Library Tours: How to Set Them Up and What They Can Do for You

February 2004
by Jerry Labriola

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Conducting a regional library tour is one of the least appreciated ways to sell books and gain crucial exposure at the same time. If you live in a small state, the tour might include most of its libraries. If your state is too large for that, confine your visits to a manageable geographical area. The idea is to arrive at each library, make your presentation, have the book signing, and be back home within two or three hours.

The benefits of such visits may include receiving requests for further speaking engagements. It isn’t unusual, for example, for program directors of service clubs (e.g., Rotary, Lions) to be in the audience. Libraries tend to promote their events heavily, so even if the number of attendees is low, your name and the title of your book may be published in local newspapers or mentioned on radio. Multiply this by the number of visits you plan on making, and you will have a sense of your potential media coverage.

The Program and the People

Some people may attend your program with your book already in hand, having bought it in a bookstore or on the Internet. This is still a favorable feature of the tour, because they may have made the purchase in anticipation of your appearance and are there primarily to hear what you have to say, and to obtain your signature and perhaps a personal inscription. The event may well inspire them to spread the word about your book.

My tour–for Famous Crimes Revisited, which I wrote…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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