Readers–do you like to meet authors in person?

Hi, folks. Auntie Andi with you today again. I know, I know. When will it ever stop with her? 🙂

Random question blog!

Anyway, I was talking to a colleague the other day and we were discussing emails we sometimes get from readers who read something of ours and they really enjoyed it and just wanted to let us know. It’s always great to get a note from someone saying that. But that got me thinking–is meeting an author in person something readers like to do? I do appearances now and again, and try to make myself available at events, but I wonder–is that something readers want? Do they want to see the mystique ruined? No, I’m not 6 feet tall, willowy, with model good looks. I’m not a super-spy, I don’t drive a BMW, nor do I have an Italian villa. I don’t ski the Alps, deep-sea dive, or wrestle alligators (though I’m not ruling any of that out).

So readers, do you enjoy meeting authors? Does it totally ruin your perception of some of us and you’ll never buy our books again? Or do you appreciate finding out a little bit more about the person who writes things you like to read?

Post here if you’re so inclined and thanks!

Happy Monday!

Advertisements

28 comments

  1. I’ve enjoyed meeting several authors and I’ve never felt that it changed my perceptions of them. Of course, I have been fortunate that each author was pleasant, interested in talking about books and seemed pleased to hear from a reader.

    Like

  2. I do, I like it when writers are at events such as pride and I was looking forward to getting to meet quite a few at the GCLS in Orlando last year but was unable to go because I had to go work the BP clean up in the gulf. I like to meet the real people behind things that I enjoy.

    Anyway that’s my two cents!

    Oh I just rediscovered the New Mexico series with my nook, loved them again and like most books I go back and reread after a time I find new things that I love about them.

    Amy

    Like

  3. I would like to meet authors but living in Spain makes it very difficult!! However if I was on a trip to America and in coincided with the chance to meet an author then I’d try and include it in my trip.

    Like

  4. Hey Andi,

    I think with the Internet, Facebook, author web sites, etc., that most readers can actually see pics of the author and converse with them, so chances of any mystique went out the window with the advent and freedom of social networking and the Internet. By following your fave author online, you can get a pretty good idea of what and who they are.

    I know I enjoyed meeting each and every author whose books I cherished. I’ve rarely been disappointed.

    Like

  5. okay, Andi….maybe I am in a different situation…..I write about ME, and therefore, what you see is what you get in my pages, so there’s no mystique to ruin, LOL…..my readers seem to like coming to readings and signings….but it really is hard to know, isn’t it.

    As a writer, there is little that’s more fun for me than sitting with my favorite authors and chatting about books and the book biz….

    As a reader, too…I have been know to stand in lines at book signings, so I guess I like meeting authors!

    I can’t wait to see what other readers have to say….should I do readings and signings or just stay home?

    Like

  6. I love to meet the people who bring such joy, excitment, & intrigue into my generally quiet life. I have enjoyed having the opportunity to meet all of the authors that I have met at readings & signings. If there is a chance to attend a reading & signing I will take asvantage of it. My 2 cents.

    Like

  7. I love to meet the authors. It’s especially cool when you meet them then see something of them in the books you read!

    Like

  8. I agree with the majority.
    Until the GCLS last year, I seldom had that opportunity. Many of the authors were simply virtual persona’s from chat rooms or blogs. I was intrigued by the diversity and genuine interest so many of them offered. Many of those casual meetings sent me to buy one of their books, that I might have passed over. I think its a valuable opportunity for both readers and writers.

    jeanne

    Like

  9. Patty raises a good point, I think. Social networking allows a lot of readers to interface directly with authors via email and Facebook and sites like that. Back in the olden days, before the interwebs, we had to resort to something called “pen” and “paper” or, if we were very lucky, a “typewriter.” Then we had to use this really antiquated system called “snail mail,” which involved an envelope and a stamp, if we wanted to send a note to someone. For you readers in the 18-24 demographic, Google those. 😀

    At any rate, I know that the Internet has really dissolved some barriers between readers and writers, and for the most part, I’ve had a great time talking to readers and other writers. I’m currently corresponding with a fellow writer I met on FB who writes in very different genres and I doubt I would have known to pick up her stuff, because she’s in a totally different writing sphere. Nonetheless, through our correspondence, I’ve read her stuff and I really enjoy it. That’s something Barrett said, too, about how meeting writers sometimes introduces you to new books.

    Does anyone here, though, worry that you’ll meet a writer and find out he or she is a total asshat? I tend not to worry about that, but it’s happened.

    Thanks for visiting!

