Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody.
They say book tours don’t sell books. In fact, they can actually cost authors a lot of money. So why bother? Well, you’re making connections with readers and building your brand and a bunch of other slick-sounding, unquantifiable marketing-speak. If you want to be a big-shot author, you need to act the part, and that means taking your show on the road. Think of a book tour as a tax-write-off-able vacation where people tell you how awesome you are every night. Plus, you have a few days away from your family and those brats of yours, so you can hear yourself think for once. For that kind of payoff, you can’t afford not to go. Here’s everything you need to know to book your own book tour.
Six Months Prior to Tour
- Set a budget.
- Ask your publisher about kicking in some money for—wow, that was a faster rejection than when you sent that butterfly erotica story you wrote to the New Yorker.
- Adjust budget, start buying packs of ramen noodles.
Five Months Prior to Tour[pullquote]Sure, library patrons love books. What they don’t love is paying for books. You’re far too busy for those moochers.[/pullquote]
- Choose cities. Do you mention any cities in particular in your book? Make sure to hit those. If you set your book in a faraway city, maybe ask your publisher one more time for—okay, still no, that’s fine.
- Contact venues and explain to them that you’re a famous author who wants to have a reading/signing in their establishment. Tell them how many people will be there. You’re not lying when you say fifty people, you’re demonstrating the power of positive thinking. Besides, you’ll be long gone before they can do anything to you. Contact the following types of venues:
- Bookstores. Duh.
- Schools. Kids have disposable income, and best of all, it’s a captive audience. They literally can’t leave! Also, they’ll find your unremarkable adult achievements like owning a car and wearing a sport coat as the hallmarks of a successful author.
- Libraries. Just kidding! Screw them. Sure, library patrons love books. What they don’t love is paying for books. You’re far too busy for those moochers.
- Disneyland. Shot in the dark. Maybe they’ll let you in free? I dunno, worth a shot.