aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Do-it-yourself book tours

The LA Times looks at book tours, including one couple with books from small presses who financed a 8,500-mile, 27-day tour for just $2,500. They slept on stranger’s couches, relatives bought them a set of tires, and friends gave them gift cards to Starbucks and McDonalds.

The article also looks at a more traditional tour. And it looks at the tours for Dan Chaon (I loved his You Remind Me of Me and was thrilled to meet him at Wordstock), and Rebecca Skloot (we have emailed! I know her parents!), who both have academic connections. “Universities have speakers' budgets, which can offset the cost of travel, but because publishers' publicity departments and academic committees work on vastly different schedules, they haven't collaborated much. It takes an insider like Chaon or Rebecca Skloot, an assistant professor at the University of Memphis, to navigate the territory. Skloot, whose "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" intertwines journalism, race, class and medical ethics, built a 100-day book tour incorporating talks at medical institutes, creative writing classes and bookstores.”

The article also asserts that signed stock can’t be returned, and says that’s one reason authors tour. But I don’t think that’s true. A book with just a signature in it doesn’t lose value. A book that says, “Greg, it was great to meet you tonight” does lose value and can’t be returned. I have been on tour in states I have never been in before and opened up a book to find my own signature staring back at me. With luck, you are still using the same pen, and you look up, smile, and say, “How would you like me to personalize that?”

Read the full article here.

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