Sunday, January 25, 2015

Shooting Thoughts: Do You Go to Author Events When...?


Shooting Thoughts by Lauren 
Today's Topic: Do you go to author events when you haven't read the book?

I haven't been to that many author events in the past. A lot of times authors that I know and enjoy don't come near me, and even when some do, I'm not always able to go. However, I don't think this means you shouldn't try seeing other authors in person if you are curious about their book. You don't have to have read the book already - I mean, what if the author is a debut? Most people haven't read them yet!



I saw Chris Colfer in person when he was signing for his first middle grade novel, The Land of Stories. I was already a fan of his from Glee, so it made sense to attend his signing and get a chance to "meet" him if you will, even though you can't really talk to him much as the line is so long. This is obviously an example of an author you'd want to see even without having read their book already.

However, there are also plenty of authors out there that aren't famous for anything else, and I'm sure they would appreciate seeing some faces in the crowd when they visit a bookstore or library. I have been to see two authors, that I can remember, in that past where their books sounded interesting but I'd never read them or really knew who they were. I ended up buying a copy of the book to be signed though, as I felt weird going and not doing anything to truly support the author. I think, in general, you shouldn't feel pressured to buy a book at a signing. If you're going there because you love the author, then sure, it makes sense. But if you go just to see the author and learn more about them and their work, then you might find yourself not as interested in buying the book...or not right away. That's okay. I think you should still go to the event if you're curious!

I think one of the things that has me put off from going to author signings where I haven't already read something by them is that I might buy a book and get it signed, but that doesn't mean I'll read it. The two signings I mentioned above? I have the books still, but I never read them. Is it because they sound bad? No. It's more about lack of time and how I don't really get to read a lot of my own novels. I tried to change that more last year, but accepting less review books, but books still find a way of getting shoved aside. I still found attending the events/signings to be worth it, but it's just something I've noticed occurs with me. What about you?


There are also those signings where you get more than one author. This is awesome, but you can't surely buy all the author's books! I've been to a few "panel" type signings, and I like when you can approach the author you know/like and want to have them sign your book. I saw Liz Coley this way and her sign my copy of Pretty Girl- 13. There are other panels that make you go down the line to all the authors, and I feel weird not having a book for everyone. These tend to offer bookmarks or posters so they all sign something for you, so that's nice, but it's still sometimes a bit awkward. It doesn't mean I'm not interested in the author, but I don't always have a chance to read something by every author, nor the money to buy a book for them to all sign.


At the same time, there are sometimes author events or signings that make you want to read the author's work before going. This is true with Marissa Meyer and her Lunar Chronicles. She will be visiting the bookstore Joseph-Beth in Cincinnati, Ohio for a big event/book signing in honor of Fairest this Saturday, January 31 (anyone going?! I'll be there!) and I'd been meaning to read her books for a long time now. Knowing I could meet and have her sign one of my books, I decided to dive in and read the first three books out in the series. As I write this, I've finished Cinder and Scarlet, and have almost all of Cress finished (by the time you read this, I will have read them all), and I'm excited to have finally read these books. I loved them all and I'm very curious about Fairest. I'll have a  review coming up about the series so far, so I'll stop there. Basically, if I hadn't noticed Marissa Meyer was coming nearby, and I hadn't finally read her novels, I might not have attend the event and that would have been a shame.

Anyway, it's time to discuss! How do you approach author events? Any personal stories?

28 comments:

Liviania said...

I mostly go to see authors I know and multi-author events. But I definitely try to get out to some debut author events since I know they have low attendance!

Alise said...

This is an interesting question! I've never been to an author event so I can't say much but I think I MIGHT go if I was interested in the book or author although I haven't read a book by them.

Diva Booknerd said...

I've never been either, only due to not living in the city and they're usually starting in the late evening and it's not always convenient for me. Well it never is actually. If it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, then I'd go all out though. This year I'd like to make time to attend a few, if only to meet other bloggers really. I hope you have a ball Lauren, can't wait to hear all about it <3

Medeia Sharif said...

I've gone to a few of them. I'll definitely go to support a writer friend. Other than that, I'd have to be a huge fan to go to one.

Kindlemom said...

I haven't gone to any yet but one day I will, or at least I plan too. ;)

Brandi Kosiner said...

I'm one of the few bloggers who haven't actually gone to any author events.

Keertana said...

I actually haven't been to an author event because the ones I've been able to attend I either didn't know the author/wasn't familiar with their books or I didn't like their books. I want to go to an event with at least one author I really like and want to meet but it seems like fun to just go and enjoy the feeling of other fandoms when you meet other authors. Great post! :)

Marianne Robles said...

I never go to author events because no authors ever come to my country :( but if I did, I'd be sure to either have already read a book by said author OR have a book of theirs on hand for signing. I wouldn't like to go empty handed to see an author, haha.

Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms.

Rachel said...

I have attended author events where I didn't read their books, but only because they were part of a panel or multiple author signing event. I think it's great to go even if you haven't read their book if you're remotely interested in the story because they share tidbits about their story and sometimes a passage that could sway to you to read it. Have fun at the Marissa Meyer signing, Lauren! :)

Liliana said...

I attend author events even though I haven't read the book yet... I've actually met Marissa Meyer TWICE and I still haven't read any of her books! It's a crime I know. I'll definitely be getting to the series this year though! (Hopefully!)

Allie @ Little Birdie Books said...

I WISH I could attend events full-stop, but there never seem to be any in the UK for the authors I read. Sad times :(

Kate Midnight Book Girl said...

