"Sandman" writer and prolific novelist Neil Gaiman is a popular man. So much so that he hasn't done any actual signing tours since the release of his novel "Anansi Boys" in 2005. A signing the author did in Georgia in 2009 (not part of a tour) took over seven hours and he signed for over 1000 people. Although Gaiman announced a U.S. and U.K. signing tour for his new novel, "Ocean at the End of the Lane" on his personal website, the lines for getting Gaiman's signature may be even longer than normal, as the writer says in no uncertain terms it's his last major signing tour ever.
"They’re exhausting, on a level that’s hard to believe," Gaiman said on his website. "I love meeting people, but the sixth hour of signing, for people who have been standing in a line for seven hours, is no fun for anybody. … So I’m going to try and make this tour the glorious last US book signing tour, and then stop doing book signing tours for good."
Gaiman states he plans "a bunch of American signings" for the tour, hoping to get to places he wouldn't normally have a chance to visit, such as the American South, followed by a "smaller, more manageable" tour in the U.K. After his tour of the U.K., Gaiman stated he wants to go to "place I don't usually get to, or to which I haven't gone in a long time" such as Brazil and Poland.
Fans should note that while this is Gaiman's final massive signing tour, it doesn't preclude individual events or pre-signed books for sale.
"I might even sign books if I feel like it," the writer said, citing a "ninja book signing" at St. Mark's Bookshop in New York he announced via Twitter a few hours before it happened. However, this is definitively the end for large-scale signing events, which means he won't be going on tour to sign his highly anticipated "Sandman" prequel project with artist J.H. Williams III when it releases in 2013.