The Ultimate Books Tours Guide For Authors

I’ve been included in a few book tours now and I have to say I love them, however they’re not as straight forward as they look and I’m going to dive into the world of book tours and find out, are books tours worth it? As a book lover and someone who reads and listens to books all the time I think they’re worth it but I’m not the author or company setting up the book tour.

If you’re looking to set up a book tour, that’s great. If you have any questions that I didn’t answer in this post, let me know. I’ve never put a book tour together but I’ve taken part in plenty.

What Are Book Tours?

Reading book tours have changed over time, this change was skyrocketed thanks to the events of 2020-2022. A traditional book tour used to be authors setting up booths in book stores and having fans go to them, doing meet and greets, signing books and also book readings. However, most book tours are now done online, something that really took off in 2021.

What Is A Normal Book Tour?

A normal book tour is when an author goes across the country and does book signings, book readings and promotes their books in various book shops. This is known as the traditional book tours although many publishing houses and authors prefer other ways to promote a book. Book tours can be expensive and require a lot of planning.

What Is An Online Book Tour?

Online book tours are the modern version of book tours and the more popular option. Online book tours are less expensive than tradition book tours, they require less planning and logistics and if done right, can reach more people both nationally and globally. Online book tours are the prefered method for promoting a book in the 21st century.

Do People Still Do Book Tours?

Yes. People still participate in book tours. If you are part of book communities online you will see book tours all the time, if you follower influencers on social media they may participate in book tours and the more famous the person, the more a book will be viewed by people who may have never heard of it before.

How Do Book Tours Work?

Book tours are easy to set up and are great ways to get your book out there to different audiences; online book tours anyway. Whereas, traditional book tours take a lot more planning.

How Do Traditional Book Tours Work?

Traditional tours are done in person. An author will go across the country to various book stores where they will meet fans, sign books, do chapter readings and promote their books. If you’re wondering if a traditional book tour is worth it, in my opinion they aren’t.

The problem with traditional book tours is predomitley costs. Costs for an in person book tour can consist of travel, fees for renting spaces in book stores, accommodation costs and food etc. Traditional book tours can allow authors to meet fans that follow their work. However, it limits the number of new people as well and doesn’t target any new audiences. In person book tours are more for the fans and less for the exposure.

How Do Online Book Tours Work?

Online book tours are 100% online and the preferred option by both authors and publishing houses. An online book tour will consist of multiple “influencers” or book fans being sent a copy of the book, normally physical and then on their selected day they post about the book, what they thought about the book and showcase it to their friends and followers.

With online book tours, it takes the work out of the authors hands and gives it to the influencers that are promoting the book. It’s a much more cost effective way as your costs are limited to the price of postage and the book. Depending on the influencers picked there may be a fee for their work.

An online book tour does allow a book to be seen by a much wider audience, which means more people who might not have seen the book now have it in their minds and can increase sales revenue, unlike an in person book tour.

How Long Do Book Tours Last?

Two weeks. Although, online and in person book tours don’t need to have a set time frame. In person book tours do tend to be longer although the general time frame for a book tour seems to be two weeks. Online book tours run smoother and you don’t need to worry about anything getting in the way whereas an in person book tour means you might have cancellations from venues, travel disruptions and other things that crop up and can mean the author misses a signing.

How Much Does A Book Tour Cost?

Depending on the type of book tour will depend on the cost. Other factors can increase or decrease costs. If an author is putting together a book tour themselves then the cost will be greater.

You can get specialised companies that will organise and run book tours for you, these are normally online book tours. Whereas if you are working with a publishing house they are your best bet at an in person book tour as they will know the best book shops and have contacts to get you in there whereas most authors won’t.

If an author is having a book tour set up by a publishing house the author normally gets paid to attend these, although that may be taken out of the money earned from book sales, it’s always important to read the fine print when it comes to contracts.

An independent book tour company will charge between £500-£2,000 to set up, plan and execute an online book tour. The thing to remember is it doesn’t matter how much it costs, you need to find a decent company that can run a decent book tour and not just a company that’s over charging and using terrible “influencers” to take part in the book tour.

Online book tour tip; don’t worry about social media followers. A lot of accounts can buy followers so it’s not real engagement. If a company is setting up an online book tour on your behalf, ask to see who your book is being sent to!

Are Book Tours Worth It?

Yes, if done right.

Book tours are an excellent way to get your books in front of people who have never even heard of you before. If you’re looking to increase sales, an online book tour should be something to consider.

How Do You Join A Book Tour?

If you’re looking to have your book thrown into a book tour there are two ways to do so. You can either create your own and sort out all of the logistics yourself or get a company to do it for you. If you’re planning to run your own book tour then you’ll need to work out what reviewers you want, get addresses and send out the books, ensure that everyone taking part knows the rules and when to post and so much more.

If you’re looking to get a company to run a book tour for you, you can literally sit back and watch. The company will sort all of the logistics for you. Depending on the company they may get you to do interviews, take over social media accounts for the day and involve you in other amazing ways to promote your book. It’s also important to promote the book tour on your social media as well and share amazing reviews.

Companies That Run Book Tours

Literally PR: I’ve worked with Literally PR before on several book tours. They manage book tours for all genres and some of the best I’ve worked on are LGBTQ+ books and children’s books. They have great book reviewers (myself included) and are worth taking a look at. Literally PR focus more on engagement over how many social media followers you have.

Pride Book Tours: I’ve not worked with Pride book tours but I’ve seen some of their participents in their book tours talk about the books and they get great engagement. If you’re applying for Pride book tours you’ll need an LGBTQ+ book so they can run an LGBTQ+ book tour. The one thing I’m iffy about with this company is that they seem to go for account with more followers over accounts with real engagement.

If you know of any other book tour companies that are decent, let me know. In my search for book tour companies I found there to be a lot of meh companies out there that are yet to prove themselves with epic book tours but do let me know if I’m wrong. I personally don’t like applying for book tours as I have a huge TBR pile already but if a company contacts me and wants me to participate I’ll see if I like the book and decide that way.

The Ultimate Books Tours Guide For Authors

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