There was a discussion on Crimespace this week about a NY Times article saying that some bookstores are now charging for author events. They might sell tickets, or they may require that participants buy the author’s book in the store. The defense of this practice is that more and more people are showing up at signings with a book already in hand, purchased online.
The discussion raged on from authors who couldn’t believe bookstores would be so customer un-friendly to bookstore owners who said they would never charge but they knew how costly events were because of advertising and adding extra staff. It was another side to the world than I’m seeing.
I’m spending more and more time having to somehow prove I’m a legitimate author. For instance, when I signed up for a local author meet and greet at the local library, I didn’t just provide the formats the books are in. Oh no. I had to list where my books have been reviewed. Then there was some deal about how they couldn’t accommodate e-book authors. (My books are also available in trade paper.) By the time I was finished filling the darn thing out, I felt defensive.
I don’t even like doing booksignings, but I recognize the necessity of them as people have to know the books are out there before they can buy and read them. But really, how will new authors and midlist authors ever find an audience if they sell tickets to these things?