Hi, and welcome to the BookTour blog! This is where we'll be talking about all things around book tours, including both our company and the community of authors and audiences that it's designed to serve.
On May 31st at BookExpo America we announced that the site is now accepting beta testers. We also discussed the overall concept that inspired us to start the company in the first place, which I'll tell you more about in a sec.
But first, introductions. We're Chris Anderson (I'm the one writing this), Adam Goldstein and Kevin Smokler. All three of us are authors, so we understand the needs of people who write and want to find audiences and otherwise promote their work. Adam is the technologist (he wrote AppleScript: The Missing Manual, and co-wrote Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual with David Pogue). Kevin, who wrote Bookmark Now: Writing in Unreaderly Times, is the evangelist/community outreach director. And I, who wrote The Long Tail and edit Wired Magazine by day, am the guy who writes the checks, steers the boat and otherwise watches Adam and Kevin do all the real work.
The inspiration for the company is simple. Every year thousands of authors go on book tour, mostly to bookstores around the country. Although it's great to make that connection with local booksellers, the number of people who show up for such appearances isn't always huge and then authors often find themselves with time on their hands in a town where they don't necessarily know other groups to approach. Meanwhile, at any given moment there is a virtually boundless number of potential audiences, ranging from community groups, companies, professional groups, universities and even book groups that are constantly looking for speakers. If only they'd known that this great author was in town, they would have loved to invite her/him to speak!
So there you have it: a supply of authors traveling the country on their publisher's (or their own) dime, looking for audiences to reach to help market their book, and a demand for such authors. Only the two don't meet, because there's no single place to find out who's coming to town and who in each town is looking for authors.
Enter BookTour. We do three things. First, we aggregate all the available information on the web about existing book tours, mostly from publisher and bookseller sites. Second, we give authors and publicists a place to enter their own book tour details and availability in a way that anyone can find. And finally, we give potential audiences a way to contact authors and publicists and request an event, either in a town the author is already visiting, or to suggest a new town to add to the tour.
The advantages are pretty clear for everyone involved:
- For Authors: We help you reach more audiences, better audiences and otherwise help you market your book through personal contact and appearances, which can be the most effective of all.
- For Publicists: We help you identify new audiences in each town who might like to hear from your author. If you like, you can be the main point of contact, rather than the author. It's your choice.
- For Booksellers: We'll soon have a link so that audiences planning an event can contact a local bookstore to sell books at the event.
- For Audiences: We're essentially a free speakers bureau. It's a one-stop shopping place to find talented experts and fascinating writers who would be delighted to speak to your group. You can contact them and negotiate the event directly with the author or publicist. We just make the introduction, and then let you work out the details on your own terms.
Of course there are a few rough edges and we're adding features and data every day, but we hope you're as enthusiastic about the potential of this site as we are. Sign up, enjoy, and please give me your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to make your job easier.