Originally published in Book Club 101 Magazine 2012 Spring Edition
Most readers are unaware that book sales will generally determine if an author will visit their city. Not only is it
important for readers to show up at book signings but it’s also important that they make a book purchase at the book store while the author is there. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy being able to read on my Galaxy Tab, especially while traveling. But it’s not uncommon for me to purchase the book, along with the download. I would much prefer to have a signed book by my favorite author. There just isn’t any substitute.
In order for readers to protect the future of book signings it’s very important that we not only show up in numbers at book signings but that we purchase copies of the author’s book. Some readers may not find it necessary to purchase two forms of the book and that’s okay. But someone that you know probably doesn’t have an Ereader so it wouldn’t hurt to purchase a book for someone else as a gift. If your book club is anything like mine, we sometimes give away books at some of our events. Why not purchase a few signed books for a future giveaway or as a gift?
I asked Victoria Christopher Murray if she felt that book signings would become obsolete in the future because of ereaders. Her answer was that she felt that we may not see as many traditional book store signings but there may be a shift with authors making more appearances at literary events and conferences instead. As a literary event planner, having an onsite book store is necessary when I have traditionally published authors appearing. The goal of a literary event or conference is to connect the readers and the authors but the book sales are important. I have chosen to monitor my events by simply asking my registrants if they plan on downloading books during the event. This helps me and the onsite bookstore to gage how many books are necessary to have available. I’ve also decided to insure that book sales are occurring at some of my future events by having a portion of my participant’s registration fee pay for one to two books by my featured authors.
Ereaders are wonderful and convenient but in order to protect the future of book signings we must remember to show up at book signings and purchase a book or two. Not only do we keep our favorite authors coming back to our cities but we can also help keep book store doors open, especially our independently owned book stores.