when you write a book, sometimes people want you to go on a book tour, right? And I have done it three times, two kind of stressful times and one super easy Chillpreneur, Chill and Prosper way time.

                                                So, let me tell you about my first book tour. So, I did a trip to London for my first book tour and it was really freaking stressful. And I'll tell you why. One, I had my family with me, which was very stressful. My kids were really young, so I was still breastfeeding and stuff like that. I hadn't quite worked out what boundaries and things I needed for that. So, I only arrived a little while before the tour. I didn't get enough childcare and stuff for the tour and I was really, really stressed. I was super jet lagged and I couldn't sleep. I was still breastfeeding and all of the things. So, it was incredibly stressful, I would say. I had to lug books everywhere. I had to lug my backdrop everywhere and it was really kind of stressful. And that was only two speaking events for that. It was really, really stressful.

                                                My second book tour was in 2017. So, this was to launch the new versions of Lucky Bitch and Get Rich, Lucky Bitch. And man, it was all so stressful. And here's my mistake for that, right. I was just going to go by myself and I felt really guilty about going on this tour and leaving my family. So, I was, "Hey, why don't you guys come with me?" And so at the time I had two kids and again, I was breastfeeding the second one. And instead of just going, "Hey look, fam, I'm just going to be away for seven days and I'll be back. And I'll batch heaps of events." We ended up going for a month because I was, "Oh, well, if we are going to this city, we may as well go to this city or if we're going to this city, we may as well go to this city." And it just kind of grew and grew.

                                                And because then we had my family, I decided to take my mom on the tour. We decided to hire a whole bunch of team and it just kind of grew and grew. And that really came from me, not wanting to set boundaries and feeling bad about being away from my family. And I totally I could have just gone by myself and it would've been literally just a couple of days away. Now, this is actually inspired a lot of stuff that I wrote about in my book, Chillpreneur, now titled Chill and Prosper. The whole chapter called the golden goose was actually inspired by this book tour because I was up really late, the baby was crying. Mark's like, "You need to get up with the baby." I mean, he was, I can't even remember how old he was now. He was probably two or something, but he was still kind of breastfeeding sometimes. And I remember just going, "I'm the freaking golden goose here and no one is respecting this. I have to be on stage in eight hours." And no one cares about that.

                                                So, nothing in the book tour was set up to help me prosper and help me feel good. It was all set up for what would look good on the outside and so a lot of the events were at really cool places. And if you came to see me on that 2017 book tour, it was really fun. It was really successful, but I was really tired from it. Really, really tired. And there was no time off to do anything fun. It would just went from tour to tour and work to work. So I was, "I'm never doing a book tour ever again," because I just couldn't face the idea of that much energy for something and it was just, I couldn't face doing it, right? I really couldn't. So, I just said, "I'm never going to do a book tour again. I'm only going to do virtual events and yeah. It's not going to happen."

                                                Now, the cool thing is though, in the meantime, I went and spoke at Hay House's events, right? And so I was, "Oh, thank God I chose a publisher who do their own events so I don't have to organize this. I don't have to sell my books myself. They're all sold for them. I don't have to get bums on seats. I don't have to set the chairs out." I mean, I wasn't physically doing that myself or my book tour, but I was still paying someone to set those chairs out, right? So, it was really cool going to speak at Hay House's events and they organized the whole thing and it was really cool, but I still kind of wanted to do something myself.

                                                And I saw, I went to someone's book tour event and it completely changed my perception of it, right? So, I live in Newcastle Australia and normally people don't really come here. We don't have big bands and stuff that come here, but Nigella Lawson came to Newcastle as part of her book tour and it wasn't even a book tour for a new book. It was, I heard, the 20th anniversary of her book. I think it's called How to Eat.

                                                That book to her, going to her event absolutely changed my perception about it. So, first of all, it was at a theater. It was at just one of our theaters that you can see shows and stuff at. So, it was plush seats and the curtains and it was all really cool and really set up. And I was, "Oh, this is a good place to do a book tour. Why wouldn't I have done this instead of doing it in hotels and Marriott hotels." So I was, "Wow, this is really beautiful." And then she just came out and she sat on a couch and she just answered questions and I love Nigella. I think she's just so beautiful and I love her books, I love her videos, I love everything that she does. And so I was sitting there going, "This is amazing. Maybe I could go on book tour and just sit on a couch and talk and answer questions." Am I allowed to do that? And yeah, I am. So, I actually created an amazing book tour from that night. I started it the next day and it was so great and so amazing.

