Wednesday, December 07, 2011

My Fiction Day: Book Tours

I'm trying to decide whether to do a book tour. I'm weighing all the options, costs and time expenditure. I've about come to the conclusion that they aren't worth the trouble.

Now, that's not to say I won't go to a conference and promote at the same time. That's not to say I won't do an event that happens to fit into my already packed agenda. It's just to say that if an event is going to drain my pocketbook and impede my writing time, I might just have to let it go.

These days, readers choose books via word-of-mouth and online connections. Some still like to peruse bookstores. However, few watch for book signings and show up to make a determination whether to buy a book based upon the author's presentation. Per a Wall Street Journal post, partially copied at the blog Passive Voice, bookstores don't even want writers who just read from their book or sit behind a table, waiting for interested parties. They want an event . . . something that attracts people who crave active entertainment.

The world today throws too much competition at people. Competition for leisure time, in which book reading falls. If someone has five hours after work to fill with eating, errands and reading a book, what will an author offer on the premises of a bookstore to entice that individual to deter from an already heavy schedule? Like I said . . . it has to be an EVENT. Add music. Have hors doeurves. Give away items (more than a book). Have dancers, actors. Present an app for a phone or computer. Animals. Who knows?

Therefore, I lean toward conferences and online. Yes, I have somewhat of a platform that gives me an edge, but that platform was developed for this purpose - to reach readers, via computer, who don't want to go to the bookstore to find me. It's what every writer should be trying to do. It's how book sales work these days.

More and more people are writing books. More and more people are competing for the reader's hour in bed, in the study, on the bus, during lunch. Therefore, you have to decide what works best for you in terms of reaching those readers, convincing them that YOUR book is better than others. Analyze your book, your reader, your mobility, your online expertise, your network . . . then decide how best to distribute your book and connect with readers.

Frankly, I love smaller groups. So once my book is out, and my conference schedule is in place, I want to hear from you guys. If you live in a city enroute, I'd be interested in dropping by your writer's group, church or library meeting place, and visiting. Let's have coffee. Let's talk like it's not a formal event. Let's just talk books and have a grand old good time.


widdershins said...

And ... there's always the blog tour too!

Civil War Horror (Sean McLachlan) said...

I agree that online is the way to go unless you can do a live event t¡with a guaranteed crowd. And yes, you have a huge online platform, so take advantage of it!

Anonymous said...

For an author just starting out, I think online would definitely be less demanding on the wallet.

For small group meetings, would you consider dropping by the Raleigh NC area? :)

Hope Clark said...


Absolutely I'd adore doing a Raleigh trip. I have two sons who live in Raleigh, and I'll make any axcuse to go up there! Talk it over with your group and let me know when you'd like me to come. However I'd love it if you waited until the novel came out which will be January or Februay. Believe me, I'll announce it to the world when it happens.


Cat York said...

Excited to read your book, Hope!

Hope Clark said...

Hope it stands up to all hype I've thrown at it! It's taken forever to write, land an agent and find a contract, and I hope it's worth it to the public eye. Still nervous.


Kelly Robinson said...

I look forward to seeing your schedule. Hope you'll be passing my way!

Hope Clark said...

Where are you, Kelly?

Anonymous said...

Nancy Purcell said...
When you're on your way to promote think about coming to Brevard, NC and be a guest of my writers group. Maybe we can work in something at our local library. New and big! They do a lunch-bunch
gathering and have guest readers.
Small town but big ideas.
Our local bookstore, Highland Books, holds author readings, and if you still have the energy, hit Malaprop's Bookstore in Asheville.
Just please come our way!

Hope Clark said...


I'd love to make an appearance in Brevard. Hey - go ahead and consider dates and let me know!