Paying for a Book Tour

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Katey Schultz published her debut collection of stories, Flashes of War, through a university press. Lacking the support of a major publishing house meant Schultz ended up self-financing her book tour. To get started, she spent $12,000 on a publicist, tour manager, and airfare—about forty-percent of her yearly income—she tells The Billfold. But she knew if her book was to be taken seriously, she had to take the process seriously:

Ok, I told myself, try to sell 5,000 copies in three years. One year later, I’ve sold somewhere around 1,500 books–an accurate number is shockingly difficult to get, actually–and I’m told that’s successful. It feels good, knowing what I know now, but in order to reach 5,000 I’ll need to win another award or learn how to levitate to keep the attention coming at Flashes of War. People read and forget, people recommend and move on; at the end of the day, no one is under any moral or financial obligation to buy your book. All you can do is try your best, and indeed I did.


Ian MacAllen's fiction has appeared in 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, Joyland Magazine, and elsewhere and nonfiction has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, The Negatives, Electric Literature, Fiction Advocate, and elsewhere. He is the Deputy Editor of The Rumpus, holds an MA in English from Rutgers University, tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →