Nancy's Notes From Florida

Author Nancy J. Cohen discusses the writing process and life as a Florida resident.

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Author Tours

Posted by Nancy J. Cohen on January 6, 2011

Do you enjoy meeting people, chatting with readers, and getting out into the community to build your fan base? It helps your writing career to tour locally, signing and discussing your books as you establish your identity as a local author. Libraries, community groups, book clubs, fairs and festivals, and even local businesses may offer venues other than chain bookstores, who are increasingly reluctant to host events anymore except for bestselling authors. Indie bookstores are a treasured resource so be sure to get friendly with your independent bookseller if you have one.

So how can you get your name out there?

  • Network, network, network. Join as many writing groups as you can and sign up for their speakers bureau.
  • Make sure your contact info is available on your website and your blog.
  • Join sites where you can announce your schedule, like http://www.booktour.com and http://www.authorsden.com
  • Prepare a bookmark or flyer about you and your work so you have it handy when you meet people.
  • Build your mailing lists and send periodic news updates to your fans and local contacts.
  • Have a professional high-resolution head shot ready to email upon request.

What do you do when you have an engagement?

· Confirm the details: date, time, place, and what you are expected to do.

· Send photos or other materials if requested.

· Revise your talk if you have one prepared and create handouts.

· Make travel arrangements if necessary and hair appointment.

· Add your appearances to your website and blog, as well as all other sites where events may be listed.

· Send email with appearance info to local newspaper contacts for events or books pages.

Now I invite you to click on my Appearance tab above to see where I’m headed. Making all these arrangements and publicizing them is very time consuming but I’m excited about meeting new people. May I add that I didn’t solicit any of these opportunities. They came to me as a result of the networking mentioned above. But also keep in mind that I’ve been doing this for a long time, and when I started, I had to make the rounds of bookstores and libraries just like other newbies. It’s easier when you join your professional organizations and can share resources. If you’re shy, start out on a panel with other writers or do a workshop with a partner until you gain confidence. Then hit the road and have fun!

Coming Tomorrow: Guest Blogger Lois Winston, Author of Assault with a Deadly Glue Gun

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8 Responses to “Author Tours”

  1. You are absolutely the guru of promotion and organization! You put me to shame. Hey, have you ever considered writing a book – about promo advice for writers, I mean!

  2. I don’t know, some days I need a personal assistant…or maybe a personal concierge. Hmm, I could write a mystery about that job. Oh wait, I have! Anyway, remember that all this promo eats out of the writing time.

  3. rasanaatreya said

    Hi Nancy,

    Great post. Would you consider letting me reproduce this on my blog on getting published: rasanaatreya.wordpress.com, with appropriate credits, of course?

    Regards,
    Rasana

  4. Rasana, how about if I guest blog on your site with this same topic? Contact me via email with a date and I’ll send you the file along with a short bio and links.

  5. Jacqueline Seewald said

    Nancy,

    Good suggestions. Wishing you continued successs.

  6. Thanks so much, Jacqueline.

  7. Hi Nancy. You listed some wonderful opportunities. As a new author I’ve discovered that I truly enjoy marketing and all of the social aspects that go along with it but it really takes an enormous chunk of time. I’ve also found that wineries love to host author events and who can resist free wine and an author signing!

  8. You’re right, Cindy. Promo takes a tremendous amount of time. Great idea about the winery. Wish we had one near here.

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