Publishers and editors typically have nothing to do with book tours. I learned this as I asked authors, publicists, and publishers during my research for Modern Persuasion. Can you imagine how frustrated I was when I learned this?
It put me in a small tail spin because, since I had quickly written my first draft, I was going back and doing a little research AFTER the first draft was written. No, not much changed as I edited. Today, I’m going to share the reality of an author’s book tour and why Fredrick is so special.
Real Book Tours
When an author goes on a book tour, here is the long list of who they will travel with: nobody. Yes, for most authors, they are alone for their book tour. It’s arranged by their Publicist, but that person is rarely a friend. The dynamic between Patrick and Fredrick is unique because their friendship existed outside of their business relationship. The only authors I know of who might travel with their publicist are those with a good friendship with their publicist or who are new to this or who might have a lot to coordinate in a specific city.
What about the publisher? Its very rare that the publisher has anything to do with a book tour these days. Publishers leave most of the book marketing to the author and their publicist. They might only care that enough books are at the different venues. An employee like Emma might have helped organize a book tour when she was a low level employee or intern like Louisa, but that wouldn’t include going on the tour.
Why Was Fredrick Special?
Fredrick was special, but it has nothing to do with Emma. His own editor, Christi was taking Louisa with her on his book tour. Patrick was going to join them because Fredrick was his friend. Why would a new author like Fredrick need a team of 3 to go with him on a book tour?
The answer isn’t about Fredrick, it’s about Karen. It’s talked about slightly in the novel, but Emma doesn’t know the full depth of the damage Karen had done to the publisher she worked for. Emma knows about the opportunities Karen passed over, but she doesn’t know about the project Karen has brought to the company. Karen has lost her ability to find new authors and she is relying on Emma’s ability to find new authors to keep her employed.
Karen has cost the publishing company a significant profit because she has picked projects that have lost them money. There have been threats of law suits, major marketing campaigns that didn’t have the intended results, and major advances that have not been recovered in sales profits. The publishing company executives are scared about their future because of what Karen has cost them. With the investment they have put into Fredrick’s book, they want to make sure their return is strong. They need this to be a successful tour and Fredrick is untested as an author.
So, it’s a pretty big deal that Emma is sent on the tour and that Karen can’t say no.