In the last month there’s been a bit of media flurry about author booksignings. It all started with a New York Times report that some independent bookstores are now charging readers to attend booksignings in their stores. The story was picked up by numerous online sources, including blogs, tweets, and Facebook updates by various independent bookstore owners.

The article notes that in-person author events are something online retailers (Amazon) cannot do. Sure, you can chat with an author online, but you just can’t go to the huge Amazon store to meet an author in person; for that, you need a brick and mortar bookstore.

I attend a lot of booksignings – generally one or two a month – and so far have only read about one event that would cost money (aside from buying a book) to attend. A local independent store brought in Charlaine Harris this past winter. Instead of holding the event at the bookstore (where I’ve attended many signings), the event was held at a local theater. I had a work event scheduled for the same evening, so never really had to seriously consider whether or not I would pay money to see Ms. Harris. I also assumed that the charge was to recover part of the cost of renting the theatre. Now I’m not sure, and will be monitoring events at that bookstore to see if they charge for any future signings.

I can definitely understand the concern of independent bookstore owners to make a profit. Most of the independent owners I’ve talked to recently are terrified for their survival, and feel threatened not only by Amazon (after all, that’s been going on for over a decade), but by the rise in eBook readers.

While I haven’t paid to attend a booksigning, I do always make a point to buy something at each signing I attend. If a new-to-me author is in town selling the hardback version of their newest release, I generally won’t buy it, but instead will buy the first of their series in paperback. I figure it’s a sale for the bookstore and the author, and if I like it, I’ll buy more. Are any bookstores in your area now charging for author booksignings? Are there any authors you would pay to see speak?

Although signings seem to be slowing down a bit over the summer, I’ve found a number of romance author booksignings in the coming months. As always, I could use your help. Do you know of any authors who are coming to your home town? If so, please let us know about it. If you know of any events that we missed between now and mid-August, please post them in the comments section. If you know of any events occurring after mid-August, please send them to us at aarbooksign  AT and we’ll add them to our mid-August post.

Disclaimer: I found these signings by extensive Web searches of both author and bookseller Web sites. They all appear to be free, but please contact the bookstore before you attend an event for additional information. And please let us know if you do attend a booksigning, and how you liked it. A few of the authors on the list aren’t strictly romance authors, but have either been reviewed at AAR in the past, or have featured in AAR forum discussions.

Upcoming Booksignings: July and Beyond

Susan Sey, Helen Brenna, Michele Hauf, and Tamara Hogan, July 16, Barnes & Noble, 2:00 p.m., HarMar Mall, 2100 North Snelling Ave, Roseville, MN.

Beverly Jenkins, July 16, Borders, 11:00 a.m., 11745 Olive Blvd., Creve Coeur, MO

Tess Gerritsen, July 16, Bookstalks, 1:00 p.m., 71 Main Street, Bucksport, ME (other signings at the author’s Web site including Newington, NH and Augusta, ME).

Kimberly Killion, Annmarie McKenna, Jennifer Jakes, Sela Carsen, and J.C. Hay, July 16, Rose’s Bookhouse, 12:00 p.m., 8935 Veterans Memorial Parkway, O’Fallon, MO.

Meg Cabot, July 18, Barnes & Noble, 7:00 p.m., 2675 NE University Village Street, Seattle, WA.

Mary Kay Andrews, July 18, FoxTale Book Shoppe, 7:00 p.m., 105 East Main Street, #138, Woodstock, GA.

Judi Fennell, Stephanie Julian, Terri Brisbin, and Gwyn Cready, July 23, 1:00 p.m., Borders Books, 940 Plaza Blvd, Lancaster PA.

Sophie Jordan and Vicky Dreiling, July 30, Katy Budget Books, 3:30 p.m., 2450 Fry Rd, Houston, TX.

Shobhan Bantwal, August 2, Barnes & Noble, 7:00 p.m., Princeton Market Fair, 3535 US Route 1, Princeton, NJ. (other events at the author’s Web site including Astoria, NY and Edison, NJ).

Sherrilyn Kenyon, August 2, Barnes & Noble, 6:00 p.m., Huron Village, 3235 Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MI.

Emily Arsenault, August 4, Boswell’s Books, 7:00 p.m., Shelburne Falls, MA. (other events at the author’s Web site including Madison, CT and Brattleboro, VT).

Margaret Dilloway, August 9, Warwick’s Books, 6:30 p.m., 7812 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA (other events at the author’s Web Site including Bellevue, WA and San Francisco, CA).

Wendy Delsol, August 20, Barnes & Noble, 2:00 p.m., 2800 S. Rochester Road, Rochester Hills, MI.

Carla Neggers, August 23, Barnes & Noble, 7:00 p.m.,  Oglethorpe Mall, 7804 Abercorn Ext. 72, Savannah, GA. (other events at B&N Web site including Brentwood, TN and Columbus, OH).

Sally Mackenzie and Tracy Anne Warren, August 27, Borders, 2:00 p.m., 940 Plaza Blvd., Lancaster, PA.

Debbie Maccomber, August 28, Borders, 2:00 p.m., 1700 East Washington Avenue, Union Gap, WA.

Hope Tarr, August 28, Borders, 2:00 p.m., 940 Plaza Blvd., Lancaster, PA.

Jeaniene Frost, Melissa Marr, Kelley Armstrong, August 31, Barnes & Noble, 3327 Pineville-Matthews Road, Charlotte, NC.

Tasha Alexander, Maureen Jennings, and Stefanie Pintoff, September 11, Kerrytown Bookfest, 2:00 p.m., Kerrytown, Ann Arbor, MI.

Sylvia Day and Meljean Brook, October 14, Mysterious Galaxy, 7:00 p.m., 7051 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. Suite #302, San Diego, CA.

Janet Mullany and Carrie Bebris, October 14, Barnes & Noble, 6:30 p.m., Sundance Square, 401 Commerce Street, Fort Worth, TX.

– LinnieGayl AAR

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