Hey peeps - just wanted to give a plug to my friend, Kristy Kiernan, whose book, Catching Genius, goes on sale next week!! Yahoo!! For more on the book, check out Larramie's Seize a Daisy blog this week.
I've had a lot of people write to ask if I'm doing a book tour, so I thought I'd pass along some info that I've gleaned about book tours.
It's interesting, just after the comment, "You have to get on Oprah!," (Well, gee, really??? Doesn't every author on the planet - save for one or two - want to get on Oprah?? Not as easy to do as people seem to think.), people say, "So, are you going on a tour?"
So here's the deal with book tours: publishing houses rarely pay for debut authors to go on tour. There are definitely exceptions, such as my fab friend, Laura Dave, but for the most part, the house isn't going to shell out money for an unproven author. Which actually makes a lot of sense to me. I mean, who is going to show up to buy a signed book from someone whom they've never heard of? And to further this point, how many of you guys would show up for a book signing of a random Joe Schmo? Actually, how many of you guys go to book signings period? See where I'm going with this? The numbers aren't high.
That said, debut authors often have signings in places where they know they can generate a decent crowd, and to that end, I am doing a small tour, albeit in cities where I have built-in connections. My publicist told me that bookstores really don't want to waste their time if you can wrangle 50 people to show, so that's our barometer. But the publisher doesn't pay for my travel, I do. I'm fortunate to be in a position where I can do this, but some authors can't, and so they don't. And truthfully, I don't really think this is a big ding in their promotional plans. The jury is out on if tours really bolster sales - a lot of authors and publicists don't think they do - so touring is really a question of how motivated you are. One way that a tour may help is that when an author visits a city, the publicist (if she's good) will alert all the media outlets and you might get a lot of coverage in the papers and such. I believe that this is how a few of my author friends hit bestseller lists in various cities that they visited.
So...how effective do you think touring is? And why is the tour-question so common?