I originally wrote this post for Sophia’s blog, but I loved it so much that I wanted to post it on mine as well! So without further ado:
DO: Contact the store/festival in advance about how many books you are allowed to bring. Sometimes, especially for big name authors and huge festivals, there is a limit. By contacting them in advance, you can know how many books to bring as well as find out some of the other guidelines, like if you can only bring books bought from that store or if the event will be ticketed.
DON’T: Be afraid to email or call the store for clarification if you’re having trouble finding this information on the website.
DO: Buy at least one book from the store. If I’m going to an event, I’ll probably already own that author’s books. That’s why I’ll wait to buy the latest at the event. Buying a book at the store is just proper etiquette (and sometimes required). It’s expensive for bookstores to bring in authors and put on events, especially for independent bookstores. Buying books there thanks them and lets them know that they should keep doing these events.
DON’T: Complain about the wait if the author/store/festival allows all that author’s books to be signed. You’ll get your turn to meet the author and you’ll get to spend just as much time talking with them as the others. Complaining will only put you in a foul mood and you want to be happy!
DO: Bring friends and family! I have had a great time at events with close friends or with my mom. I went to Yallwest last year with three close friends and it worked out well where we could each stand in a line. I was able to meet many more authors than I would’ve been able to because of this.
DON’T: Be afraid to chat with those around you if you are in line by yourself. You already have one thing in common, books! I’ve met some very nice people in line and enjoyed talking with them.
DO: Bring a camera! I always bring my camera to events and take pictures during the panels and signings. I also love taking photos with authors if they’re allowed, which is another reason to bring someone with you.
DON’T: Be afraid to ask the person behind you to take a photo of you while you meet the author (if photos are allowed) if you’re alone.
DO: Write your name on sticky notes and stick them in the front title page before the event. This makes it easier on the author if you want your book personalized! Sometimes the hosts will pass out sticky notes, but that is not the always the case so I always like to be prepared. I might even bring the sticky note pad with me if I’m planning on buying books there.
DON’T: Be afraid to talk to authors! Trust me, you’ll have a much better experience when you talk with them, even if it’s just saying “I loved your book.”
DO: Be prepared for the weather, especially if you’re going to a huge festival that takes place outside. Wear sunscreen or bring an umbrella (depending on the weather)! And if you’re bringing a ton of books, be kind on your body and bring some kind of rolling bag.
DON’T: Forget to have fun! That’s what you’re here for! Chat it up with fellow book lovers and enjoy the event!