    Like

  10. Until you said this, “No, I’m not 6 feet tall, willowy, with model good looks. I’m not a super-spy, I don’t drive a BMW, nor do I have an Italian villa. I don’t ski the Alps, deep-sea dive, or wrestle alligators (though I’m not ruling any of that out).” I was all over wanting to meet you. Now? Not so much.

    Another dream shattered.

    😉

    Just kidding!

    I’m shy, so my biggest fear is meeting an author and not having anything to say. That said, as a writer, I love meeting authors.

    But as a reader, no, it’s not a requirement of enjoying a book or a writer’s body…of work.

    As a writer, I’m not sure I want people knowing how boring I am.

    Like

  11. Good question, Andi…..

    But what would make the author an “asshat” (personally, I like to use the term “assclown”)? Egotistical? Primadonna? Inconsiderate? Self-absorbed?

    What exactly would make a reader tune out an author? I know that judging from my Facebook presence, I disagree with many in the political realm. Will a reader cross me off their list if I am adamant in my own personal religious or political beliefs that are opposite to theirs?

    So, I wonder…..

    Like

  12. Hey, Patty–I blogged about that disconnect here:

    https://lesbianauthors.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/whoa-that-is-tmi/

    Remember that one?

    Whether an author wants to get political or not is up to him or her. We are, after all, humans, with all the baggage and opinions that entails. My personal policy is not to be rude, if I choose to express my opinions on a matter. I’m manner-obsessed and I try to maintain good etiquette at all times, because 1) I like manners and 2) we are all travelers, regardless of our views, no matter how odious we might find some of those, and what’s the point to getting into a big fight over differences? A waste of time and energy, and certainly not a way to encourage a dialogue.

    The choice to share views is up to each individual person, as is whether the person decides to accept responsibility for the sharing of those views.

    Moving along: Here’s a story of an asshat. A colleague of mine went to a writers’ gathering in Maine and actually ended up in the same room with a certain author who shall remain nameless. According to my colleague, that certain author found out, in small talk, that my colleague is a journalist at which point the certain author proceeded to belittle the fact that my colleague is a journalist, saying several times that it wasn’t “real writing,” no matter what my colleague argued. Apparently, the certain author got quite “uppity” about it. Now, granted, I wasn’t there, but this is the fifth tale of woe I’ve heard about this certain author, from unrelated parties. In my world, one incident indicates a bad day, twice is a coincidence, but three or more times might be a pattern. [shrug]

    Asshats are people who condescend to readers, who treat them rudely, and who seem to begrudge readers public appearances because he or she is the “O, so important writer and has no time for the ‘little people’.

    Is that along the lines of “assclown”? 🙂

    Like

  13. Hi girlzzzz,
    I think that, since I’ve crossed the big ocean to come to the first Bella books Y-Tour in Denver June 2009, since I’ve been to my first GCLS -Con in Orlando June 2010…..I’m addicted to these kind of gatherings : meeting the authors in person ! I confess : I’m an addict !
    Why ? Well, for example, when I’m reading a Karin Kallmaker’s book now, I can hear the woman speak, put a face on that voice (and boy…she can talk, lol) even though it’s the character speaking. Love the parts when she writes down just some inner thoughts. Ms KK is a very expressive woman in real life, and that’s how I “read” her characters thoughts, too, gestures and all.
    Response to Patty G. Henderson : I’ve met the wonderful Justine Saracen several times now, Brussels, Antwerp. I know that our political and religious beliefs are not the same (she knows that too, because we’ve talked about that). That doesn’t mean I don’t like her books, the plots – sometimes twisted from the “real” history books, the “real history ?!?” we’ve been thaught in school… that doesn’t mean I don’t like or admire her as a person/author.
    So, already filled in the holiday form at work for the next GCLS Con in June and keeping an eye on my piggy bank to get to P-Town ,too, just to meet all these wonderful people.
    Right ? DJ Andi ? LOL

    Like

  14. I do like to meet authors in person. I like to hear them read and give the back story of their books. In my area, we have a reading salon that has authors read from their works. This takes place once a month. Authors are suggested by anyone in one of the six reading groups in our area.

    I can only speak for myself, I prefer an “author reading “compared to a “meet and greet” with the author. I do not care what an author looks like, what they drive, or their occupation. I am not looking for a girlfriend when I go to an author reading.

    Like

  15. Hi, Nancy,

    There are many readers who prefer actual author readings. I think I enjoy them because we are getting everything the author intended into that reading. We get the inflections, the pauses, etc., the way the author sees it and wrote it.

    That’s marvelous. I really enjoy the readings at the GCLS and hope they continue making them part of the conference.

