We only have one car in our family. Well that is not true. We have one that is a car and running and one, that by all definition, is a car but has died in our driveway - RIP. So I take cabs a lot. My mom works for a cab company (long story, she does their administrative stuff) so I am very blessed to have that bit of luck going for me. I have come to know most of the regular and nice drivers because drivers come and go a lot in the cab business.
I saw something in a cab of a driver I know yesterday that I have never seen before. A book. I was immediately interested. It was called Tatiana and I have to look it up because I forgot the author's name and I believe in my heart there is more than one book called Tatiana.
He asked me how I was doing and I told him keeping busy. I asked him about the book. He said it was from the library and it was a new thriller. I made a mental note. I then proceeded to tell him about the book tours I do, and my blog - my favorite topics of conversation. When I explained my book tours are virtual book tours and described what they entail, the driver said "Jeez! They should just go to the bookstore and meet the author." And that was his firm answer.
So I thought about this as I often do. I did blog once and it was a copy and paste from a piece by a popular author in the 70's saying it was nice in a way to do the virtual tour in her pajamas but she missed being in hair and makeup, going on stage (ie Phil Donohue, etc), and just meeting the fans. This virtual world was new to her. Her tone in the article was pining for the old days.
I have not been to a book signing but again I was not sure who I wanted to meet and who was around. I have to keep up on that because I am so close to New York so I have great chances to meet great authors and authors of all kinds really. I have met so many wonderful authors online that I would love to meet in person. And remember I just started reading again last summer after 14 years so I do not know my favorite authors sans Neil Gaiman and Steven King. The list is longer now. Judy Croome and J.A. Reynolds would be at the top of the list.
Do I like doing virtual book tours. You betcha! I have met the best people. Do I think authors should still go on in person book tours - YES! You have to meet your fans because they want to meet you. I went to ComicCon in New York last year and WOW! I met so many people I wanted to meet I would not give up that experience for anything.
It is just the time we live in. Virtual book tours are not going away. So I would say get used to it. If you are new school or old school and want to meet your authors, go meet them! If you like the virtual book tours awesome! If you do not, you do not have to be a part of them just like the virtual book tour people do not have to go out on an actual tour.
The basics of all of this is that we should support our authors in anyway we can. They love their fans and most are happy to talk to their readers and we live in a time of goodreads for example where you can get in touch with even famous authors. I have been surprised at the authors that are best sellers that I am now friends with.
So no matter what way you do it, support your authors!