A New Book Tour Model?

Think the old-fashioned book tour is soooo yesterday? Maybe it’s just being reinvented.

Random House of Canada is certainly testing out that theory. They’ve created a new model for their author book tours. Here’s a summary of what they’re doing, courtesy of Publishers Weekly. Don’t be afraid to steal ideas!

  • The book tour events are being done as a group venture: between the publisher/author, Fairmont Hotels and Air Miles. There are sometimes also advertisers who participate, with the opportunity to promote their products, which are usually relevant to the subject matter of the author’s writing.
  • These aren’t just quick readings/signings any more. They’re full out events, often including dinner, drinks, etc…
  • Attendees have to purchase tickets to the event, and a copy of the book is included in the price. In essence, the author sells a copy of the book for everyone who attends.
  • The events range in size from 50 to 250 people, and in price from C$45 to $100.
  • This model works best for authors who write in a very niche genre (in the case cited in the article, Natalie MacLean, who writes books about wine). The event includes wining and dining with her, of course.
  • The different partners involved in the venture all get to do their own promotion of the event. The hotel gets to promote it to their followers, the author to his or her fans, and the advertiser to everyone who has become a Facebook fan. This exponentially increases the number of people who may be interested in attending.
  • Some of these book tours are still taking place in old-fashioned bookstores, or are at least being hosted by bookstore owners. PW reports that: “Toronto bookseller Ben McNally is well-known for hosting brunches at the posh King Edward Hotel that allow readers to meet authors while enjoying a meal, and occasionally, he does dinner events at Grano Ristorante.”

Remember, it doesn’t take a publisher to execute something like this. If you’re an indie author and, say, wrote a book on travel and tourism, you could partner with hotels, airlines, cruise lines, etc.. to create a fun, informative kick-ass event. Will it work? Well, you’ll sell some copies of your book. Whether or not you’ll make money is still up in the air, but it’s worth a shot.