It used to be almost expected that a new author would go on tour with his or her book as a way to get the word out and promote the book. Publishing houses often paid for this considering they were getting the major money out of the deal, but it seems like today more and more authors are looking for creative ways to promote their books without having to go on tour.

Part of the reason is that if you aren’t already famous, your publishing house won’t pony up the cash for you to go on tour. For them it’s a matter of making money on their return, and, although it pains me to say it, they’re right. I’ve been to quite a few book signings and the lesser known authors definitely are lacking in crowds. Little to no crowd equals small sales at the end of the signing.

Some authors are doing internet tours. Others phone in to book club meetings or create a blog to raise awareness about their book and their goings-on. But there are those who still want a real connection with their audience (and there are those of us who crave those opportunities), such as Michael Steers and Stanley Trollip, who write under the pen name of Michael Stanley and will be taking an international book tour using money from their own pockets.

On April 1, the two authors released their first book, A Carrion Death, but if their book tour does well, they may indeed be seen more often. And maybe their next book tour will be paid for by their publishers. I’m not a huge fan of murder mystery or detective novels, but I think I might just buy this one to show my support. To learn more about the tour or the book, visit the authors’ Web site here.