With so many elements of book promotion moving online, it's natural for you as an author to assume that book tours would be obsolete. But that's not always the case. When you're thinking about how to market a book, the essential tactics are the ones that reach interested readers. Helping them discover your book has so much to do with selling copies and building an author brand. As time-consuming as they are book tours have continued to have value, especially for self-published authors. When you have to compete again, the marketing budgets of traditionally published titles, taking a more hand-on, or in this case a face-to-face approach can be helpful. Also, in today's social media-driven world, any event that generates pictures and news can be useful content. Adding news of author tours to your Facebook page, tweeting about it on Twitter and uploading images to Instagram all help according to book marketing pros Smith Publicity. Much has been written about the power of an author reading from her or his book to an audience – and it's not all nostalgia. Today's versions of these appearances and book signings draw just as many attendees as similar gatherings in earlier years. Their power is equal, and its likely come in attendance will not only buy a book but also will recommend it to others.
As traditional bookstores struggle to compete against online behemoths like Amazon, they prize events to draw in customers. When you provide one, you'll have the staff and management of that shop onboard in promoting your book. Also, the store's promotional apparatus likely will embrace your appearance and give it promotion in the shop's social media and in-store signage. Following the marketing theory of a tipping point when people decide to buy, each of these can help bring someone closer to buying a book. If you or the store has a podcast series, it's entirely possible to record the event and feature it later as a podcast. For you, as an author, interacting with readers, seeing reactions, and hearing their questions can also be an invaluable source of inspiration. If you're a fiction writer, bringing your story and characters alive for potential readers can be a powerful promotional tool. Your inflections and personal touch can be illuminating for those first experiencing your work. Many writers, especially first-time authors, report their book tours were a lot of effort but worth it in the end. People who you meet may become social media followers and keep in touch, which can be helpful steps in building your following. Even though the numbers at each stop tent to be small, they can be critical incremental steps in building a following.
It's also essential to keep in mind that all parts of your book marketing program need to work together. So, your book tour is an element that supports other tactics. If you're well organized about things, specific common talking points and themes can flow evenly throughout all aspects. For example, your author profile on a site like Amazon needs to be well aligned with the messages you give in interviews and appearances. It is this consistency in messaging that leads to books sales and a clear understanding among booksellers and buyers about you and your topic. When people are informed and intrigued, they naturally want to find out more, and those begin the book discovery process. In interviews and conversations with news media and bloggers, you also can leverage your book tour, and its local city stops, to gain angles for coverage – especially with the local and regional press. Your marketing plan should play to your strengths and those of your book, in similar ways, no matter whether not it is fiction or non-fiction. Book tours might not be in the top-five list of likely tactics for a book promotion campaign today, but they should not be dismissed entirely until you carefully weigh the potential benefits.
Scott Baylor is the author of this article. For further detail about how to market a book please visit the website.