BookTour.com, a very smart idea and free online service connecting authors and audiences, announced its public launch today.
At BEA earlier this summer, I talked to founder Chris Anderson (ed/Wired, author The Long Tail) about the new company. You can listen to the interview here.
"BookTour.com uses what's best about the Internet—decentralization, low barrier to entry and universal access—to create a one-stop tool for book promotion," said co founder Chris Anderson (Wired, The Long Tail) . "For authors, BookTour makes locating speaking venues totally painless. For the community at large, there's now a single site for information on when a favorite author is coming to town."
Since June 1, hundreds of authors have posted their 2007 tour dates on BookTour, from bestsellers to media personalities.
I tried the service the first week it was in beta and it's a breeze. My whole tour took me minutes to post and is just as easy to update.
Kristin Gore, the daughter of former Vice President Al Gore, will be touring this summer in support of her second novel Sammy's House and will have her complete schedule on BookTour as the site's inaugural featured author.
At BookTour.com, Authors create their own page (books, tour dates and a biography) through a simple fill-in-the-blanks interface (publicists and speaker's bureaus can manage their authors' information through the same system). Any individual or group looking for speakers can find and contact them directly to arrange for an appearance. Requesting a visit from an author is as simple as clicking a button. Information about author visits area can be delivered via email, RSS or iCalendar.
BookTour.com was founded in 2006 by Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine and author of The Long Tail (Hyperion, 2006), Kevin Smokler, editor of Bookmark Now (Basic, 2005) and creator of the Virtual Book Tour and Adam Goldstein, an MIT Sophomore and author of several computer books. The company is privately funded and based in San Francisco.