Book Tours for Indie Authors
Even if your book is traditionally published, the chances that you will be sent on a book tour are probably slim. Let’s face it: Travel isn’t cheap. So unless your publisher is pretty sure you will be selling a whole lot of books, you won’t need to pack a suitcase. Still, we all have that fantasy of jet-setting from city to city, being wined and dined and reading a few paragraphs from our latest novel to an admiring crowd. To see what being a book tour is really like, read this article
by science fiction writer John Scalzi.
Recently I was traveling, a combination of business (from my day job) and pleasure (sight-seeing and family visits). To do the business part, I frequently work in local libraries. In more than one library, I saw posters for the Southwest Florida Reading Festival
which included headshots of the authors who would be at the Festival. I was surprised to recognize one of the faces as an author from back home – Sonali Dev. A look at her website
, however, shows that, in fact, Dev does a good bit of traveling.
Dev is published by William Morrow Paperbacks, part of Harper Collins, so maybe her publisher is picking up her travel tab, but does that mean other authors don’t do book tours? Not at all! Let me share some stories I’ve heard from other writers.
One often-shared story is about Joe Konrath
, a very successful writer of mysteries and thrillers. In his earliest days, he filled the trunk of his car with books and drove across the country on his own author tour. He spent the summer stopping at libraries and bookstores along the way and introducing himself and his book to whoever was in the room when he was. Konrath created a nation-wide audience, eager for the next book in his series.
I just stumbled on a group called Indie Author Book Expo
that sets up book events in different midwestern towns. There is a fee to take part, comparable to craft fair fees, and you could be part of an expo near where you live or travel to some of the other locations and get in front of a new audience.
Another possibility is virtual book tours in which you are the guest of bloggers or podcasters. There is a lot of information online about what this looks like, especially advertising for services an author can buy. I am always wary of spending more than you make on book sales, so I’m not recommending anything and remind you to do your due diligence. I plan to look into virtual book tours in great detail in the future.
As old-fashioned as it seems, people do like to meet an author and have that personal connection, so book tours of some kind will no doubt continue and you could benefit from the exposure. If you have tried a physical or virtual book tour, I’d love to hear about it!