Firstly, if you’ve managed to complete your own book and have secured a publishing deal or an agent, congratulations! It’s a huge achievement which many people spend their entire lives aspiring to. The next exciting venture is likely to be the day when your book is released to the world, and a book tour is the perfect way to both celebrate the time and to increase your book’s chances of commercial success. Making appearances at bookstores which are selling your book is your opportunity to connect with people who have already read and appreciated your work and to promote it potential readers. Here are some tips for organizing your own book tour.
How to Organize Your Own Book Tour
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Network with Bookstore Managers
Even before your book is published and released, you should get out there and visit as many bookstores as you can. Your local bookstores are bound to be more interested in promoting a book by a local author, and it helps to build positive relationships with them. Just popping in and having a conversation will help you to create a rapport, but if you and family and friends can buy from them too, that’s even better! If you hold a successful event there, be sure to maintain the relationship afterward as you may want to secure an event there in the future.
Pin Down All the Details
Make sure you have all the relevant details about your book release before you broach the subject with a store. They will have a lot of questions, and if you can’t answer them, they will be unable to arrange anything concrete, and you may come across as unprofessional. For example, you should be able to tell them the exact date of release and where they can order your book from. Your publisher is likely to have a returns policy and other information for sellers, so get this from them before you approach bookstores.
Consider Funding for the Tour
Depending on the scale of your book tour (and whether or not your publisher is handling the bill), there may be some costs to consider. Some bookstores will order books from a publisher for an event, while others will expect you to provide them which is likely to cost you money. Your publisher should offer you a discount on your own books and may be able to pay the shipping costs, but this will vary depending on the publisher’s policy. They may offer a cheaper ‘media rate’ price for events like this. Promoting your tour may require some posters or flyers which cost money to print. Also, if you’ll be traveling around to bookstores further afield, you’ll need to consider travel and accommodation in your budget. If funding is a potential issue and you have good credit, a personal loan may be an option to get the ball rolling; find out more here.
Set Your Tour Dates
Some bookstores will prefer to hold an event as soon as possible after the book has been released; others will want to wait for a while to establish some ‘buzz’ around the book. Be as flexible as you can be and be prepared for the fact that your tour dates may end up spread over time.
Draw in a Crowd
Think About Online Appearances
When you have your dates and venues confirmed, you’ll need to promote each event to draw in a crowd. Your publisher may provide you with posters of your book, but if not, you can sort this for yourself via online printing services. Add your event to any social media you have, post it on event sharing websites and contact the local press. In most cases, it’s best to start a book tour in local stores. Bookstores should be more inclined to feature local authors, and you should be able to attract a crowd of friends and family at the very least. A familiar audience is an excellent way to start a book tour so you can get nerves out of the way as much as possible, so contact as many people as you can to see if they can support you. You can try your old college or school as they are sure to want to shout about the fact that one of their former students is now a published author. You could also try organizations related to your book’s subject matter as you could potentially be a speaker at one of their events. Find your local art council, visit the library and get involved in online book forums to see if any local book groups may want to attend.
Thanks to technology and the internet, your book tour no longer needs to be restricted to physical appearances and bookstores. You can contact book groups and organizations all around the world and connect with them via video conferencing services. Get involved on blogs by commenting and building relationships to establish a wider network of readers who can spread the word about your book.
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