Monday, October 14, 2013

Is It Okay, Not To Buy A Book At A Book Tour?

Today, I was going to post my review of The Raven Boys By Maggie Stiefvater, I mean I only finished weeks ago and have been meaning to get this review done forever ago! I am also currently reading Maggie Stiefvater's Dream Thieves (#2 in the Raven Boys Series). So, it is kind of ironic that while on twitter this morning I saw her tweet a post where she answered a question, that a fan has asked...

Basically, is it okay to show up to an author event and not buy the book they are promoting, but to bring other books from that author?

I clicked on it, because I wanted know her opinions on the matter, as this is something I have done myself (although not often). Her answer surprised me a little though and not because it was bad or anything, but because it made me look at the whole situation differently. I mean I honestly, thought she would say... as I assumed all authors felt. "Of course not! We are just happy you are reading our books and supporting us!" I don't know why, I just felt that would be most authors feelings on the subject. Like I said, her answer made me see a different view and I probably won't go to Author Events and Book Tours unless I can buy the book they are promoting. What really bothered me though, was a paragraph she wrote about ARC's which is something I am guilty of, but I have only done it once.. and that author I did it too... was Maggie Stiefvater!

"And finally, a note on ARCs. I don’t mind signing advanced review copies — a lot of bloggers come through the line with them, and I know they are a cool thing to have. But I didn’t get paid for them to be printed. And the publisher didn’t get paid for them. An ARC is a $6-10 promotional tool that is a privilege all of us industry people enjoy. It’s not a book. And it makes me sad if you love the book enough to have me sign your ARC*, but not a real copy. I won’t ever show my Deep Sadness to you while you’re in the signing line, but trust me, I’ll be weeping AngstBuckets on the inside. And while it merely makes me DeeplySad, for debut authors or authors with one or two books out, loving an ARC but not buying it can be the difference between a publisher signing them for another book or not."

Yup, I am guilty of that! The thing is, I had JUST watched a youtube video where I talked about meeting Maggie Stiefvater and meeting her and how this moment was my first real engagement with an author and how special that moment was for me. (See Here) Now, I think of this moment, and it makes me really sad, to know I made her feel this way. The ARC I had given her was The Scorpio Races, which was REALLY REALLY special to me, because The Scorpio Races was my first Unsolicited "big time" ARC. I was SO SO SO excited when I got it, because for me it meant I had made it as a blogger. So, when I had the chance to meet Maggie and get it signed I was so stoked. Especially, when she noticed it was an ARC and said "oh you must be a blogger" and asked me how long I had been blogging for, what the name of my blog was and so forth. It made me feel REALLY REALLY good about myself and as blogger it was a milestone for me. Now, unfortunately that memory is tainted for me, I am actually crying as I write this (I am extra emotional right now, not trying to be a drama queen about it).

What I want to know is YOUR opinion on whether or not it is okay, and are you guilty of doing this too? Discussion time.. 


  1. I have a confession, much like yours: I had Maggie Stiefvater sign one of my ARCs.

    I was a bit hesitant to do so, but I have bought every one of her books, except for the one I had an ARC of. The ARC has worn corners and curled pages from being read so much. I love that copy more than I could an "actual" copy, and that's all I was thinking of when I had her sign it.

    So now I feel a mix of guilty and a little bit upset. I completely understand where Stiefvater is coming from, and it is most certainly a valid point. But at the same time, maybe the reader just didn't have the extra 20 dollars to spend that day. And, by owning that arc, that blogger may have recommended it to more people than they would have without it.

    Overall, I think showing up to author events is pretty important, and maybe even a little more so than having finished copies to be signed. After all, if no one shows up to the events, they won't send the authors on any more tours either.

    Okay, rant over!

    1. Yup, That is EXACTLY how I feel too! Also, glad I am not the only who did this with an ARC, though it sucks that it changes how we view something we loved.

  2. At the store level, we weigh sales and attendance about the same. It's definitely a major discussion with all our events. We're usually looking for about a 50% attendance to sales ratio. Attending an event is as big a deal as buying the book, it's more than half the battle. It might be worth considering getting that ARC signed, as it is special to you, and then having a PB backlist or possibly a new book which could be promoted as a give-away. Letting the author know that you support her books monetarily in some fashion can go a long way toward lessening that sadness. It's a tough call because books cost money, but so do book tours.