Once you’ve put in the hard work and countless hours to write a book, it’s time to promote it! Book tours are a great way to market yourself, connect with readers, and build some buzz around your publication.
While the idea of going on a book tour is exciting, especially if you’re a new author, it’s important to be as prepared as possible.
While your book tour should be fun, it’s also a good idea to expect the unexpected. Whether you’re planning a tour on your own or working with a publishing company, let’s cover a few tips that will help you feel more prepared. The more you plan ahead now, the more you’ll be able to enjoy your time on tour, meeting people who love what you’ve written!
Find the Right Ride
One of the first things you’ll need to look into when preparing for a book tour is transportation. Your needs will be based on how far you want to go. If you’re traveling across the country, it might be more convenient to take a plane or bus, but if this is your first tour or you’re trying to stay within a smaller budget, driving is probably your best option.
Of course, that means it’s important to have a reliable car. If your vehicle is showing signs of problems before you drive off, it’s worth it to get it checked out and tuned up. However, if it’s in bad shape, you might want to consider whether you should invest in repairs or purchase a new car. If repairs will definitely fix the problems you’re experiencing, you can probably hold onto your current vehicle. But, if it’ll be a risk on the road, choosing something more reliable can offer peace of mind. Not sure if it’s time to buy a new car? Here are a few signs that can make your decision easier.
- Your current car feels like a money pit
- Your car doesn’t fit your needs
- You don’t feel safe driving it
- You would benefit from the technology often found in newer vehicles
While you shouldn’t strain your budget, it’s never a bad idea to invest in yourself, especially when travel is such a major component of a successful tour. Consider the pros and cons of repairing or buying, and do what helps you feel the most confident and safest on the road.
Whether you’re DIYing your tour or not, you’ll want to be in touch with as many venues and bookstores as possible for your tour. Be prepared to answer a few questions for those venues, and provide them with as much information as possible, including:
- Your release date
- How your book will be distributed
- Your publisher’s return policy
Try to work with venues to cross-promote your event. Utilize email newsletters, social media, and traditional advertising options like flyers to get the word out about your visit. It’s never a bad idea to start locally when you’re going on tour. You’re more likely to draw crowds of people who know you and want to support you.
Or, consider reaching out to any organizations you’re a part of, including alumni associations. Most high schools and colleges are thrilled when one of their own publishes a book, and you’ll undoubtedly get a lot of support by making a tour stop at an alma mater.
You can also market yourself by working with influencers. An influencer is someone with a strong digital presence. They tend to have thousands (or millions) of fans and followers who trust their opinions. Finding an influencer to connect with your book can help draw in more fans across the country, so you’ll have more readers who are excited to meet you at every event. Don’t be afraid to reach out to influencers that would be a good fit for your genre and target audience. You might be surprised by how quickly you can connect with someone.
Again, a book tour should be exciting and fun, but there’s no denying it can also be draining. Taking care of your mental and physical well-being ahead of time, and while on tour, will make a big difference in the overall experience. You might feel like you don’t have a lot of time for self-care, but adding some of the following ideas to your daily routine will help:
- Eating healthy meals
- Prioritizing sleep
It’s also a good idea to make yourself aware of local healthcare facilities and medical care centers while on the road. The last thing you want is to get hurt or experience a healthcare emergency while away from home, but it does happen. Preparing yourself with local emergency numbers will give you peace of mind and will ensure you get the help you need, if necessary.
It’s normal to be a little anxious about going on a book tour, no matter how excited you are. These suggestions can make the trip a little easier by helping you feel more prepared and confident. You’ve already put in the hard work. Now, go enjoy the rewards and meet your readers!