Book reading queries

Danny McG

Star Trek is for adults, Star Wars is for kids
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At my local library they got an author event coming up.
Crime writer Martin Edwards will be appearing to read extracts from his latest book, then he's going to be signing copies (available to buy there on the day)

I was dithering about going along for a listen and maybe buying a copy if it sounded interesting.

However I've noticed they're also doing an admission charge, so he can go and do one, I'm not paying extra money to listen to some scribblers personal adverts.

Is this a normal thing in the world of authors, to charge potential customers to listen to you self promoting?
 
Where I live there often is a small charge (~£5) at an opening or promotion where the author is signing copies, but it will include a glass of wine. Sometimes there's an entry fee that can be offset against the cost of the book if you decide to buy a copy. I'm thinking I might be willing to pay a small charge just to support my library, though. They're always strapped.
 
At my local library they got an author event coming up.
Crime writer Martin Edwards will be appearing to read extracts from his latest book, then he's going to be signing copies (available to buy there on the day)

I was dithering about going along for a listen and maybe buying a copy if it sounded interesting.

However I've noticed they're also doing an admission charge, so he can go and do one, I'm not paying extra money to listen to some scribblers personal adverts.

Is this a normal thing in the world of authors, to charge potential customers to listen to you self promoting?
He’s quite a big name - he edits crime novels for the British Library and is a prolific author so I doubt this is about potential customers. I’m sure he has some great advice for authors and editors too.

In terms of charging - yes lots of book events charge (and more will given the recent chaos over Bailie Gifford and their sponsorship) especially for trad authors who don’t see any income from the day (most will never earn out their advance) - especially if it’s likely to be over subscribed.

So yeah, perfectly normal, especially for a big name.

Do you think he should give up his time for free?
 
Do you think he should give up his time for free?
In such a situation he's not exactly giving his time for free is he?
He's spieling it like Del Boy to offload as many of his books as he can while he's there.
 
In such a situation he's not exactly giving his time for free is he?
He's spieling it like Del Boy to offload as many of his books as he can while he's there.
But if he doesn’t charge a fee then it is free.

I’m on the authors side here. You wouldn’t expect to go to the cinema or theatre free.
 
But if he doesn’t charge a fee then it is free.

I’m on the authors side here. You wouldn’t expect to go to the cinema or theatre free.

On the side of commerce: if people pay for something, well, they're paying for it and it has value for them etc. etc. I can't argue with it.

From a _moral_ (I guess?) standpoint, which _seems_ to be what this discussion is about, I'm trying to understand your (Jo's) point.

The way I see it: The author is doing a dog and pony show (advertisement) in the hopes of selling some books (return on advertisement).

Your point is that the author is providing a service (a reading) and that is what people are paying for, and the selling and signing of the books is incidental or separate?
 
I'm a Friend of my local library and we organise author events so that the author has the opportunity to make a living by selling books and getting better known but, also, some of the entrance fee goes to the Friend's funds to support the library.

BTW The Friends try to treat this, in part, as a social event and we usually provide a glass of wine for attendees.
 
On the side of commerce: if people pay for something, well, they're paying for it and it has value for them etc. etc. I can't argue with it.

From a _moral_ (I guess?) standpoint, which _seems_ to be what this discussion is about, I'm trying to understand your (Jo's) point.

The way I see it: The author is doing a dog and pony show (advertisement) in the hopes of selling some books (return on advertisement).

Your point is that the author is providing a service (a reading) and that is what people are paying for, and the selling and signing of the books is incidental or separate?
The author of some stature is giving up their time to make an appearance. They are going to give a talk which they will have had to prepare. The library is presumably paying for this (they do pay for author talks by and large) - because they don’t expect authors to turn up for free. Somewhere the author’s time needs to be paid for.

The books are incidental. You’re paying for the talk, not the book (on a personal level I’d prefer the ticket to include a book - but that only matters if it is a shop event where the shop needs some sales to cover their costs* - in this case, someone could source the book cheaper in advance) with no obligation to buy.

So, yeah, for me the book sales and the appearance fee are two separate things

If you went to see an author event at Hay festival you’d pay - and have to pay for the book too. What’s the difference?
 
