As an author, when you publish a book, you want the world to know about it. You want to go out and talk about your book to everybody you meet. Although this might not be the most socially acceptable way to do it, skipping through the streets and sticking your book in everyone’s face is sometimes pretty tempting… But don’t fear! You can always go on a book tour!
Book tours are awesome. They get you to meet new people, they get your words and books out to the world and they let you interact with fans and future fans. Organizing and even going on a book tour can be quite tricky and scary. Here are 10 tips that will help you with your book tour.
1. Set expectations
The worst and most painful thing that can happen when you go on a book tour is having only 3 people that turned up. No, it’s not you, it’s not the people… it’s just the way things are.
You have to be a JK Rowling to get people to come to your readings or tours and even when you have sold a few thousand copies, it might be hard to motivate people to show up.
Don’t be stressed out or even disappointed when there aren’t many (new) people at your events. That is why it is very important to set expectations and except that it might not be as busy as you dreamt it would be.
2. Contact a bookshop
Most people would want to do a book tour in a little hall or venue they rented out. This is not always the best way to do it. Try and contact some local book shops, they will be happy to host you since they – just like you, need the extra marketing and attention. These book shops have their own list of people to invite and thus you might have new people showing up to listen to your readings. If you do it in a small venue you rented yourself, you have to do the list building and marketing all by yourself.
3. Get hand outs!
Get some small nick knacks to hand out to the people that came to your book tour. Some people give away special bookmarks and business cards, some authors give away e-book versions of short stories they wrote or when you have a slightly bigger budget you can have pens made. Try and think of small things you use every day, that are easy and cheap to make and nice to receive as a reader or literary fan.
4. Collect emails!
Book signings, readings and book tours are the ultimate way to collect emails and do some cheeky list building. Be sure to ask email addresses from everyone you meet, preferably just put out a clip board and let people write down their own email address. When using your mailing list manager, put these people in separate lists and send them an email to thank them for being there in venue X or Y.
5. Do it online.
More and more authors are doing their book tours online. They appear on podcasts, write guest blogs or do interviews with websites. This is, of course a very easy way of reaching a lot of people. When you do a book tour, the furthest your tour may reach is national, and even then – in countries like the USA you might not even get to leave your state. When you do a book tour online, people from all over the world have the opportunity to interact with you and your book.