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First-Time Authors: How to Manage a DIY Book Tour

Just finish your first book? Here’s how you can manage a successful book tour without a big publishing house budget.

After months or even years of toiling, you’ve finally finished your book. Now you’re ready for your first marketing and public relations campaign. However, if you’re working with a moderately financed publisher or you don’t have a budget for your self-published book, you may want to consider a do-it-yourself book tour.

With a DIY book tour, you control the budget, the timing and the content — a formula that many first-time authors find appealing when introducing their new book to the public.

Start Close to Home

Let’s face it, putting your work out for public scrutiny can be scary, so follow one rule of thumb when designing your book tour — start close to home. When you host a book event locally, you’re more likely to be familiar with the available venues, and you can control costs by spending less on transportation and accommodations.

Plus — and this is a big one — you can invite all your friends and family members to get the most receptive group possible. It’s nice to start your tour with the comfort and encouragement of friendly faces. This will also give you a chance to work out any kinks in your presentation and logistics before moving to other cities.

Plan Your Trip

Planning your trip will depend on the amount of time you can afford to be away from home.

If you’re working with no restrictions, you are only limited by how often you can host social interactions at book events. You can go as far and as wide as you like sharing your new book with enthusiasts.

However, if you have some travel restrictions, you may want to break your tour into manageable chunks by limiting road trips to weekends and driving to cities with a certain radius from your home.

Make Relevant Stops

Choosing cities for your book tour can be fun, especially if those cities are featured in your book. New readers will be especially interested if your book takes place where they live.

You can also choose tour stops based on specific events or activities in your book. If, for example, your book has a setting at a winery, why not host a book event at a local winery? Maybe your book is a horticultural guide — set up your event at a garden center and draw in people who already have an interest in your book’s subject.

See also: Write Your First Nonfiction Ebook

Work With Bookstores

Most bookstores host author events during evening hours on weekdays and during afternoon hours on weekends. When making event arrangements with a bookshop, be as specific as possible about your needs while remaining respectful of the store’s schedule and resources.

For example, prior to your reading, double-check to make sure that the store will have a signing table and plenty of your books on hand, as well as a podium and A/V equipment if you plan to speak. Bookstores are usually very willing to put up promotional posters and hand out flyers prior to your event, but be sure to make arrangements ahead of time. That said, you’re more likely to have a strong turnout if you promote your event, as well. Advertise your event using Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media platforms you use – just be sure not to overwhelm your friends and followers!

Managing a DIY book tour can be a pretty big undertaking. However, you’re already done the heavy lifting—writing your first book – and the book tour should seem like a piece of cake in comparison!

To Read More Freelance Writing Career Advice, See Below:

When Self-Promotion Isn’t Enough: How to Find a Writing Agent
Leveraging Your Unique Experience to Get More Jobs
Staying At Home While Maintaining a Flourishing Freelance Writing Career

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