I have gone to author signings where I hadn't read the author before- but it usually is a group signing. I also always buy a book from each author at the signing. I didn't really ever think not to, but one signing I went to had Beth Revis and three other YA authors on the panel. The other three weren't as wide known as Revis, and it was the last book in her Across the Universe series, but it really shocked me how so many of the people there were only buying books/getting them signed by Revis and not the other authors. The upside to that was that I really got to chat with the other authors since I didn't have to worry about taking up their time.

Tracy Terry said...

Whilst I don't get to go to many author events/book signings etc I do like to support local up-and-coming authors. Sad that many of them now seem to price themselves out of the market with huge fees. Our local libraries used to support and promote lots of these events but now find themselves unable to book many authors without charging which I'm afraid puts many people off and especially when that writer is a relative unknown.

Carmel B said...

If it's a multi-author event, and I've read one of 'em then I'll go, otherwise no dice. Writer events are so rare in my neck of the woods, but there's FINALLY one coming up in April, and unfortunately I probably won't go because I'm unfamiliar with all of the attendees. Such a shame!

Carmel @ Rabid Reads

cleemckenzie said...

I enjoy author events from both sides of the table.

I love to talk to authors at their signings and I love to meet readers at mine. There's a special connection that happens in person and it makes reading other writers books exciting to me. I hope connecting personally does the same for people who read my stories.

Kirsty-Marie Jones said...

I haven't been to an author event/signing, myself. I think I went to one when I was younger, a part of a English trip. But I would if I could, even if I haven't read any of the authors work, or if it's a debut and sounds interesting, I would too. I just don't get a lot of signings or events where I live either, and the ones they do is usually in Waterstones. We do have a literature festival coming up, I couldn't go last year so hoping to this year. I'd be so nervous though, if it's an author I know I'd be ore excited than nervous, but still jittery, haha. If it's an author I don't know, I'd totally be terrified and that's awkward.

Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

With two kids and limited babysitter options, I rarely go to signings, and when I do it is for authors and books I have read.

The Bookish Manicurist said...

Yep! I'm more inclined to go if I have read the authors book and if I like them, but I will also go to an author event to hear them speak and if they're good, it often makes me want to read their books!

Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I've visited with authors who I haven't read and they seemed to be glad to talk about their work. Getting more readers, why wouldn't they want to talk about it. Usually I find the book more interesting when you had a personal experience with an author. Even if you don't read the book, you have it, it is part of your conscience and you are more likely to pick it up one day and perhaps be a fan.

Jasprit said...

A lot of the author events I have been to, I've been because I've read the authors work before, but like you mentioned I have been to a few where there were lots of authors there and I went to see just one author, but seeing all these new authors definitely made me want to read try their books too. I really enjoyed this discussion post. I'm also glad that you're enjoying Meyer's series, I really need to get back to it!

Krysten Quiles said...

I've never been but I'd love to go to one.

Sharons Book Nook! said...

I haven't been to any as yet as I haven't been able to make it. But I'd preferably like to have read at least one of their books prior to an event.

Aylee said...

omg omg Lauren you've read Cinder and Scarlet and Cress!! I did not know this, but it excites me to know that you have and you loved them!! And it's cool that you will get to meet Marissa soon. I've met her once and she is so lovely!
Anyways, onto your actual topic of this discussion (sorry, got sidetracked there by my excitement): I used to think that whenever I went to a signing, I HAD to buy one of their books, and often many of their books. But then it started getting seriously out of hand price-wise. I do agree that it can be awkward going up to them when you don't have one of their books to get signed, but I would hope they understand and appreciate that you came to see them talk anyways!

L-Diggitty said...

The only way I'd go to an author event if I hadn't read the book yet would be if I had the book in my possession and just hadn't read it yet, or if I'd read other books by the author and their reputation preceded them! Although... your post has me thinking that I might actually be drawn to read a book MORE if I had an encounter with the author FIRST...

Michelle @ In Libris Veritas said...

I have gone to signings for authors I haven't read before. It's really nice to get to know them and sometimes the insight into the process behind the book makes a difference while reading it. I don't make a habit of it though, just because it's one of those risks. Buying an $19 book to get signed when there is a chance I'll dislike it is just a bit much. But it's always fun. I'm going to try and get to Marissa's stop here in Georgia next week.

Montana @ The Book Belles said...

When I first starting going to author signings, I usually ended up buying a book from every author there. However, I still have some signed and personalized books that I haven't read and I'm not sure if I ever will. Therefore, I've ended up just buying the books at signings that I know I'll read eventually. Author signings are always fun for me, whether I've read the author's book or not :)

Candace said...

I have been to TONS of events where I haven't read the authors books. Sometimes I'm not able to buy anything and have realized that it doesn't matter. They are happy to just have you there. Just bodies in the audience makes a difference. And the large events with multiple authors, well MOST people there don't have books to get signed from ALL the authors. Don't feel stupid. Just say hi and introduce yourself. I usually say something about what I've heard about their books or if someone has said I really need to read them. In the past I was embarrassed when I didn't have books and would say so and they usually say something about understanding, it's not like we can buy ALL the books! Just attending signings, whether you get something signed or not, makes authors happy. Especially if you take pictures and share on social media because they are getting some advertising that way too. :)

Nicole Hewitt said...

I try to read the author's books before I go to an event, but if it's a whole panel of authors, I don't always manage it. The last one I went to, I did buy a book from each author, but sometimes that's not possible either!

Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction