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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thursday Thoughts on Book Tours

A few years ago, I was spending as much as eight months on the road promoting my books. The schedule was pretty much set: when a new book was released, I had as many as five appearances each day in specific markets. I often drove a thousand miles to begin my book tour, working my way closer to home as the weeks and months progressed.

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting fans, seeing new places, and meeting the book store employees and librarians who were wonderful at promoting my books when I wasn't around. And I do miss them.

But along the way, things in the publishing industry have changed immensely. Where publishers once foot the bill for physical book tours, they only do it now with the largest, most profitable authors - and only then, if it is negotiated by their agents. Deadlines have become more demanding - in 2012 I completed three full-length novels - and it doesn't matter if the work is written on an airplane, in a hotel room or in the comfort of my office.

Travel expenses have risen dramatically - gasoline prices, hotels, flights and public transportation.

But along the way, technology has stepped in to create new opportunities, opportunities that only a decade ago were unimaginable. In 2012, I participated in three blog tours. I visit various websites around the world on specific, predetermined days. The appearances include a lot of behind the scenes work - answering interview questions, writing guest blogs, and providing review copies of my books, artwork and other pertinent information.

But it's well worth the time.

Though it takes as much time as a physical book tour, I can participate from the comfort of my home. On the day the interview or blog is released, I check in several times and answer questions left by site visitors. And it has resulted in reaching fans I couldn't have dreamed of reaching at one time - fans in India, France, the United Kingdom, Australia, among others.

In 2013, I have three blog tours scheduled for the release of Dylan's Song, which I will be posting on my website at I will also be posting links here and in my newsletter, which you can sign up for on my site at I am anxious to participate in them. And while I won't be looking at my fans eyeball-to-eyeball, I will still get the connection that I enjoy so much. I hope you'll join me!