Here's an interesting idea for author promotion--although it's just entering beta testing. Togather is a new website that brings crowdsourcing to book tours. Authors post their profiles and calendars of days available for promotional events. Fans can then propose events, or authors can create their own events. Togather lets authors negotiate terms and conditions for appearances within the service, including pricing (which is going to be moot for most authors, especially new ones.) Once the events are created, people are encouraged to promote them to their friends on social networks. Authors can set criteria for confirming their appearance--number of tickets sold or RSVP, or number of books sold--and when the goal is reached, ticket and book sales are processed by Togather and the event is on.
I can see Togather as being very valuable to established authors as
bookstores close and the number of legacy venues for book tours
declines--although authors with big social media presences can do much
the same thing from their own Facebook pages and websites. I'm not sure
how valuable Togather is going to be for new authors, unless it's one
component in a much bigger marketing campaign.