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Why book tours are passé

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Man Booker Prize-winner Ian McEwan opted not to take his 10th novel, "On Chesil Beach," on the road this past summer. In his place, a short film was screened by bookstores in 54 US cities. On Veterans Day, the second in the film series "Out of the Book," by Powell's Books, kicked off its tour. The movie features commentators including Joan Didion and Bob Woodward discussing the late David Halberstam and his book about the Korean War, "The Coldest Winter." Meanwhile, a company called TurnHere has launched an ambitious project to create an online book channel with short Internet videos – the founder likens it to an MTV for books. So far, BookVideos.tv has exclusively aired Simon & Schuster authors. But it recently announced plans to expand coverage to 10 other publishers.

Both video ventures promise a few things bookstore appearances can't always deliver. They offer insight into a writer's inspiration and process – back stories that may not come through by simply listening to a writer read his work aloud.

And now, the video

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