The New Era of Book Tours is Underway

Authors got back on the road in the aftermath of the pandemic and are promoting their books in person. If you’ve researched how to market books, you know the coronavirus moved tours online for a year or more. Some questioned whether they would resume in the post-pandemic world, and the answer is yes. What’s also emerged is a hybrid model where some tour stops are in person, and others are virtual. It’s a no-brainer when you can add far away (and even international) audiences to a book promotion campaign without sacrificing time and budget. Wise authors see the opportunities.

When you go in person, it’s wise to allot time to meet the media and hold events at each stop. The traditional book signing continues but is often beefed up with a brief talk or presentation to begin the evening. Setting the tone with brief remarks makes it more worthwhile for those who attend. If you’re thinking wisely, it helps to have someone record the proceedings for online posts. They make excellent content and extend the reach of your events. You can use them to promote similar dates in the future or let more people “attend” the ones already helped by watching online. Live streaming is also a possibility.

Rewarding influential brick-and-mortar bookstores with events is a popular promotional technique for authors. You can cross-promote the event with the store and help build attendance. One route is to approach marquee independent booksellers, and another is to try for key locations of chain stores. Either have advantages and can help get your book into featured selling positions. Often, those are on tables placed in higher-traffic locations around the store. Event calendars can fill up early, so be timely with your request. Ensuring your event is well promoted, including online calendar listings, helps.

On the flip side of going in person is virtual touring. Before the pandemic, it had limited appeal but has remained popular after being normalized. Niche audiences have become a trend in many realms, and book PR is no exception. When you can hold a live stream session with a group highly interested in your story topic, you have an excellent chance of sparking book sales. You can make a presentation to kick things off just as you would in a live event and use a question-and-answer session to replace the signing you’d do in person. Some authors control their online sales and even offer autographed books.