Truths and Myths About Multi-Author Book Tours
Hello! What a delight to be here on BookHounds YA
I'll be out on tour in June with Fierce Reads. I love going on tour and multi-author tours are a big thing now. Publishers are finding that grouping debut authors with experienced authors both makes for a really exciting event and helps spread awareness of the new talent to the (excellent! delightful!) devoted readers that love books so much they show up!
As fun as touring is, there are some misconceptions about what happens on the road. I'm here to shed my perspective on what goes down behind-the-scenes.
Here are some questions I've crowd-sourced about life on a multi-author book tour:
Q: Do you stay at nice hotels or do you have to BYO Sheets at fleabag motels?
This was the biggest question I had myself when I arrived in Los Angeles for the first night of the first Fierce Reads tour in June 2012. I literally had no idea if we'd be staying at mom and pop roadside joints or at fancy schmancy hotels with concierges and mini-bars. Turns out it's SCHMANCY! We've stayed at the most beautiful hotels on tour - luxurious, starry places with world-class restaurants. Macmillan really knows how to treat their authors! Also - they encourage us to have room service! Encourage!
Q: Do the authors feel super-competitive with each other?
Hmmm. That's a tricky one. My answer is: not for long. You can't brave the ups and downs of a tour without doing some serious bonding.
If I feel any little spikes of envy for the success of my tour-mates, they quickly melt away when I remember how thankful I am to get to be a novelist in the first place. I get to do what I love every day – all the rest is gravy.
Q: Do authors hate taking pictures with fans?
Gosh NO! Well, I don't. It's actually my favorite part of an event. I like to do one straight photo and then do one silly photo - like, we'll pretend a black swirling cloud of destruction is coming over the horizon or I'll pick up a book off the shelves and me and the fan will pretend to be having a meaningful discussion about it. Fun!
Q: What's it like to fly every day for two weeks?
Blecch. It's hard. It's the flying that makes touring difficult. It's the security lines! Every day, security lines. But at least the airlines are giving out free peanuts again. And I rack up the miles.
Q: What makes the difference between a good event and a bad event?
Do you already know the answer? It's the readers. It's the energy in the room. We've had some events where we rocked the roof off the joint. I'm thinking of Miami, 2013. Provo, 2012. Houston, 2013 - we almost burned the joint down with our collective mind power.
Q: What advice would you give to an author going on his/her first tour?
Hard to give just one piece of advice, so here's my 5 top tips:
1. Pack sweatpants and super comfortable, slip-on shoes to wear as you travel.
2. Go to some author events like the ones you will be participating in so you can study how to give a good summary of your book, how to be funny, and how to be brief and to the point. I know that middle one's hard.
3. Practice your book pitch before you go. Get it short and really good. DO it for your friends and get their feedback.
4. If you have enough lead time, try to engage with local schools or libraries close to your events. There's nothing better than having a bunch of teens show up who've read your book (this is particularly important for debut authors, but still helpful for all).
5. Eat and drink responsibly! I know that sounds school-marmish, but you need to eat three meals with protein every day. I like to eat dinner at 4 pm when I'm on tour. There, I said it. Why? Because we usually leave for the events at 5, do a blog interview at 6, then the event at 7 and you don't get to a restaurant until 10! I can't do a good gig on an empty stomach and I sure as heck can't wait until 10 to eat dinner. Not when I have to be up at 6 the next day to make a flight to Petoski! I eat like an athlete when on tour.
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR STOPPING BY BOOKHOUNDS ya!
and check back later for my review and a giveaway of SAVAGE DRIFT
(omg - awesome!)