Booktour.com, a Web site used by authors and publishers to publicize book signings, readings and other live events since 2007, is closing on September 1. Kevin Smokler, CEO of Booktour and who founded the company along with Chris Anderson, said publishers' decision to cut promotion budgets since the 2008 recession was only part of the reason for close down the company. According to Smokler, Booktour’s closure is more closely tied to the failure of publishers to craft events that are competitive with other options vying for public attention. To attract customers, publishers must offer “more than an author I don’t know speaking poorly about a book I don’t know,” he told PW.
According to Booktour’s closing announcement, alternative book event outlets such as Amazon’s Author Central, Google Calendar, Upcoming.org and Eventful.com are “worthy replacements.”