So now we know
Chris Anderson and co gave more details on their new venture at the BEA 31st May. Seems like an utterly sensible idea. From their site:
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.
Now with an unbiased hat I can say that I am under-whelmed by the concept, though I see the value. It strikes me as more of an add on service to existing products than an entirely new excersise. For instance imagine the power of a service like this combined with the tools that LibraryThing has already going.
I wonder how the aggregation will work too. Are we going to see the evolution of a specific book tour microformat that allows them to scoop up all the relevant info or will it always be dependent on the input of agents, booksellers and authors?
But perhaps I am being too down on the idea. I say go them, it is a start and if they can roll out additional features to enhance the service then maybe it will continue to exist as a product in its own right rather than, as I suspect, as part of a larger community.