Book tours can get expensive and overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. And a tour doesn’t mean you have to cover a broad area of the country, either. You can limit it to just a few towns that are close to each other, geographically.
The nice things about book tours is that you get an opportunity to produce a spike in book sales, develop a relationship with some book retailers, and create a little buzz about your book.
I’m going on a book tour starting this next Friday in central North Carolina with three friends of mine. Here are some thoughts on making your tour easier:
Find authors that live close or have connections to the area you’re touring. (I live in NC, Jenn Stanley’s (she’s also Ellery Adams) family still lives in the area, Krista Davis lives fairly close in Virginia, and Avery Aames used to live in NC.)
Decide on the cities you’ll be covering—with a map so you don’t agree to be in Town A at 9 a.m. for a stock signing, 11 a.m. in Town B for a talk, then 2 p.m. back in Town A for a meet and greet if the towns aren’t even close to each other.
Lodging: If you all have connections to the area, chances are you’ll have friends or family in the area you can stay with and reduce your travel costs. Otherwise, consider sharing rooms.
Contact bookstores (chain and independent) and consider other venues, too. Are there libraries that like hosting events? Are there any art fairs, etc., that you could attend? It’s a good idea to call the bookstores a month out so that you can make sure they can order extra copies of your book to have in stock.
Consider stock signings. Each event doesn’t have to be a signing or a talk. You can also arrange to go to a store and sign the stock and leave your bookmarks at the front desk or the customer service desk. Again, you’ll want to call a month ahead even for a stock signing and just make sure that the books are there.
Name your tour. We called ours the Killer Cozies tour. :)
Come up with a promotional flyer that can be emailed to the CRMs or put on webpages.
Post the events on Goodreads.
Add a webpage to your blog or website to give details on appearances.
Divide up some of this work and planning between the authors.
Take all the information on when you’ll be where and put it in an itinerary for the group with everyone’s cell numbers.
Keep all your receipts while you’re on the tour.
Arrange to go with some really organized authors who do most of this for you! :) Thanks Krista and Jenn! And a special thanks to mystery lover Molly Weston who is putting me up (and putting up with me) for four nights during the tour. Hope I don't drive her completely around the bend...