I go to A LOT of bookish events — conferences, author signings, festivals. Seriously, A LOT, in only 2 and almost a half years of blogging. If it’s got books (and I can drive/bus/take a train..and on occasion, even fly to get there) I’m there! It also helps that I live in Philadelphia so we get some decent tours and I’m only a train ride away from NYC and DC. So there’s that. I know not everyone lives in a place where book tours come through often. So I can’t help you on that one but after getting a lot of people asking me HOW I find out about all these tours and this recent question on my My Bookish Calendar post (check out this month’s if you are in the Philly area or DC area), I decided to address it. PS. OMG I’m still freaking out that I got my picture with THE Stephanie Perkins!!
I’m fairly new to the book blogging community and I’m curious, how in the world do you bloggers find out about all these book tours and events? It seems every blog I go to I see that the bloggers are attending all these events, and I’m like geez how much time do you find these things? Like do you look up tours for every author you read, or is it word of mouth, or things you just stumble upon in the blogosphere? It sounds like such a nerd-fest, I want to participate! – C
1. Get to know your local bookstores: Every month or so when I’m compiling my list for My Bookish Calendar I go on the website of every bookstore that I know of in a radius that I’m willing to drive or ones that I’ve been to for bookish events and check out their events tab. For me, that’s about 6-8 bookstores that I know have events — two are Barnes & Noble and all the rest are indies. It took me a while to figure out which ones have events but now I know which ones do and don’t so I don’t really waste my time checking out the other ones. Also, subscribe to their mailing list. My local indie always has monthly emails where they talk about books but also announce their tours going on. Total time saver!
2. Stalk your fave authors social media outlets: It would be so time consuming to search for events for every single author I want to see. So I make sure I follow their Twitter accounts, Facebook and blogs to be able to glance and see if they’ve announced tours. It’s saved me a few times to see an author tweet an event or blog about their tour schedule if the bookstore hadn’t put it up when I looked or if I just was too busy to stalk my bookstores.
3. Get to know local book bloggers: This is another great way to find out about events. The Philly area book bloggers are always tweeting one another about events so we all know! Some regions of book bloggers even have their own blogs to keep each other in the loop about bookish events (the Texas bloggers are the best example…DAMN how I wish I lived in Texas because they get ALLLL OF THE GOOD THINGS). So put the call out on your blog or Twitter (people on Twitter are so helpful) and ask who lives in your general vicinity. Someone will point you in the right direction!
4. Check the publisher’s websites & social media accounts: Most publishers have an area where you can search for authors from their publishing house who are going on tour. They also tweet and FB about bigger tours — a la the Breathless Reads tours (Penguin) or the Dark Days (HarperTeen) which all have their own FB pages. (Example: HarperTeen). If you can’t find where they have that info, tweet them or FB them!
5. Goodreads Events: Goodreads has this nifty little feature where you can search for events near your area. It’s helped a few times though I will admit it is NOT the most effective method I have on this list.
6. Find a copy of your local newspaper: Yes, they still exist. And sometimes in the events section they let you know about bookish events going on. This is is my least used method but I have used it before.
7. Use the Google Machine: Sometimes you just have to start googling for events. Search for “Philly book events” (or obviously whatever region you want) and see what comes up. Before I figured out which bookstores did events frequently I was ALWAYS just googling to find stuff. Sometimes it would lead me to another blogger or bookstore. I still do it on occasion to see if I missed anything but sometimes it’s helped me to find a new bookstore that I had never knew existed or who just started doing book events. Seriously, there is this local book store that I found doing this and they were new (well old but had been bought out or something) and now they host SO many book events.
Like I said before, sometimes you might live in a remote place that doesn’t bring tours your way..and that just plain old stinks! But if you are lucky to be within driving distance and are willing to drive a few hours, you can still catch a great weekend tour sometimes!
Another tip if your area doesn’t get many book events: Talk to the manager or owner of your local bookstore and tell them that you’d really like to see some authors visit the shop. When I visited the HarperTeen staff two years ago at BEA, we had a roundtable discussion and one of the questions I asked was how to get all these great authors to your local bookstores. Their advice was to talk to the bookstores, have them talk to the publishers and give them ideas for “hot” authors right now. Also be VERY willing to get the word out online and around your town and help out if they need it.
Anybody else have any other advice?? How do YOU find out about book events? Does your region have a blogger who handles keeping a list of upcoming author signings and book events??