Private: Book tours can help young writers gain a foothold in publishing, Pollack asserts

In the MobyLives letters section, Neal Pollack responds to Sara Nelson’s contention that book tours are a waste of money for mid-list authors:

I’m not saying I disagree with Sara Nelson’s column. The last four years of my life have been an object lesson in the existential futility of book touring. And if she thinks books go unsold at readings, she should try lugging around a box of baby tees for an extra dose of self-inflicted humiliation.

But I still believe that incessant touring is the best grass-roots promotional strategy. For a young author with little to distinguish him or herself from the pack but energy and a winning personality, the literary road trip stands above all other experiences on earth….