The Book Publicity Blog

News, Tips, Trends and Miscellany for Book Publicists

For authors on book tour, don’t forget your …

Some people prepare long checklists when traveling.  I don’t, in part because the checklist is inevitably missing some item anyway, in part because you can usually obtain with relative ease whatever it is that you forgot.  But here’s my abbreviated checklist of must-have items for traveling authors:

1. Medication(s) — if applicable

2. Glasses / contacts (including an extra pair) — if applicable

3. Travel documents including a government-issued ID if you are flying

4. Rechargers for gadgets — if you can, recharge your gadgets fully before you leave so you don’t have to worry about a phone going dead, at least at the beginning of your tour.  If you have a lot of gadgets (laptop, phone, iPod, Blackberry, ereader, etc.), consider bringing a surge suppressor.  It sounds funny — after all, your Blackberry can recharge on the hotel bathroom floor — but a surge suppressor is convenient if you have the space for it in your luggage.

5. At least one extra copy of your book

6. A nice pen — please don’t sign books with Bic pens!

7. A change of clothes and basic toiletries that you carry in your carry-on bag if you are flying — pack as though your luggage will be lost.  It’s a pain having to wait for lost luggage to arrive when you’re on vacation and spending a week in one location.  It’s about 10 times worse not having lost luggage arrive before you have to decamp the next morning for the next book tour stop.

What other items are “must haves” for authors on book tour?  Comment at will.


May 20, 2009 - Posted by | Book Tour | ,


  1. I would also add that you should check your cell phone plan to make sure you have national coverage. One of my authors didn’t and discovered a $1000 cell phone bill waiting for him when he got home. Expensive life lesson, kids!

    Comment by Colleen Lindsay | May 20, 2009 | Reply

  2. Tess Gerritsen once blogged about this company that sells clothing and accessories specifically designed for travel:

    Comment by Jolie | May 20, 2009 | Reply

  3. I once had an author come over from France smuggling some armagnac in his luggage and the cork popped. He was able to get the stink out of his clothes, but every time he opened the reading copy of his book to read a passage, the bookshop would be filled with the smell of brandy.

    Comment by John Mark | May 20, 2009 | Reply

  4. And finally, be humble. Regardless of who you are.

    Comment by michaelsean | May 26, 2009 | Reply

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