When it comes to movie careers and book tours, few actors can hold a candle to Robert Pattinson. The British actor has sold more than 11 million copies of his memoir, Bel Ami, and starred in a feature film based on the book, The Lost Symbol. He has also embarked on a massive North American publicity tour for his new book, Wanderlust, which was released on September 24, 2017. It’s safe to say that Pattinson is used to being in the public eye.
In this article, we’ll examine the many different ways in which Pattinson promotes his work. We’ll cover everything from traditional book tours to film festivals and the media. So, let’s dive in.
Traditional Book Tours
For decades, authors and their publicists have carefully nurtured and planned their book tours. Most famous authors will spend several weeks or months in the build-up to their big day, traveling across the country (and sometimes the world) to speak with fans and promote their books. In the past, this often involved making numerous appearances on TV shows, taking out full-page ads in magazines, and holding mega-talks at universities. Today, it mainly means making as many interview appearances as possible and taking advantage of every other platform available.
Traditional book tours have largely fallen by the wayside. With the rise of the e-book and online retailers, the popularity of the self-published book has skyrocketed. Gone are the days when people would rush out to buy a particular author’s new book on the day of its release. Most likely, they will encounter the work online or in a bookshop a few days later.
Tour Theaters And Museums)
In the past, when book tours were the main source of publicity for authors, they would visit multiple cities and towns en route to their final destination. Today, because of restrictions imposed by coroners and health agencies, most book tours are confined to one city or a small group of cities. This is problematic for authors, especially in light of the ongoing pandemic. Museums and theaters are often the fallback option for tour organizers, as they can be opened to the public even when other venues are not.
In most cases, book tours still entail an onslaught of appearances, often in front of hundreds of people. This is why authors must continue to promote their books through various platforms and social media. These days, an author’s publicist will send them a short list of options for their upcoming book tour. While several might be glamorous and exciting, the author will have to accept that not all will come with thousands of adoring fans.
Tour Blogs And Online Reviews)
In this age of digital media, it is imperative that authors and their publicists continue to take advantage of all available platforms. Today, authors can and should be blogging about their experiences on tour. They can also use their personal websites and social media accounts to promote their books. Because blogs are mostly published online, they have the added benefit of being accessible to anyone with an internet connection.
Unlike most traditional book tours, author tours held in the 21st century primarily take place in the virtual world. While hundreds of thousands of people might stumble upon an author’s blog post or social media account, it’s a different story when it comes to reaching an audience of one. This is where things get interesting. Today, many authors will have sites specifically designed for readers to leave reviews and ask questions about the work. It’s a win-win situation for both the author and the reader. The author gets the invaluable feedback from their audience, while the reader gets to dive into a quick, easy to follow, and fun narrative that they can leave behind as they go about their day.
Traditional Newspapers And Magazines)
The internet has largely usurped the role of traditional newspapers and magazines as far as publicity and marketing material go. While many still use printed publications to gain notoriety and build an audience, the content often appears online a few days or weeks after its publication.
Newspapers and magazines are still very much a part of the publicity landscape. For centuries, authors and their publicists have courted journalists in order to publicize their books. While the publication date of a magazine or newspaper might be months or even years in the past, it is still a potent tool for marketing. Traditional journalists will often prefer to work with established authors, who they know will deliver consistent content, over freelancers or upstarts, who might have trouble following a strict publicity schedule.
It’s still common for authors to go on book tours and appear at literary festivals, sometimes even walking the red carpet. As a result of the pandemic and the resulting transition to a digital world, it might be the last we’ve seen of traditional appearances on the book circuit. Yet, even now, there are still plenty of opportunities for authors to make an impression on the public, regardless of whether it’s through a literary event or a celebrity blog post.
While traditional publishers still have a profound effect on a book’s layout and design, content is often the driving force behind a work’s success. With the rise of the self-publishing movement, also known as ‘independent publishing’, authors can now take on the role of both author and publisher. With more than 70% of all books now being published without a traditional publisher’s involvement, authors can enjoy greater creative freedom, as well as the opportunity to build a following and engage with fans.
This new breed of self-published authors often takes on a more hands-on approach when it comes to book tours. Rather than relying on a traditional publicist, an independent author might approach media outlets and talk shows directly, offering to give interviews and take part in discussions about their work. They might also decide to host events or festivals to which they invite authors and fans of their work.
Authors, journalists, and bloggers might hold all the cards when it comes to marketing and publicity, but that doesn’t mean that everyone agrees on how stories should be represented online. At the forefront of this movement is Creative Commons, an organization that allows creators to freely re-use media content, while also giving them the means to monetize that content. As a result of this ‘open source’ approach to media, many news websites and blogs now offer a CC license, meaning that their articles are freely available to anyone, while monetization is still an option for those who choose to utilize it.
Creative Commons offers a media use policy that encourages people to reuse and remix content, while also providing guidelines for doing so ethically and responsibly.
Even older media, such as radio broadcasts, can still be used to great effect. In many cases, a well-done radio interview can serve as free advertising for a product or service. This is because, when someone hears a radio interview, they often have to remember the content and recall the topic at hand, while at the same time processing and taking in the information being communicated. In other words, with the right host, the right topic, and careful audio editing, a well-done radio broadcast can operate much like a digital ad.
This is why many journalists and publicists still see the value in this platform. While many people have turned to podcasts and livestreams to stay connected during the pandemic, radio has largely maintained its place in the communications landscape. This might be because, unlike other platforms, radio users can’t easily delete or block content. As a result, radio is often the first port of call for those seeking unbiased information during polarizing times.
While we’re still adjusting to the idea of being able to communicate in real-time with those across the world, many of us are finding ways to make use of our newfound freedom of speech. One such way is through social media. Even when a reporter isn’t able to attend an event because of the pandemic, they can often find an image or video to fill the gap. With the right strategizing and planning, this content can then be used to promote the story or topic at hand.
With more than 500 million active users across all platforms, social media allows those with an internet connection to stay in touch with friends, family, and other like-minded individuals, across national boundaries.
This, in turn, has enabled many individuals to stay connected during a time when traditional ways of getting information has been sidelined.
The Rise Of The Virtual Book Tour
While we’re still in the early days of adapting to a more digital world, virtual book tours offer authors a way to connect with audiences even when the reality of physical distancing is absent.