Blending media: the Art of a Good Book Tour

By Booth Media Group

When you write a new book, it’s a beautiful thing, a fresh creation, a message for the world. And writing it is certainly the hard part. After all, you’ve put in hours, brain cells, and probably a few tears into those pages. The editing and revising process was soul-numbing, and your editor is your best friend and arch nemesis all at once. But finally, the book is done and on the digital shelves of your nearest Amazon.com.

So what’s next?

The next step is somehow to let the public know your book is ready for them to buy and read and love. This step has many facets and options. One option is to go on a book tour. Variations on a traditional book tour that are a bit more affordable for most new authors are the virtual book tour and doing one major event in your hometown. All three of these options follow the general outline below. They will all help you launch your book. Combining these tours and events with as many key radio shows as possible, plus offering an article on a newsworthy topic that connects to your book to daily newspapers and key monthly publications can really help spread your net of visibility.

A traditional book tour means that you will travel into various cities and go to various venues, usually book stores, read little excerpts from your book, and then answer questions. Ideally, you’ll also do radio, tv, and get print coverage in these cities to promote your book and events.

In your head you’re probably imagining cozy rooms full of earnest and interested people all giving you their undivided attention and then flocking to the cash register to buy your book which you will sign with a pithy saying and your best autograph. But reality can be very, very different.

Often, bookstore events draw just a few people. A “crowd” is when people who aren’t your family show up. But even with a sparse turnout, these events are important for a number of reasons:

Connecting with readers:holding local events gives you a chance to connect with readers. In a world when we are usually so far apart from the authors, icons, celebrities, and leaders who influence us, being present and tangible still has value.

Connecting with booksellers: these are the people who, after all, have the power of recommendation when that wandering soul comes along an asks, “I’m looking for a good book. What do you recommend?” And if they’ve met you or know about your book, they are more likely to say, “Why, this new one from Whatever-Your-Name-Is is really good!”

Connecting with the location: and this step really requires media of all kinds: print, radio, television, and online. The beauty of being in a city is that you have the opportunity to capture media that prioritize LOCAL stories. You might be from Timbuctu, but you can pitch the local angle because you’re physically in town.

People need to see and hear about your book a number of times before they will buy it, according to studies. So when you blend radio and tv interviews, print and online reviews and features, and local events, you are giving your book the best chance of finding open eyes (and ears.)

Book tours aren’t necessarily for everyone, but have a chat with your publicist and see if they might be right for you.

Pros and cons of a radio campaign

by Booth Media Group

We’ve talked a lot about book tours as one of the time honored traditions of publishing a book. Part of what makes a book tour successful are radio spots talking about the event in each area. Being heard on the radio talking about your book and area of expertise, is a huge factor in people not only hearing about you, but caring about you – and your book.

Why do you want to be on radio?

The most important reason to be on radio is to tap into the influence of the hosts who have a dedicated following. Whether the audience is small and fierce or large and sprawling, loyal listeners tend to follow the advice of their favorite voice on the air waves, and if that voice tells them to buy your book or go to your website you can bet most of them will.

Your publicist works very hard to find radio shows that really fit your book or topic, and these shows may range widely depending on how versatile you can be. These radio shows will ideally have large local or regional audiences, or even national audiences. If they can be heard online either live or as podcasts, they have the potential to reach much farther.

In order to gain the interest and commitment of the radio producers and hosts who have the power to give you air time, your publicist must understand your work and the connections to current news and stories so that he or she can quickly communicate why you are a great fit for an interview. You can help this process along greatly by providing useful comments and insight into events and stories in the news, even if your book is about something different. For example, the author of a book about the scandals of a past president can provide interesting perspective on current scandals and therefore join in the conversation in today’s news. For other tips on how to sell your book in an interview, check out our blog.

Long story short, a radio campaign can get your name in the ears of a large number of people you could not otherwise reach. Pros include being able to do interviews from almost anywhere (as long as you have a landline) and not having to get dressed up. Also, these interviews are often archived online where they can be accessed, found, and the links sent by anyone. Cons include sometimes having to get up very early in the morning to accommodate time zone differences, sometimes speaking to small audiences, and not being able to talk with your hands (come on, we all do it!)

If you aren’t already considering a radio campaign for your new book or endeavor, talk to your publicist today to see if it would be a good fit.