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Life, Law & Libros

Shop Talk: "Local" Book Events

Shop Talk: a reader's ramblings/discussion on the publishing industry, bookstores and/or writing.

I mentioned in a previous Shop Talk post how I'll pay full price for a new hardcover (only) at an author signing event. This got me thinking...big name author events tend to take place in the same big cities every year. If you live in NYC, San Diego, Orlando, DC, etc., no problem. You're a short ride away from all the best book signings. If you live too far from any of the major hubs, you either drive several hours each way or wallow in misery.

I live kind of in the middle of nowhere. The good news is I'm about an hour away from a big city and the shore. The bad news is, the only bookstore close to me, as much as I love it, is a small independent that only ever hosts local, usually self-published authors. So, how far am I willing to go for a book event?

Back in 2011, I caught a train to NYC for a multi-author event at Books of Wonder. The panel talk with the authors was awesome, and Scott Westerfeld was very nice and signed the whole stack of books I plopped down on the table. However, for as much as train tickets cost, it had to be a day trip, which meant I had to visit The Strand and blow even more money on books. ;)

I love all the bookstores and events available in NYC, but for the travel time and money involved, it's not something I can do often, or any time during the week with my work schedule.

In September of last year, I lucked out. The Fierce Reads tour, including Marissa Meyer, had a stop at an independent bookstore about an hour and a half drive from me. It made for an extra long day. (I basically drove there straight from work and then got home late.)

Long story short, an hour-hour and a half drive is the minimum traveling distance for me to make an author event; so if I find one I like within that distance, I'm likely to go. That's my "local." Anything further, like NYC, is more time, more money, and visited more sparingly. (Like Power Reader Day at BEA this year!)

What about you? Do you live close to author signing hubs or do you have to pick and choose your day trips? How far away are your "local" events?


  1. I'm not going to say I live in the middle of nowhere, but I definitely live in a city that doesn't get a ton of YA author traffic. Baltimore is an incredibly popular city, and it was even known as The City That Reads (until some genius changed it to The Greatest City in America. Yeah. OKAY.). But Baltimore always gets outed because of DC. And DC is NOT that close to Baltimore, much to the disbelief of some.

    When I get a car though, in a few years, I will be making the effort though. I've missed out on so many great signings! Sadness.

    Awesome post, Kel!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. You're not kidding. I've made the drive to Baltimore, and I've made the drive to DC (and beyond). There is DEFINITELY a difference. At least you'll be close to the "hour travel time" once you get the car. :D