Book Tours on the Decline, YouTube Takes Over Marketing

As we’ve told you before, there are those Authors@Google talks and PubBuzz has new videos of author talks daily. So it’s no surprise that marketers are cancelling expensive, pain-in-the-ass book tours for more viral options.

“The author tour, with its accompanying readings and signings, has come to be the quintessential tool for promoting books,” writes Christian Science Monitor’s Teresa Mendez. “It is a chance for writers to charm their readers and for readers to glimpse the person behind the words. At its best, the meeting can be electric. (At worst, nobody shows up.)”

But in the past five years or so, observers say the traditional author tour has been in decline: Fewer writers are being sent out, and those who do tour make fewer stops. Among the many reasons for this shift are marketing tools that have made it possible to orchestrate a virtual encounter, without the hassle or expense of travel. Publishers and authors are now touting books through podcasts, film tours, blog tours, book videos, and book trailers. In fact, it’s unusual for a book not to have some sort of Web presence.