It’s a whole new game, being an author today.
Take going on tour. Used to be, you’d get a fat packet of airplane tickets from your publisher. You’d put a lot of thought into what you put in your suitcase, making sure you got everything into your carry-on. You’d walk off the plane and there’d be someone waiting for you at each airport, holding a sign with your name on it.
You’d get into a car and were zipped off somewhere to an event where there might or might not be people clamoring to hear you read your work and have their books signed. You slept in a hotel in a place you might never have seen before and might never see again—or, if you were lucky, you’d arranged to stay with some long-lost friends.
If your publicist did a really good job, you were booked as a guest on some local television shows, which required you to have a whole lot of make-up brushed onto your face at an ungodly hour of the morning—and to be articulate and funny, if possible, hours before your brain’s usual time for revving up into high gear.
Well, you can forget about all of that now if you’re what is called in the industry a mid-list writer—someone, like me, who has a few fans here and there but isn’t someone whose name is a guaranteed draw for big crowds.
In this time of pinched budgets and blockbuster mentalities in the publishing world, the Blog Tour has come to be the standard for letting readers personalize their experience with writers.
You may be the most avid and devoted reader, but you won’t get your book signed. You won’t sit nervously in the little crowd of people in the bookstore’s designated space for public readings, trying to formulate just the right words for your question. If you’re an aspiring writer hoping to get a quote for your manuscript or just a crumb of encouragement, you’ll miss out on the chance to see that published writer eye to eye—how she dresses and whether she wears reading glasses and whether her author photo is ridiculously out of date.
But if you have a blog, you can command that same author to spend hours, if need be, producing a piece of original writing for you. And you can bet your laptop that the writer will be grateful and gracious about doing your bidding. Because you’re giving him or her what publishers have stopped providing for all but the already famous: Publicity.
Come back and visit tomorrow to read about what it’s like to do a tour of 16 different young adult book blogs.