Web Fiction Tour idea (not a blog tour) - feedback desired

(BTW I'm crossposting this from weblit.us)

This idea has been rumminating in my head for some time. I don't think I've mentioned it on here before (I did a quick look see for a post and couldn't see one, but if I'm wrong I apologise).

Anyway the idea:

Firstly you need to read this article.

Now, obviously, that's about an alternative book tour for a physical book, but I think parts of it could be used by us.

Here's how:

1. Work out how far afield you can afford to go and how long you can dedicate to the tour.

2. Ask your friends, readers and other weblit authors who are inside that range if they will host a reading and invite people. Make it clear that each reading will need a certain number of guests (5 maybe?).

3. If you can get enough potential hosts in the right area and not too close together decide on what passages you are going to read.

4. Give away bookmarks or similar with your weblit's URL on them. If you have physical books for sale make sure you have copies with you, if you have ebooks make sure net connections are available so people can purchase there and then (or sell them a coupon code - though the former is preferable). Same for audiobooks. Have a hat for on the spot donations.

Now like all new promotion methods there is no certainty of success but that doesn't mean it's not worth trying.

Once Haventon One is done I may try this (though I'm pretty much limited to the UK), so watch this space.

Thoughts, opinions, feedback, reasons why it's stupid and would never work? Tell me please.


If it ever cools down enough that I can actually go outside at an hour before 10pm (actually, I can't get outside even before 12mid nowadays) I shall have to try this out. I hold impromptu conventions with friends every time I visit Mill Ave -- obviously because Mill Avenue Vexations is well known down there -- but summer is a bad time of year for me and hitting the streets.

It actually does sound like a really neat idea! It's definitely something for anyone who's got a significant following to think about (especially if they're coupling it maybe with Ebook promotion as well).

Good call, I think.

(once again crossposting from weblit.us)

I was just talking about QR codes with @MystycalMage and @Zoe_E_W on Twitter and it lead to me having the following thought which relates to this idea.

(I'll repeat the tweets that got my thought processes going as well as they are also useful ideas)

Zoe: I really like the idea, using a QR code to include a blurb and links to the bookstores, and I can make 8 cards per page.

Mage: @Zoe_E_W you can link a QR code to paypal to buy the eBook. You could sell ebooks from a con and not even be there.

Me: @MystycalMage @Zoe_E_W you could do a couch surfing book tour without the couchsurfing!

Me: @Zoe_E_W get fans to have a few friends around and vid conference with them then sell via QR code like @MystycalMage suggests!

This would allow reaching new readers who live out of practical range of a physical tour. :-) Weblit peeps could have QR codes linking to their website and via paypal for donations and book sales (assuming they have a book). Much cheaper than long-distance travel.

Once again seeking thoughts,


....this is going to sound really dumb. A QR code? What's that?

You wouldn't have to do videochat necessarily, either (though that can be fun) -- you could do realtime voice chat through Skype or another service, if you lack a webcam.

It's a sort of barcode thingy developed in Japan. Here's the wikipedia article about them.

Oh, THOSE thingies that you can scan with your smartphone and stuff. I follow now.

It sounds like a great idea and a fun way to promote your book.

My only concern about the couchsurfing thing would be from a safety standpoint. The author of the article made it pretty clear she was reliant on the people she was staying with for all transport. Most of the time you have normal sane people, but you nver know if you get the weirdo. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1205794/Rape-horror-tourist-used-couchsurfing-website-aimed-travellers.html

I would make sure you're staying with friends or if you use something like couchsurfing.com, make sure they have good ratings to avoid any bad people.

@Mel Yup, I mentioned we would need some sort of best practices over on the weblit.us version of the thread and some simple ideas like taking someone with you and making sure you know a nearby hotel came up.


I wouldn't use a website like couchsurfing for this, the peeps there have no reason to help they just offer accomodation. Fans and fellow weblit authors would be the best bet.