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Taking Your Campaign on the Road: Five Author Tour Tips Serious Writers Need to Know

Jun 2, 2008
In the 'old days,' there was a specific formula to book promotion. A no-holds barred author tour was the answer where the author would go for a winning mixture of television, radio, print and book signings. It was a hold-nothing-back author tour where the writer would 'appear' in a given city and get some combination of heavyweight radio, TV, book-signing and newspaper coverage.

When the author left that city, residents knew his or her name and the name of their newly-released title. So!is this kind of intense media blitz still realistic today? Actually, it depends. Depends? Yes!it depends entirely on who's arranging the tour and whether or not they follow the right guidelines.

"In this game there are rules, so make sure you get your PR firm to follow them!" Here Marsha shares her 5 author tour guidelines that will help you bring successes to your book's promotion.

1. 'Anchor' each city with at least one interview on a major network TV affiliate. Marsha Friedman says, "This is where the PR 'rubber meets the road': If a major network affiliate show can't be landed, there's limited value in that market when you consider the time and money you have to invest in the trip. Just cancel that city and move onto the next."

2. Obtain a minimum of two to three media appearances in each market within a day or two. This is yet another important part about whether or not to go into a city when you are on tour. Friedman says, "If you go out fighting for a day or two and things come together, you really have a good chance at "household name" status in that market."

3. Schedule at least one book signing. This will guarantee availability of your book in that city. Plus book signings always generate the kind of excitement and promotion that might otherwise cost you a small fortune. Marsha Friedman adds, "This is a great way to create a combined effort with your other media appearances."

4. Use your down time and visit area bookstores. When you are doing an author tour, there will always be a little bit of free time outside of your relentless promotion. Got an extra hour, then check out a local book store. Marsha Friedman says, "If your books are in stock, offer to sign them. And if they don't carry your books, let the manager know you're available for a book-signing bookstores adore promotion-minded authors."

5. Increase visibility by speaking at relevant functions. Here's another way to take full advantage of those hours after you do that interview on the six am morning news: Arrange speaking engagements at the local library, Church, Chamber of Commerce or professional affiliations these groups are usually clamoring for interesting speakers - especially those with a hot new book that's just been released!

Gearing Yourself Up to Be a Promoter! When you started off as a writer you probably never knew that you would also have to become a bit of a promoter as well! But that's just the reality of successful writing. With an author tour, you really need to get promoting and make sure that you make every media appearance and book signing count!

So! yes, 'Author Tours' can be very effective for creating a buzz about your book and generating sales - providing enough quality media and exposure is obtained in each city you travel to. Make sure though, that you follow the 5 tips above!
About the Author
For 20 years Marsha Friedman has been a leading authority on public relations as CEO of EMSI. Go to http://www.publicitythatworks.com to claim your free "Power of Public Relations" video today!
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