                                                And I will tell you about that after the break, but I just want to tell you really quickly before that. So, I asked Nigella a question and I was really nervous, but I really wanted to ask her a question because sometimes that's just a little personal challenge that I set myself, is to ask a question before I get too nervous. So, I always put my hand up first. So, I put my hand up and actually one of my neighbors was working for the theater and she had the microphone. She saw me and she came and gave me the microphone. I was, "Yeah." And I said, "Oh, Hi Nigella. My name is Denise Duffield-Thomas. I'm a money mindset coach. And I love talking about money. And I would love to ask you a question about your money personality and she was, "Oh." And I said, you always talk about pleasure and joy around your food. And I said, "Is that how you are with your money?" Because I love talking about money archetypes, I'm certified in Sacred Money Archetypes with Kendall SummerHawk.

                                                And I thought she would be the romantic archetype, which is all about pleasure and doing things when you feel like it and really enjoying things. And some people with that romantic archetype, overspend and overindulge and things that bring them pleasure. So, I thought she must be that archetype. And she goes, "Oh, actually, I'm really frugal." And I was like, "Oh my God, really?" She goes, "Yes, because I was a single mom. And I really struggled when I was first a single mom and so I learned I had to save my money. And so every time I get book royalties or make money, I always put some of it away because that feeling is so painful." And I just went, "Oh my God. How fascinating." So, she's probably got a lot of that accumulator money archetype in her, which they're very much about scarcity sometimes and saving money for a rainy day. So, I thought that was fascinating but after the break, I want to tell you about the book tour that I created from seeing Nigella Lawson on her book tour. I'll see you in just a sec.

Anna Moran:                      I'm Anna Moran, a former journalist and news reader from England, but I've been living in Australia for the past 10 years, working in oil and gas and mining. My sister's photography business was kicking off back home and she was tripling her income within one to two years. When I asked her what her secret was, she sent me Denise's audio book, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch and it has changed my life. The first thing I did was to revamp my underwear drawer and I spent hundreds on knickers and socks. Thank you, Denise. I then went into work and demanded a pay rise and then some more, when I got what I asked for. Within a couple of months, I quit my job and I'm now using my radio and journalism skills to set up my own business, starting with my Britstralian podcast. And that's all. Thank you to Denise.

Beth Blanco:                       Hi, my name is Beth Blanco. I'm a certified financial counselor. I've been helping people with their finances since 2005 and a few years ago, I really got into energy and personal development and I read Denise's book, Get Rich, Lucky Bitch and I absolutely loved it. It changed the trajectory of how I helped people with their finances, not just the strategy, but also improving their relationship and just unblocking all the things for their childhood. And I just absolutely love the book.

Denise Duffield...:            Okay. Welcome back. So we are talking about the lessons I learned from stressful book tours and now I want to share the most successful book tour I have ever created or seen and how freaking easy it was. So, my first book tour, super stressful, full of angst and all that kind of stuff. My second book tour also super stressful. Now, the thing about my second book tour is that I only really, I think I spoke at five events and I think it cost me about a hundred thousand dollars to do that book tour for four events, which actually is pretty, you might look at that and go, "Actually, that's not too bad," if you think of four different hotels and event hire, that includes travel and accommodation for me, my husband, two kids and my mom as well, as well as hiring an event manager and all the things, AV in every place, all the travel between everything.

                                                So, it cost me a $100,000 and it was really freaking stressful and I vowed never to do it again. One thing I didn't mention too, I found out I was pregnant on that book tour. So, it was when I left, I think the New York event which was amazing. I love that New York event. It was the most successful, biggest one, but I left it and I thought I was going to vomit in the cab. And I just thought it was because I just hugged 300 people. I thought, "Oh my God. I'm feeling sick from too many people." The next day, I had a day off between events and Mark said, "What do you want for dinner?" And I said, "Chinese food." He goes, "I was thinking Indian." I was like, "No! It has to be Chinese food."

                                                And he went, "Oh. I've heard this before." And I went, "What do you mean?" And he goes, "Are you pregnant?" And I went, "No. Why would I be pregnant?" And yes, I was pregnant. Anyway, so that added just an extra level of stress to that very stressful book tour. Again, if I saw you on that book tour, I loved, that was the best part, is seeing everybody, meeting everybody. Okay. So, after I saw Nigella Lawson and saw her just sitting on a couch and answering questions for her book tour and everyone thrilled with that, I was, "How can I do a book tour that would be really, really easy for me? How would it be super easy?" So, actually I got this brain wave to do all of my events at a cinema because I loved being there at a theater watching Nigella and I thought, "There's theaters in every city, but actually there's cinemas in every single city."

