Jun 7, 2012

Armchair BEA Day 4: Beyond the Blog: Author Events!

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Welcome back to Armchair BEA! If you're not sure what it's all about be sure to visit the Armchair BEA headquarters.

I don't have much desire to write outside of my blog & I don't currently monetize, so today's post is going to focus on a fun aspect of my blog.

While I could talk about Nostalgic Fridays (which is something I'm trying to bring back) or how my blog got its name (I love tattoos [I have 3] & books, so kind of not much to talk about there) I'm going to discuss the shenanigans of author events/signings.

I thoroughly enjoy collecting books that have been personalized at an author signing. Over the last 2.5 years I have attending at least a dozen events (some larger than others) & collected several autographed books. Although I am proud of these books & love them to death (they have their very own shelf on one of my bookcases), the most fun are the authors themselves. These people are what make it all worthwhile. Without their hard work & dedication to their craft & their fans' experiences, the book community just wouldn't be as wonderful as it is. On top of responding to comments on their Facebook, Twitter & blogs, these authors hit the road (sometimes in style & sometimes with very little fanfare) to visit with their fans.

For me, it's all about the stories they tell & the relationships that build. Yes it's nice to hear them read from their book or discuss their writing process, but for me the stories behind all that are the most important. Ally Condie remarked that she had a writing epiphany while trying to match up her sons' tiny socks. Any excuse not to do laundry is a good one, right? I have seen Maggie Stiefvater twice (once in Charlottesville, VA & once at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh). As stated in those articles, Maggie is hands down the best live author event ever. Her quirky sense of humor & hilarious tales (TSA woes & real-life wolves licking her face) leave you in awe of her writing talents. Even better was that on Maggie's last trip to Raleigh she was kind enough to take a picture with me and Loki (her gorgeous car) while telling me about all the things that had happened on the tour prior to that stop.

I find that I tend to forget that authors are just people. Incredibly talented & unbelievably kind people, but people none the less. They have this kind of celebrity aura surrounding them & a lot of people feel like they might be unreachable. I go to the author events to meet the real people, not just the feeling you get from blog posts, books, & interviews. In person is where the magic happens & I am drawn to the magic. The authors I have met are some of the most amusing & humble people I've had the pleasure to encounter. If you've never been to an event I highly recommend them!


Becky B. (Bibliognome) said...

Hi, great post. Gotta agree with you on author events. I love going to them to because you get the whole energy of the event and being there in person, you never know what could happen.

Johanna said...

A situation about tattoos...

Me: I want to have a tattoo.
Parents: Young lady, are you asking for World War 3?

Anyways, I love your post and indeed, authors, I do believe are magical creatures. : ) Your blog's theme is stunning.

Happy Day Four of Armchair BEA to you!
My Armchair BEA Day Four entry

Anonymous said...

Author events to me are similar to attending concerts; sure you can read/listen to the artist at home, but the live experience is so much better. It's not a perfect analogy, I admit, but that's how I see it anyway.

Amanda @ Letters Inside Out said...

Yay tattoos! I have working on designing my fourth. I'm really picky, so I end up sketching them myself.

I've only ever been to a few smaller author events, but I'd love to get to go to more! said...

Authors always seem like superheroes to me, have to constantly remind myself that they are just people:)

Brandileigh2003 (Blkosiners Book Blog) said...

Signed books are always so much fun.
Check out my Day 4 post if you haven’t already

Liviania said...

I love going to author events too. If you ever get the chance to read Sarah Rees Brennan, her stories are even better than Maggie's. (The Demon series came partially from her setting her kitchen on fire.)

Tasha B. said...

"Without their hard work & dedication to their craft & their fans' experiences, the book community just wouldn't be as wonderful as it is."

Love that sentence! It's so true. There are many authors thanking your for thinking so. :)

@HarleyBearBooks said...

It's so true that authors are real people. After I read a book that I love I visit the author's blog and follow them on twitter. So when I went to a signing after seeing their tweets for months and stuff I was just starstruck. But then I realized they're just real people. Like Sarah dessen who tweets about being a mom all the time. It's funny how they are celebrities in the book blogging world.

Thanks for stopping by yesterday. You said I should cut out the middle man and do my own advertising. That sounds like a good idea to me, but how do I legally do that? Set up a paypal account? The one ad that I have on my blog (at the bottom) for I made is for my friend's site. I had fun making it and definitely wouldn't mind making other ads. I just wouldn't know how to charge for it.

loreleimarsh said...

@HarleyBearBooks I would suggest talking to Parajunkee about direct advertising. I think PayPal would work. If they have a graphic you can charge based on the size, but if they want one made you could charge for the design & hosting. Good luck!

readmore said...

Love this post, as we are in complete agreement on the excitement of meeting authors and being met time after time with "real" people, not untouchable celebrities. I collect signed copies, too, and consider them treasures indeed.

readmore said...

Oh, I meant to add that I am so jealous of you for having met Maggie Steifvater twice! She is one author I really want to hear speak and meet, as I adore her quirky nature and her amazing writing talent.