Here’s the first five I came up with:
- Events don’t fill up unless you do something to spread the word.
- Because of #1, you can find yourself talking to an intimate group of 12 folks thrilled to have a private salon, while the bookseller pulls up a chair in your discussion circle in the middle of a bar. Be prepared to quickly modify your presentation for such occasions.
- If you have young children, live in New York (near lots of media outlets), or have a job in addition to your book, think twice about whether your “tour” needs to involve leaving your home. Radio tours and online efforts (e.g. reaching out to bloggers) allow you to reach huge audience without going anywhere.
- Partner with other authors. You’ll get a chance to build an audience among the other authors’ readers. And if the other authors happen to be enjoying the limelight, you’ll bask in that glow too. Choose some authors in your niche — for me writers like Tim Ferriss, Penelope Trunk, Josh Piven – all who had career books out around the same time, and some whose books are nice complements but not necessarily in the same niche (Sue Shapiro’s book on fix-ups made for a good program on fixing your love life/work life.) You’ll also learn a lot by thinking of how your book relates to the ideas in other books.
And it’s just more fun.
- Spend money if you can. I hired an assistant which was extremely helpful on pitching the press (both to save effort and to avoid having to blatantly flak myself) and organizing events. I’m still wondering whether I should have hired outside p.r. help.
Authors, please weigh in with your top 5. I’ve got many more 5s where these came from and I’ll post a few more after the next few weeks of touring. Cape May NJ, Denver, and San Jose all coming up. Gotta up those B-12s.