In the past year I’ve been to a fair number of author talks. Now I go to them for a number of reasons, to gain some insights on writing, to show support for fellow writers and because I genuinely love books and nearly everything connected to them. But what are the actual benefits of going to an author talk?
- They generate book sales. This is more for the publisher and author’s benefit although, I don’t know about you, but I love getting new books. Every author talk I’ve been to, without fail, has sold the author’s current book as well as any other books the author has written. Buy one, show support and get something awesome in the process.
- Generate interest in the book and the author. The authors, or at least the ones I’ve seen, have always talked rather eloquently about themselves, the book and their writing process. And readers love to find out little tidbits about their favourite author/book. This in turn leads them to talk to other people about the book hopefully leading to them reading it themselves.
- Promotes discussion. This can be about the book, as noted above, or about the themes/topic of the book in a broader sense. This was certainly the case when I went to Rusty Young’s author talk last week. His latest book Columbiano deals with child soldiers in Columbia and this led to a discussion on how the children become soldiers in the first place and the drug war in general.
- Friendship. This may seem like a slightly odd one, but the book world can be a small one and if you go to enough events you will end up seeing a few of the same people. Make friends with them. You already have books in common, who knows what else you might both like?
- Knowledge. If you have a question about the book/author here is your chance to get it answered. Don’t worry about the fact they may have been asked it before, if it is something you want to know and it’s appropriate, ask. There is nothing like finding out first hand.
In the end author talks celebrate books and authors and that’s important for without them the world would be a little bit duller. Let me know what you think and have a happy creative week everyone.