As I travel around the country talking about Living Large in Lean Times, I do it differently than any other author just about any publisher has ever had.
A typical author flies first class and is met by a host upon landing before being ushered off to a limo. Then the publisher babysits them and puts them up in the fanciest hotel in town. That’s the way it works. But not on a Clark book tour!
My publisher never had anybody make the request I did during contract negotiations: I requested the right to book my own travel. They can’t believe how little I’m spending traveling around the country! Years ago I was in travel business, so I learned how to save a bit doing that.
The last time I was in Dayton, I paid $37 for my hotel. This time, however, I’m embarrassed to say it was $59! I love to pick on one of my HLN producers, Dave Siff. He’s staying at the exact same hotel, but he’s paying $159 because he has to book rooms through his corporate network.
Likewise, we were in New York City a few days ago, and my radio producer Christa was not happy with me. Normally when I fly into LaGuardia, I hop a bus from the terminal and go to Astoria Boulevard, where I then take a subway into the city. But this time, there was a limo waiting there to pick us up. Christa still maintains it was a “car” not a “limo” and it was there at the instance of the publisher. What a sore point between us!
Other than that exception, as a rule, we do everything we can as we travel around to live my life the same way you discover it on the printed page in Living Large in Lean Times. It is my goal in life to first take money and cordon it off for the future. That’s numero uno. And then everything else for me comes after that.
As an example of the “everything else,” I think my belt is one notch looser because I went to Graeter’s for ice cream last night while in the Dayton area. I had caramel and toffee crunch, and it seemed like the best ice cream of my life. The cost? Five dollars. Definitely worth the price of the subway ride I didn’t get to take in New York!
Editor’s note: This segment originally aired Aug. 15, 2011