Author book tours and in-person appearances for signings and presentations were mainstays of book publicity services for decades before the pandemic. In its aftermath, they are resuming, although replaced in some cities with virtual appearances. An author's contact with target readers and the media can start a buzz for nearly any book and its target readers. Resuming tours has made sense for many book launches because the bookselling marketplace is so crowded and competitive. People today are surprised (or flattered) when a writer travels and appears in person, and it's an advantage.
Getting your book into the hands of readers who will enjoy it and talk about it to others is the point of any promotional activity. Therefore, make sure books are available for sale anywhere you appear. Often appearances, signings, and presentations are planned for bookstores which easily facilitate sales. But if you appear at a library or other venue, make sure to arrange for book sales. Depending on the success of your event and in-person charisma, you may be impressed by the sales you'll spark. You can also hand out information that directs people to a place for online orders if they don't want to buy on the spot.
Selecting a venue for your appearance can be an opportunity, depending on how you plan it. If you're trying to use the event to interest the media, a spot that connects to your book can be helpful. For example, if you've written a book about losing weight through fitness, appearing at the opening of a new fitness center makes sense. Whatever space you select, make sure it has easy parking and enough space to handle the crowd you expect and attractive to potential attendees. There is no right or wrong place, but the more appealing it sounds, the better your chances of attracting a crowd.
Ideally, most authors have a well-developed social media following before going out on tour. You can use posts to help promote your events, and followers enjoy receiving your invitations. If you co-promote with the venue or another organization, it can help expand your list as their followers decide to follow you, and vice versa. Promotional partnerships often yield better results than going it alone. You might also simultaneously feed video of the event online and post images of it afterward. The social media value of event content is significant and can be another reason to appear in-person (a photo op).