How To Find Out About Bookish Events Like A Boss!

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??

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Ginger @ GReads! says:

    Texas is pretty kick-ass when it comes to book events. Gotta give major props to Jen Bigheart (our resident book blogger momma) for organizing a nice little spread sheet with updated TX book events & TX bloggers listed on it.

  2. Don’t forget your library! My library also hosts bookish events. I pick up a calendar at the beginning of the month to see what’s happening. Your librarian should also be able to tell you about events too.
    If you live near a college, check with them too. Sometimes authors come to college campuses too.

  3. I actually work with my local indie to promote upcoming events. They’re really supportive of bloggers and always have one of us conduct an interview with the authors at each signing. It’s a great way to network with professionals as well as other bloggers. The woman who runs the children’s events also sends out emails to us when she makes the banners for events so we can post them on our blog. Working with your local indie is one of the best ways to attend events, as well as get some free books from time to time!

  4. Really great ideas you bring up here! Most of the events I started going to just popped up by chance and then I started checking other places regularly. I keep thinking it would be great to start an NYC calendar too… or else I would forget everything.

    Let’s meet up soon, okay? 🙂

  5. I think going to signings is one of my favorite things to do but I don’t know about many! This is so great. Thanks 🙂

  6. I use all of the above to find local stuff. I haven’t been to nearly as many and have missed quite a few, but I do keep an online calendar of CANADIAN WIDE book events for those looking for them. I try to update it weekly.

    I find some via my local library too.

  7. The best way for me to find out about events is to call or check in with my local bookstores once a month. Some of the bigger chain stores don’t really do signings, but independent bookstores often have some good stuff.

    For people in Cincinnati Ohio and northern Kentucky I highly recommend Joseph Beth Booksellers. They always have super amazing events (in the past few months they have had Veronica Roth, James Dashner, Chris Colfer, Julie Kagawa, and Libba Bray as well as many others).

    It’s all about finding the book stores that are near you and asking them if they’re having signings. The squeaky wheel gets the grease!

  8. I’m really glad you tackled this issue, Jamie, because I’m relatively new to the book blogging community and have wanted to ask this very same question. These are wonderful tips and I definitely look forward to attending more events in my area.

    By the way, since we’re both going to the National BookFest in DC, we’ll have to sync up. Feel free to email me if you want to exchange info and hang out that Saturday!

  9. I agree with Estelle – NYC bloggers need to create some sort of shared calendar of awesome events going on in the book world! I think there was one a while back, but it never featured many things I wanted to go to 🙁

    I do most of the things you suggested in this post! It’s pretty easy to find out things that are happening via Twitter or other bloggers, I’d say.

  10. I am always envious of people who live in awesomely bookish communities. There aren’t many events in West Virginia, other than the annual book fest, which Nicholas Sparks came to a couple of years ago. I would be at a book event every night if it was an option.

  11. What a great post! These are some great tips. I’ve always wanted to check out some book events but I always seem to miss them. x

  12. Thank you for posting this – this is so helpful! I’ve been wondering the same thing, actually. I hear about events every once in a while, but it’s on a very inconsistent basis. I know I should put more effort into actively seeking these things out, because, really, author signings and book tours sound like so much fun! It sounds like a bit of work to get started searching for these, but I’m sure this is one of those things that gets easier with time.

  13. I hate Kentucky. KENTUCKY SUCKS AT BOOKISH EVENTS. Even though we have fantastic authors like Julie Kagawa, Kelly Creagh, Katie McGarry, and Bethany Griffin, we still totes get shafted on the bookish events. This is a helpful post, madam!

  14. GREAT POST, Jamie.
    I’m sharing this business.
    Also, I live pretty close to the ocean so I have to drive a very long way to bookish events in my state. It’s almost closer to drive north or south to another state than to drive west in my own state of NC.

    That doesn’t matter at all in terms of the post, but I just thought I’d throw that in there because it occurred to me that I could search north and south as well as WEST. *slaps forehead* WHY HAVE I NOT DONE THAT SOONER?

    (I totally just wrote that down on an index card.) So thank you for helping me think of that!

  15. Nice article. I’ve also had great success with non-book venues. Local coffee houses are a great opportunity for authors. I’ve done a number of signing events in coffee/tea houses, after realizing most coffee/tea drinkers are also readers. A venue like this makes for a cozy atmosphere for authors and readers to interact. The last one I did I made a deal with the owner—I paid for a small coffee or tea with every book purchased. At the end of the event I paid the bill. The shop owner made out well, especially with the add-on items like cookies and pie the customers purchased, and I made new friends and sold books.
    Authors just need to think a little outside the book!
    Cheers, Mike


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