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?