Macht Show!

I was listening to a terrific podcast interview with Neil Gaiman on Just One More Book. Here’s the link: Just One More Book. Don’t miss it.

I was fascinated to learn that Neil has been blogging since 2001. He was on to the power of the web before almost everyone else. He blogs every day. (Make a note of that, Eric.)

One part of the interview made me laugh. Neil talked about an idea he had several years ago. Instead of doing a book signing tour, he asked if he could do a book reading tour. Signed books would be available, but instead of sitting at a table for hours, he wanted to share his stories with the people at the event. His publisher responded, “What a great idea!” He’s been doing it ever since.

And it is a great idea. Except that there’s nothing new about it. Children’s book authors do that all the time. In fact, it’s most of what we do when we visit a school, library, or bookstore. It’s expected that we will read, tell, draw, do magic tricks. Something! As the German nightclub owners used to scream at the Beatles when they played in Hamburg before they were famous: “Macht show! Macht show!”

When I make visits, I read and tell stories. Sometimes I bring along my banjo. Janet Stevens draws. Sid Fleischman did magic tricks.

On the other hand, when you’re as fine a writer as Neil Gaiman, you don’t have to do a darn thing!

Where can I find a set of button eyes?

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