The New Book Tours

I can't remember who posted a link to this article at the village voice, but I'm glad they did. I hadn't heard of the author until now but it was interesting reading his story about book tours and bloggers. The former being his recent experiences which have always made me nervous. I'm not a big fan of book tours but I can so get on board blog tours. The article says this:

The book tour is, after all, just one more dying relic of old-school book promotion, another example of how clueless the publishing industry currently is about pushing its own product. Word is the tour is being phased out, but publishers don't seem to have anything to replace it. For decades, the major way to sell books has been through newspaper reviews and "by hand"—that is, on recommendations made by the owners and employees of independent booksellers. Both venues have crashed. Newspapers are sinking all over the United States, and they're jettisoning their book-review sections first—they've vanished even from publications as prominent as the Los Angeles Times and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Independent bookstores are disappearing even faster. In 1994, the independents' trade organization, the American Booksellers Association (ABA), had more than 4,600 independent member companies, with some 6,000 stores. Today, it's down to less than 1,500 companies and about 2,000 stores. Book publishers, unsure of how to cope with this World War I landscape, have continued to do mostly what didn't work all that well before, including dispatch writers on long, fruitless loops around the country.

While blog tours have taken rise over the past year or so, I don't think it's the only thing. Platforms like Second Life have already taken stake in business, education and science programs with big companies and classes being held in-world. I belong to a few groups dedicated to the love of reading and sharing works. Many books are even being sold strictly in Second Life!

I blogged about authors Gena Showalter and Harlequin holding events in-world. Yesterday I got my new issue of The Writer (January 2009) and there is a wonderful article on page 12 about how "Second Life Explores Books Virtually". Sweet!

M.J. Rose was mentioned along with William Gibsom and Kurt Vonnegut who gave one of his final interviews in world. I recommend checking out this article for both readers and authors. There may not be a lot of promotions going on right now but judging by the amount of readers, creative writing groups, author events and book discussion events (including live readings) I think this will be part of the future authors should dive into.