I’ve been heartened and flattered by the many requests to tell people when my book tour will take me to their city.

Help me find a way to make it possible!

It turns out that in this day and age, unless you’re a celebrity, book tours are little but an excuse for an author to pay to travel around and indulge themselves in an appearance here and there.

Someone has to pay for a book tour. The publisher will pay if they believe it will sell books. But when was the last time you attended a book reading for an author you didn’t already know? Probably never. If an author pulls in an audience of 100 people who buy a $20 book, that makes about $1,000 for the publisher. If they have to fly the author to the city, pay a PR person to arrange the signing, and then pay for a hotel or other transportation, the left-over profit is pretty uninspiring.

If the author can’t consistently sell 100 books, then the only reason to hold a book signing in a city is because you believe someone important will be in the audience who will further the cause of the book. And if you haven’t been to a book signing for a non-celebrity author lately, it’s not likely that any book industry movers and shakers will be attending, either.

If I can arrange a speaking engagement in a city, I’m more than delighted to speak at a bookstore or otherwise do the Book Tour Thing. But if you’re magically expecting me to show up in your city, it likely won’t happen unless I can find a paying reason to be there on other business.

So … let’s make it happen! Who do you know—what organizations, trade shows, etc.—who pays for engaging, fun speakers and would like to help their audience become way more productive, and have fun doing it?

The truth about book tours

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