(book) tour

when you travel to make appearances to promote your book

What does a book tour entail?

Some publishers send authors on pre-publication tours to talk up their book with librarians and/or booksellers. Some publishers send authors on post-pub tours to appear at bookstores, libraries, and/or schools in order to promote their books directly to readers. Publishers often send authors in groups so that they can cross-promote; in this case, most of your appearances will be on a panel, where all of the authors will discuss their books together. Publishers can also send authors to book festivals, conferences, and conventions.

Will my publisher send me on a tour?

Probably not, unless you’re a lead title, and sometimes not even then. In the case of debut novels, publishers usually reserve their money for setting up tours for those debut books that are getting a lot of buzz, either because they’ve already put a lot of money into promoting the book, because readers are responding well to the book, or because the book has been chosen for a list like Indies Introduce.

Can I arrange my own tour?

Sure, but you will have to pay all of your own expenses. You can try to reach out to schools or libraries and ask them to pay your travel expenses so that you can visit their location to make an appearance. You can also join with other authors to share expenses and cross promote. If you share your tour ideas with your editor, you might be able to get your publisher to either help schedule visits/appearances or even (if you’re really lucky) cover some of your expenses. As an alternative, you might try booking visits in your own area or in areas where you can stay with friends/family in order to cut down on expenses.

See also: Visits.