    Like

  16. That’s a tricky question. Yes, I’d like to meet my favorite authors, but I have the same concerns that other people have expressed. Suppose my favorite author is a supreme asshole? As I writer, I’m not expecting other writers to be super-spies, drive BMWs, or own Italian villas, but I do tend to have high expectations about their personalities. I foolishly expect them to to humble and grateful for the success they’ve had. And it’s always a major let-down to find out that they are actually prissy, arrogant, prima donnas. Do I want to take the chance of having my image shattered? I guess it depends. On what, I’m not sure.

    Like

  17. I feel like I already know some authors just by interacting with them via the social media. Getting to actually meet authors in person is icing on the cake. It is fun to actually meet an author and be able to pose a question and be able to listen to the author’s inflection in her answer. Mystique can be good but accessibility is even better. I have formed some good friendships with authors that I have both met in person and online and can honestly say that meeting them in person was a highlight. Having said that, it is what authors write about and how they convey their stories that interests me more than what an author looks like.

    How about authors? Do they enjoy meeting readers?

    Like

  18. Well, Norma, it depends on the author! There are some authors who are actually very shy and uncomfortable in large groups. Others might have stage fright and freak out about doing a reading. And some, as I discussed above, are kind of jerks. We run the gamut, I would imagine.

    As for me, I personally very much enjoy meeting readers and other authors in person, and when I get the chance to do so, I generally jump on it. But I’m kind of enthusiastic that way. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by. Hope you’re well.

    Like

  19. I like the idea of meeting authors. I live in a small town so don’t have the opportunity to do so at book store readings or special events. I attended GCLS last year not knowing what to expect and was impressed by how accessible and friendly the authors were. And as mentioned by someone else in an earlier post I bought books by authors I was not aware of previously because I met them at the conference. I also like following certain authors on FB. Andi’s posts particularly are very entertaining and I like that they cover not only books but other issues as well.

    I do have one peeve though. I’ve sent emails to a handful of authors over the past couple of years to let them know I’ve enjoyed their writing – maybe asking when their next book will be released. Most have been very prompt and polite in responding. A couple of authors asked me if they could use my quote or to post something favorable on a website. I absolutely don’t mind that but I would think that if I respond to their email I would get at an email back saying thanks or acknowledging my repsonse. I would expect that from anyone author or not. I wouldn’t necessarily call them asshats but it was disappointing. I’m sure I’ll still read their books but just won’t go out of my way to recommend them to others in the future.

    Like

  20. Meeting my favourite authors has been a wonderful and exciting experience. I have had the great fortune to meet Radclyffe who is an extremely gracious and warm person. She took the time to not only speak to me but introduce me to Kim Baldwin and Ali Vali, both wonderful people. As a very shy person this made my day. I very much appreciate the time that all authors take to meet with their readers.

    Like

  21. Interesting topic, Andi, and one I think about often. And worry about (because that’s what I do). I’d never want to disappoint a reader in any way, shape or form. I always respond to e-mails and FB comments. Always. I’m not always timely about it, but I always get back to a reader who’s written to me. I feel it’s the least I can do.

    That being said, I have two opposite instances of mainstream writers, both of whom I have read voraciously for years. One, I’ve written to and met and she’s never disappointed me. She’s been gracious, witty, humble, and incredibly intelligent…things that just made me love her work even more. The other I’ve never met, but I’ve e-mailed her more than once regarding several of her novels. She e-mailed me back immediately, which was impressive given how busy she probably is, but I found that her answers all boiled down to, “here’s a plug for my next novel.” Now, mind you, I don’t expect a detailed response–I know most authors don’t have the time for that–but when I write to an author and tell them all the reasons why I loved their novel, I expect a tiny bit more than, “Thanks. Check out my new book, due in March!” Call me greedy. So, she left a bit of a bad taste with me.

    Like

  22. YES! As a reader I’ve loved getting to go to meet and greets with authors. I will admit though-I reserve that for the lesfic world. I went to a “reading/signing” for a main stream author and it was pretty cold and boring. Might have been the author…but I suspect ours are more fun because we’re a community and not just “random” readers.

    As an author, I love to go to readings/meet and greets both to learn from other authors or to get the word out about my work. I love hearing from readers about my work and I have learned a lot from some of them!

    Like

  23. Do I like to meet authors in person? Absolutely! I especially love listening to them read their own stories. Oh, to capture the inflections and the eyerolls of the creator.

    I was lucky enough to attend several readings at Women’s Week in Ptown last Oct., and savored every moment.

    Keep it up ladies. My ebook addiction needs a steady supply 🙂

    Like

Comments are closed.