Salt Publishing have come up with an eco-friendly, credit-non-crunching promotion scheme: Book Tours 2.0. Called Cyclone, it's a wily (and top secret 'til right now) project to create 'virtual book tours' that allow authors to reach out online to the phenomenal litblogging community, and brings Salt readers into that community. Authors Charles Lambert and Tania Hershman will be the first to take part in blog tours, dropping in on litbloggers for interviews, guest posts, and reader Q&As. Each writer will tour to specifically selected blogs, so Cyclone itself becomes a kind of aggregator, showcasing litblogs.
The Cyclone virtual tour offers writers an opportunity to connect with readers globally without air travel, a great model for smaller independent publishers looking to get their books and writers circulating internationally. It remains to be seen how Salt will solve the problem of book signing, a crucial component of any author meeting -- perhaps adopting Margaret Atwood's long-distance signing method, the LongPen?
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