Would you pay for an author event?

Boulder Book Store is going to start charging fees for author events held at their bookstore. The fees will range between $5-10 and the purchaser will receive a $5 coupon to use on purchases made the day of the event.

I've paid for author events in the past. I've paid to attend events at large festivals but I've also paid for smaller events. For example, when I lived in Toronto I paid $10 for a Margaret Atwood event that was held at a small local church. There was also a bookstore that charged for their books and brunch events. I think those cost about $25 but there was food and multiple authors at each event.

I paid to see Stephen King in what I believe was his only live interview in Canada. No signing, just a bunch of people in an auditorium listening to him being interviewed. It was worth it.


The most recent event I remember paying for was almost a year ago. I went to see Christopher Moore do a "reading" (he doesn't actually read from his books) at a local movie theatre. I know, sounds like an odd spot to have an author event but it's kind of an old-school style movie theatre, not a cinemaplex. I can't remember what it cost...it was around $10. Maybe $15.

But I've never paid to attend an author event at a bookstore that was just an author signing or reading/signing. The books & brunch was different. I was getting food and there were usually two or three authors that were speaking/reading. I'm not really sure how I feel about paying to attend an event at a bookstore during regular business hours.

I mean, how do they charge? Do they shut down the whole bookstore for the event? Whenever I've gone to events at a bookstore they've generally been held while business goes on all around them. What's to stop someone from just going to the store to buy something and staying for the event?

I know that not everyone does this but I've never gone to an author event at a bookstore and not purchased something. Sometimes it's even been a requirement that only books purchased at the store can be signed. Am I not paying an entrance fee that way?

To be perfectly honest there are authors that I probably would pay to see in a bookstore. Christopher Moore for sure. But an author that I just like and don't love? Or one that I'm just curious about? I'm too frugal to spend the cash just to get a book signed.

How do you feel about paid author events at bookstores? Would you go?

Image credit: NNECAPA

Contributing Editor Karen Ballum also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.


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