Saturday, January 19, 2013
Authors Ante Up...Bookstores Charging for Book Signings?
In essence, it stated, how after several months of working with his publicist to secure a book signing at a local venue, he got the green light to do what many of us love: share our unique stories with a receptive audience.
There was just one problem.
The bookstore wanted him to pay $150.00 for the privilege.
In his message, (shared with other scribes as part of our mutual Yahoo Group membership), he wanted to know if any of us had experienced anything similar, and to get our collective take on this topic.
Well, let me tell you, it made for some very interesting conversation, as the group was quite polarized in their responses.
Many felt that the charge was ridiculous and unjustified; while others felt that perhaps there was some merit to it, due to the economy and the competition with online retailers.
Not to mention, book fairs and conferences sometimes charge authors as well.
Curious, I did a little research through my good friend, "Google" to see if this was an isolated case, and whether we as writers should be concerned.
To my surprise here's what I discovered...
1. This bookstore in Illinois was not alone; several independent bookstores are now charging anywhere from small amounts to hefty sums to host signings for local artists, reportedly to cover the store's expenses.
2. Not only are some bookstores charging authors, I also read that some stores are actually selling tickets to customers for signings. One store, for instance, charges readers $5.00 to $10.00 to attend authors' events. Or a gift card was a required purchase.
3. Some authors may miss out on the opportunity to expose their work to new audiences if this trend continues.
What say you? As an author, would you pay to present your work to potential fans?
As a reader, would you pay to attend an author's signing in your area?
...Would love to hear from you on this.