Take Note: 7 Reasons Book Signings are Better than Concerts

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Abigail Clarkin

Staff Writer

Abigail can often be found holding a book in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other. When she is not devouring stories (or dessert), Abigail trains for marathons and writes poetry about growing up with eight brothers and sisters. She enjoys working in marketing for a real estate developer and creating Instagram content for fun (@marathonandmunch) about all the tasty eats found in Providence, RI.

“Who are you all waiting to see?”

As yet another person stepped onto the sidewalk to ask, I wondered what band they thought we were lining the streets for. Well, I thought while noticing the girls chatting reasonably behind me with bags full of books, I guess there isn’t quite enough of a screaming mob for it to be One Direction.

A few weeks ago, I met Leigh Bardugo. (She is author of Six of Crows and King of Scars, for those not inducted into the Grishaverse. Yet.) While checking my fingers for signs of frostbite during the wait to enter the bookstore, I realized book signings have much in common with concerts. However, there are seven perks to book signings that aren’t always guaranteed at concerts.

1. Significantly less sweating

Unless it’s a very warm day, the air conditioning has failed, and you are hella nervous about meeting your favorite author, you likely won’t sweat as much as you would at a concert. I know it’s hard to imagine, but it is possible to enjoy yourself while in the presence of your idol without wearing sweat stains.

2. Free Party Favors

I’ve received maps, pins, bookmarks, quiz and trivia sheets, and themed cookies for no additional fee at author events. (For example, see the adorable cookie below. The cookie was, in fact, so cute that I ate mine before I could snap a photo.)

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“One could plot violent espionage and still hope for dessert.” -Leigh Bardugo ••• Happy Monday! ☀️ Who is your favorite character from the Grishaverse? ••• Kaz will always be my no. 1, but Nina is a close second! Oh, and I can’t forget about Nikolai and the Darkling! Or Genya and Inej!! Scratch that, I love everyone and everything in the Grishaverse except Mal. Mal is SOGGY BREAD DONT @ ME. ••• I got to meet Queen Bardugo in Saturday for her King of Scars tour and it was absolutely wonderful! She is such a kind hearted and funny lady! She took the time to speak with everyone in the signing line rather than rushing it along and made everyone feel really welcomed 🖤 If she is ever anywhere near you, I highly recommend going to see her! She really is a Queen 🙌🏼 ••• On another note, I’ve had King of Scars for two days and have only read the first two pages, but it is SCREAMING at me to read it! I need to buckle down and finish Vengeful so I can dive into this beautiful book! 😍🖤 ••• #bookish #bookstagram #bibliophile #bookishfeature #bookishfeatures #bookstagramfeature #fantasy #novel #booklover #bookdragon #igreads #humansofbookstagram #lovebooks #instabook #readmorebooks #ilovebooks #totalbooknerd #grishaverse #shadowandbone #sixofcrows #kingofscars #leighbardugo #nikolailantsov #ninazenik #grisha

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3. Wisdom Delivered Without Distraction

While I love a good, abstract inspirational statement breathed out between songs, I do enjoy wisdom imparted without a drumbeat for punctuation. Usually (I can’t make all promises, friends), there are no swiveling lights, eerie smoke machines, or high stage heightening the magic in the room at author events. Instead, the author entertains with their wit, words, and good humor. You can listen closely, pen down notes, and reflect without getting squished by a distracted bro pushing through the crowd to grab another beer.

4. Face-To-Face Interaction

You most likely won’t even need to purchase VIP tickets (you know, the ones that are usually so expensive they ensure you’ll be living on ramen forever) in order to directly interact with the author. A Q&A or signing is usually included in the event so you can speak directly to them, ask questions, or declare your love without being remembered only as a disembodied voice shouting towards the stage between songs. 

5. Support For Your Local Bookstore

Often times these events are hosted by local indie bookstores. By purchasing the author’s book from the store, browsing and buying other titles from the shelves, and posting on social media about the event, you are supporting the establishment and ensuring that book selling stays local. (P.s. Granted, this is a perk that is obviously special to book signings over concerts—unless there is such a magical place that hosts both music and books in one space. P.p.s. If that place exists, let me know ASAP.)

6. Your ears won’t Perish

A good Mutemath guitar solo is great, but having your hearing is also wonderful. Unless there’s major feedback from the microphone (or your author admits to secretly supporting your least favorite ship), odds are you’ll leave the event with your ears still attached to your head.

7. Ideal Photo Ops for the ‘gram

When it comes to taking photos at an author event, good news: your hair and cosplay outfit will stay intact and the author shouldn’t be as slippery to photograph as a musician. You may be able to take a photo ofor withyour idol without worrying about them shimmying across stage unexpectedly, leaking sweat all over you and your favorite band tee, or the photos coming out blurry due to the girl headbanging so hard in front of you she’s giving both you and herself a concussion.

Inspired to meet your favorite author? Check out Book Signings for Beginners for tips on how to get started. If you have already participated in author events, who have you met and what was the best part?