Book events are magical happenings where readers and writers meet.
Most of them follow a general trend. The talking, in which the author and or illustrator imparts their great wisdom. Might include a read aloud. The answering, for any brave souls so intrigued and curious and willing to ask. And, finally, the signing.
Since I moved back to NYC I have gone to... many a book event. And each one has been amazing.
I've seen illustrators draw for children.
I've thanked great writers for their part in making people feel seen.
I've sat in awe.
And I've even brought along some interesting friends.
So... how does one find all of these events?
Simple! The internet is your friend. Check out your favorite (popular) bookstores' events pages. If you are in NYC, you can't go wrong with The Strand or Books of Wonder! Barnes & Nobles often has great ones too (special shoutout to the Union Square location)!
Also- follow your favorite authors! Look up their websites, follow their twitter accounts. More often than not they'll let you know about an upcoming event.
Next up... what do I on the day of the event?
For popular authors, it's smart to show up early. Some locations will require you to buy the featured book, you can do that day of! Look up the rules beforehand to see if you need tickets or a wristband. Staff members are kind and excited and will let you know too (say, if you stumble into the store before work trying to plan your day).
If it is a ticketed event, you can order early to get a spot! If it is a wristband event, you are guaranteed entry if you get the wristband day of (usually by buying the featured title). If it is free, you usually need to buy something at the store to attend the signing (typically the book you will get signed). BUT. Some stores let you bring in other titles by that author that you already own. Some stores only require you to buy something, ANYTHING, at the store that day for the signing (yep, that includes little knick knacks, thank you Books of Wonder employee who let me in on that little tidbit).
While you wait... for the event to start or the signing... chat to the people around you! I've meet amazing people at these events, from a kindly librarian to quirky editors to fantastic fans.
And, of course, enjoy! These events are fun and wonderful and a great way to get a sense of community in the writing world. Check them out. Seriously. You won't regret it.