I'm supposed to know everything that goes on in town, but here's something that passed me by completely: For the last five years, the local firm BurstMarketing has been recording and posting podcasts of Tattered Cover book events, as many as three or four a week, online for free at AuthorsOnTourLive. Not only that, but last month, the website recorded its one-millionth hit -- a remarkable thing to comprehend, especially in an age when books are rumored to be stone-cold dead and buried six feet under.
People, it turns out, still want to know about books and authors, and if they can't attend the book readings in person, AuthorsOnTourLive is a swell opportunity to at least listen in.
Heather Duncan of Tattered Cover says the all-time most-accessed T.C. Podcast is Barack Obama's in-store discussion of the Audacity of Hope, buts adds that more popular categories include comedy, politics, celebrities and, to a lesser degree, serious literary and local authors. "We link it in our e-mail newsletter, and it's one of our most clicked-through links," she adds, attesting to the popularity of the podcasts and noting that many authors and publishers put the links on their own websites. "It allows the author tour to have more legs after the event happens. Once a podcast is posted, we'll often notice a few more book sales in the stores."
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That's all something worth cheering about, and to that end, Burst and the T.C. are co-hosting a gift-certificate giveaway. To enter, go to the AuthorsOnTourLive website and listen to a special podcast for instructions (it features author Jennifer Weiner and her novel, Fly Away Home); then fill out the registration form and secret passcode to enter.