I've never really thought about if there's a problem bringing proofs to events to be signed. But I went to an event last year, and the author made it very clear that she wasn't impressed that I had brought proof copies to be signed, and not finished copies. It had never occured to me previously that authors might not like this.
I can understand how it might seem; they have written books they hope people will buy, and I've arrived with books I've not paid for, wanting them signed. But at the same time, I simply cannot afford to buy finished copies of every single book I've enjoyed. Yet, when I really love a book, I rave about it to everyone who'll listen, and, although it's nor part of being a book blogger, I also hand sell it at work. But still, it made me really nervous about the upcoming events where I have proofs of the books by the authors. I'm having financial difficulties right now, and I can't buy the finished copies before the event. Will I be insulting the authors if I ask to have the proofs signed?
I asked online what authors thought about fans bringing proofs to be signed.
@Jo_Scribbles never a problem - if you're at an event it's because you like the book enough to be there - whether a proof or finished copy!— Non Pratt (@NonPratt) May 18, 2016
@Jo_Scribbles bien sur! I care more about reader engagement at signings than sales specifically. It's not my job to worry about that.— Non Pratt (@NonPratt) May 18, 2016
I have no problem with this, FYI. The only thing I won't sign is another author's book. That's just not cricket. https://t.co/siLbKgUmW2— C.J. Skuse (@CeejaytheAuthor) May 18, 2016
@Jo_Scribbles of course! I find it incredibly humbling that I'm asked to sign anything (unless it's a cheque) so it's always a pleasure!— C.J. Skuse (@CeejaytheAuthor) May 18, 2016
@Jo_Scribbles Doesn't bother me at all! I love seeing proofs / battered & read at signings. It means readers cared enough to show up.— Liz de Jager (@LizUK) May 18, 2016
@Jo_Scribbles Definitely! I also know folks who appreciate the proofs as money's tight & can't afford finished copies.— Liz de Jager (@LizUK) May 18, 2016
@Jo_Scribbles Catching up - No, it's great. If they have a proof they are a particularly valued member of the book community.— Sue Ransom (@SCRansom) May 18, 2016
I asked bloggers to chime in too.
@Jo_Scribbles I don't see why it would be an issue. I can't afford to buy finished copies all the time & sometimes I prefer the proof covers— Laura H (@sisterspooky) May 18, 2016
@Jo_Scribbles not wrong at all. You've read the book and likely reviewed it and gone to the event thus likely to buy follow up books.— Laura H (@sisterspooky) May 18, 2016
@Jo_Scribbles I’ve done this quite a few times (generally with a finished copy of something too).— Kate Neilan (@Magic_Kitten) May 18, 2016
@Jo_Scribbles the author has always said something like “oh are you a blogger or bookseller?” And we’ve had a positive chat.— Kate Neilan (@Magic_Kitten) May 18, 2016
@Jo_Scribbles I’ve not had a negative comment about it from an author.— Kate Neilan (@Magic_Kitten) May 18, 2016
I guess for most it's not a problem, which is reasuring! Maybe it was just that one author.
Also, I've been thinking about asking for photos with authors. Again, this isn't something I ever really thought about, until someone shared a photo on Twitter of them with an author, saying they don't normally ask for photos, but they had to for this particular author. I don't really tend to think about my age when it comes to things like this. When there are people you admire and are in awe of - possibly even star-struck by (shh, it happens to me) - it can be really exciting to get your photo taken with this person you admire so much. But then I started thinking, am I perhaps too old to be asking for photos with authors? Being a fan of YA, it's YA events I tend to go to, and so a number of the authors' fans will be teenagers, and so I guess they're kind of used to being asked for their photo to be taken with them. When I asked on Twitter, the authors who replied didn't have a problem.
@Jo_Scribbles no, we're just delighted that people want pictures with us, like we're proper famous people!— Robin Stevens (@redbreastedbird) May 18, 2016
@Jo_Scribbles Doesn't bother me at all! Though sometimes I ask to see the photo to make sure I'm not, like, blinking/looking awful.— Laura Lam (@LR_Lam) May 18, 2016
But what about authors of adult books? I've never been to an adult book event before - and the two I have coming up are for adult non-fic books that focus on sexism. Would it be weird to ask for photos from them? Especially as they're there to talk about serious topics, would it seem a little frivolous? Would I seem weird? There's one writer in particular I am super excited to see, and I would love to get a photo with her, but I don't know how she would react to that. I don't really know what's best in this case, so I guess I'm asking?
What do you think? Have you ever had a bad experience with get proofs signed, or have they all been positive? And have you ever had your photo taken with an author of adult books? What