I don’t know if this is the library event (the writer has a number happening, following a similar format)) but here is a sample link:


They are charging £2 per head. They will have to bring in additional staff to cover this, including set up and take down (4 hours say - c 46 per staff member)

They have to cover eventbrite’s fees (high) - presumably ticketing is needed to control numbers)

He is giving a talk about writing crime, not just reading from his book. There is no mention of his book sales.

Also there are refreshments. A cup of coffee and a biccie these days costs well over three quid in most places.

What is there to complain about?
 
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I stopped buying Wheaties because I didn't feel I should be funding those under clothed athletes on the box.

But I would pay to listen to and meet a favorite author.

Hell, I've even paid to see musicians play for 2 hours just to promote their newest album. The bums!
 
Author events at my local library are free, but they are very few and far between.

Most author talks/interviews in my area are conducted by a couple of independent book shops which charge A$10 (glass of wine included). I think that's good value, given they are after shop hours, require several staff members to be on duty and most people bolt for the door afterwards without buying a book.

Just an example; I went to an interview with Nick (The Forever War) Bryant last night and the 100 seats were sold out with another 50 people listening via a live feed in the cafe next door ($5 fee).
 
However I've noticed they're also doing an admission charge, so he can go and do one, I'm not paying extra money to listen to some scribblers personal adverts.

Just independent of everything else...

... your TV licence is paying to listen to someone's adverts among other things

If you pay to get a bus or train, you're paying to see someone's adverts

Pay to go to a sporting event, you're paying to see someone's adverts

The list goes on.

I'd say that by and large, having to pay a fee doesn't mean a publicity free experience. That's basically true with everything. The question is whether you value the non-publicity bit of it enough to go pay.
 
... your TV licence is paying to listen to someone's adverts among other things
If you pay to get a bus or train, you're paying to see someone's adverts
Pay to go to a sporting event, you're paying to see someone's adverts
I'd say that by and large, having to pay a fee doesn't mean a publicity free experience. That's basically true with everything. The question is whether you value the non-publicity bit of it enough to go pay.
I suppose advertising is part of living in a consumer / capitalist scoiety... In all seriousness, though, I just do not see most ads. Occasionally I notice what's on the side of a bus or tram. I don't have a TV but at partner's flat we do watch some - usually on catch-up so that we can fast-forward through the ads. A weekly dump of marketing material arrives through the main door of my building but there's a handy bin in the lobby where people kindly deposit it. Does ANYONE make purchasing decisions based on advertising?
 
Does ANYONE make purchasing decisions based on advertising?
Occasionally I'll see an advert for a new chocolate bar and then I tend to keep an eye out on my next visit to the shop, otherwise no.

I'm usually disappointed by the taste anyways
 
Does ANYONE make purchasing decisions based on advertising?
True Story: I was watching the movie "Unfrosted" late at night, and the scene where they all eat breakfast cereal for lunch made me so hungry I went downstairs and ate a bowl of cereal. Jokes on them though. It was a totally different brand.
 
True Story: I was watching the movie "Unfrosted" late at night, and the scene where they all eat breakfast cereal for lunch made me so hungry I went downstairs and ate a bowl of cereal. Jokes on them though. It was a totally different brand.
It wasn't actually a purchase though, did you go forth the next day to buy the advertised brand?
More like a subliminal suggestion - you saw cereal being eaten and then wanted some
Back in the days when people smoked anywhere and everywhere I remember watching some gangster film in the cinema, every time the protagonist lit a cigarette onscreen you could then see them being lit all around the auditorium as people followed suit.

As a youngster I was hauled to church every Sunday, I invented a game to amuse myself.
At a quiet point during the service I would fake some minor coughing and then keep count.
Once the silence had been broken you'd hear three or four coughs amongst the congregation - the most I got was 17, but that was from three different coughings.
I had to stop that day because my mother leaned over and did the hissing "Are you ok? Stop being a nuisance"
 
I struggle to believe Danny was ever a nuisance.



That said, yes, some of my and my wife's purchases are powered by ads. We went to Subway because we saw it was two foot longs for ten bucks, we went to a beer fest she saw on Facebook ads, and so on. Most of our choices are about what we already know but then, we probably only found out about it because someone was advertised to to begin with.
 
At a quiet point during the service I would fake some minor coughing and then keep count.
I hope your genius has not been lost to the world in some pedestrian calling such as high flying financeer or venture capitalist or startup CEO. I hope you have been successful in your true calling as a maker of scientific breakthroughs. Or at least social gadfly.
 

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