After my last couple of air travel experiences, I vowed to start taking the train more. Canceled and missed flights led to frustration, so I don’t blame authors reluctant to embark on book tours — even if they’re more worried about budget than getting stuck at Dulles over night. Unfortunately this change in book promotions has led to the virtual shuttering of BookTour.com, a site dedicated to helping authors organize these trips, and helping readers find events.
I think there’s more than just limited marketing budgets behind the fall of BookTour.com. I’ve been to my fair share of author events. In college I had no choice but to attend them as homework for publishing classes. Sometimes the authors are fun and engaging, and sometimes they just read from the book — which I can do myself. More recently I saw Wally Lamb read an excerpt from his unreleased, forthcoming novel. That was cool, and I felt a little like I was being let in on the secret. My favorite author experience, though, was at the Connecticut Forum’s Book Club event where John Irving, Azar Nafisi, and Jonathan Franzen engaged in a panel discussion about more than just their own books. (more…)