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Why a Book Tour Works

 DL: Why does a Book Tour work? It does so because it allows people to know, like and trust you—essential characteristics of any selling and buying relationship. The following is about some of what I have learned about book tours.

That fall evening in 1992, there were no parking spaces along the town’s Main Street as I approached the library, a copy of my recently published book, Turning Memories Into Memoirs / A Handbook for Writing Lifestories, lying on the passenger seat, its width thickened by slips of paper to indicate places from which I wanted to read at my program.

As I drove up to the site of my first outreach since the book’s publication, incredibly, I had been beaten to parking spots by dozens and dozens of cars that now lined the town’s Main Street.

Well! How exciting could that be! This was my fifth book and my first how-to. I had great hopes for it. I had been leading memoir-writing workshops for the previous four years, and Turning Memories Into Memoirs was the summation of my teaching and coaching. It was truly a compendium that covered memoir writing from A to Z, and any writer making use of its many suggestions and guidelines was likely to succeed at undertaking and finishing an interesting and meaningful memoir.

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The publicity—press releases, calendar of events, posters—was what was available at the time (1992), and I had, as they say, “covered my bases.” And now, it was the moment of my big launch at the local library—from which I had launched my four previous books—and that evening, I was apparently doing so to a full house! How exciting to have every available street parking space taken.

Not only do I always enjoy going up and down the rows of seats at the beginning of a program to ask people where they are at in their memoir-writing project but I feel it is important for establishing rapport with the attendees. Now, keeping my excitement in check, I knew I had to focus on finding a parking spot so I might rush into the library to be there not only on-time but to be there to “work the crowd.”

So, it was with a solid sense of anticipation that I found a parking spot on a side street and rushed to the library, joining the line of people streaming into the building.

Dashing inside, I entered the room where I was to read. It was sparsely filled!

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