                                                So, I happen to know the marketing manager of one of the big chains here. And so I said to her, "Hey look. Could I run actual, a speaking event at cinemas?" And she was like, "Yeah. Most of the cinemas are set up for. They can do meetings and events and stuff like that." And I was like, "Well, maybe that's how I can do a book tour." So, spending a hundred grand doing four events, five events. So, in one day, I organized a 12-city book tour. In one day. How did I do that? Well, I spoke to the marketing manager of that cinema chain, Event Cinemas. And the thing with cinemas is that they're always open day and night, right? Always open. They have usually four to 12 cinemas in any one, screens. They have big rooms and small rooms.

                                                So, they'd have a room for 500 people. They would have room for 2000 people. And it's pretty easy for them to move stuff around because sometimes they might just have one showing and some of the cinemas might be empty anyway. So, it was absolutely no problem for her to sit and send an email to all of her chains and just book this event for me. Each cinema costs between 900 and $1,200, depending on if it was a small regional one or if it was a ginormous kind of big city one. Right? So, that then was about, it cost me about $12,000 for 12 cities. And if you have any time, if you've ever booked events or tours or speaking things or conferences, you know how much work it is just getting dates for hotels, times and they're all different.

                                                So, here's the other thing, every cinema already has chairs. Every cinema already has a screen. Every cinema already has AV embedded into it. So, I decided to do them during the day because I went, "What would Nigella do?" And I went, "I actually don't want to work on weekends. I don't want to be away from my family during the weekends. So, I'm going to go during the week and it's going to be a day event because I'm a grandma. I don't want to do night events." And so I would do, I think it was a lunchtime event, right? A two-hour lunchtime event. And so what I did was, for a month, I left home on Monday, I did a Tuesday event, I did a Thursday event and then I would go home. And so I was only away for a couple of days and I did that for a couple of weeks and I did 12 cities.

                                                Okay. So and this isn't saying to you, you have to do a book tour like that or you have to do an event like that. I'm not saying that at all. All I'm saying is there's always an easier way to achieve what you want to achieve. And so for me, I need it to be a super simple event. And then I was like, "Okay, so I've got all these dates booked." And the cool thing was I could just do one sales page with different dates. It was so easy. Every cinema people, knew where it was. There was parking already. All that information was on each cinema's website. There's one website for all the cinemas that has the parking information, the accessibility information, it was already all there. I could just copy and paste it. It was always in a city center. It was super easy.

                                                So, I was like, "Okay. What else can I make that's really easy around it?" So, I spoke to my team to put in some really good boundaries around how they were to book accommodation and flights and stuff for me. So, my seat is always 1D which is always the front row, but it's not the one in front of the door. And it's the aisle seat because I feel too [inaudible] if I'm in the middle or a window seat, so one D is my preferred seat usually on most planes. So I was like, "Every flight I want to be in one D." I always want a suite, if you can get it, because I want extra room, hair and makeup is going to be booked at this exact same time, every time.

                                                We found apps that could book hair and makeup for you so we could do it through one system. A lot of local hair and make up artists had a profile on that app. I was like, "I want you to order the same meal for me. If you can pre-do a meal on the plane, in the hotel, I wanted it to be exactly the same." And I learned that from watching women like Mariah Carey, Kylie Minogue, what's the name, Katie Perry being on tour because they want their dressing rooms to look the exact same every time. So, with Kylie Minogue, they travel with a white couch and a white rug and white curtain. So, they can make her dressing room look the same and I used to think, "Oh man, what divas but when you're doing the same thing again and again, you need those creature comforts."

                                                So, it was like, "Hey, you guys have to book a latex pillow for me at every hotel because I hate feather pillows. Pre-book the breakfast, pre-book a meal on the plane for me and this is what I want." And so I would turn up. I didn't even know where I was going half the time I would go, "Okay, I'm going to the airport," and they have to put travel time in my diary so I knew what time I had to leave home. And then I would get there in my diary would be what plane I'm on, what time.

                                                On the other side, there would be a diary confirmation about how do I get to the hotel, is there a car picking me up or do I have to get an Uber, putting the travel time actually blocked out in my calendar and then the time of check-in, which hotel am I at, what information the next day, what time the makeup artist is coming, in my calendar, what's their mobile phone number. And the makeup artist had been sent a photo of me ahead of time. What kind of hair and makeup I want, what colors I like, all those sort of things. And I felt a little bit like a diva around it, but I realized that all of that stuff reduced decision fatigue for me. I didn't want to think about any of those things.

                                                Yes, I want to sit in 1D every single time. Okay. You can't get 1D, I'll sit in the one behind. I'll sit in 2D. And there were some hiccups along the way where I was like, "Guys, where am I going? It's not in my calendar." And they were like, "Oh, but we emailed you the confirmation." I was like, "Nope, it has to be in my calendar." So, I only have to just check my calendar when I get off the plane and I know where I'm going.

                                                One other cool thing that I did because I didn't want to travel with anyone, I didn't want to travel with an entourage. I just wanted to be by myself. We found, well, Hay House actually helped me do this. They found a book seller that was also in every city and it was a book chain and they actually came and sold books for me. So, I didn't even have to do that. They set up a table at the back of the room. They sold them, which means that they made the profit from it. And in six months time, I'd get a dollar a book, but I didn't care about that. I didn't care about selling it because then I would have to get the EFTPOS machine, the credit card machine. I would have to have someone there to do it. And instead it was just so, so easy.

                                                Okay. So, that was my lessons from my stressful book tour and my super easy book tour. And I want to know what were your ahas around this. Is there something that you can change or shift in your business to be really, really simple, really repeatable, really easy. Yeah. I can't wait to hear your ahas on this one, because I love sharing it with you, but stick around because I've got one final thought to share with you straight after this break.

Cate Butler Ros...:            Hey, my name's Cate Butler Ross and I'm a writer and a content coach from London. And I have a couple of small kids, three and seven, Eddie and Alana. I joined bootcamp back in January 2020. I've read all of Denise's books, loved her work and I've been in business for a couple of years and I'd had some success, but I had some major issues around money blocks, around starving artists. Writers can't make money, you can't be a successful writer make money, creatives are poor, all that kind of stuff. And so, I joined bootcamp for that reason because I knew I had to break through that. And actually I ran through bootcamp for the first time and within a few days I had my first, not quite five-figure months, but very, very close. And that was, I cannot tell you that was an enormous, that was huge for me.

                                                And then so I was on a real high and then of course COVID hit and homeschooling, no time to work, no childcare, life was stressful. And so suddenly realized I had to shift to this kind of passive or semi-passive income model. And I tell you what, what came up for me was that it was wrong to make money without working hard. And working in bootcamp and being surrounded by these incredible women made me realize that I can do that and I do deserve that. And so now, I've spent the last few months building my business and turning into semi-passive income and focusing on the things that I love and passionate about. And I would never have done that without bootcamp and the support I get there. Join, join, join. It's amazing.

Denise Duffield...:            Hey there, friends. It's Denise back here for one final thought. And this is about more clients. I've heard this recently from people saying that they're actually, they want more clients, but they're also scared of clients. What would an influx of new clients do? Or there's not enough clients. And so, I always say to myself, there's always more clients, just like I there's always more money. There's always more clients. And so I often look for proof of concept around this. So, if you've got someone that you look up to who serves a similar client base to you and for me, someone who has a massive, big course that tens of thousands of people have gone through. And I think, well, they're all very similar people who enjoy my money bootcamp. So, every time I get in my head and go, "Oh gosh, everyone's seen what I do."

                                                I look to that and I go, "Oh my God, no, there's always more clients. There's always more." And it doesn't matter what industry you're in, there's always more ways for you to reach new people. The world is open up for you. So, it could be just, it's safe for me to find new clients. It's safe for me to have more clients or you could do mine, which is there's always more, there's always more clients. And I use this for money, I use this for everything. Even if I need to find a hairpin or an elastic band, I always go, "There's always more elastic bands." Then I look around and go, "Oh, there's one." And there's something there about just telling yourself that there's more, gives you the eyes to see it. It gives you the faith, then, to go out and do the marketing.

                                                It opens spaces for you. Okay. So, see where you're telling yourself that there's lack in scarcity. There's always more. Oh my God, there's so many people on this planet and you only need a very small fraction of them to work with you. So, there's always more clients, always. I will see you next week for another episode of Chill and Prosper, but I have a favorite to ask if you haven't yet rated or even subscribed, please do so because it really helps us. It helps the show find new audiences. Whenever I look at the top 5,000 podcasts, they're often dominated by dudes and I would love to hit a best listener. What do they call it, most popular list for podcasts. So, that's my favor that I want to ask for you today. Just hit that rate button. I don't care if you give me one star, it still helps. I don't read them anyway. And subscribe, tell someone else about it, if you enjoy it, of course. Okay. I will see you next week for another episode of Chill and Prosper. See you later.


About the Show

Chill & Prosper is your weekly dose of money mindset, marketing and humour from best-selling author and entrepreneur Denise Duffield-Thomas.

Denise's philosophy is that there is ALWAYS an easier way to make money and that's what she's here to help you do. Each week, you'll get actionable advice to help you make more money, with less work. There's no need to hustle - let Denise show you how to embrace the Chillpreneur way.

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