ABA Features Best Practices for Hosting Creator Events

Featured at BookExpo, the American Bookseller Association hosted an education session on the best practices for hosting a creator event that benefits both creators and the book store. The panel featured three panelists: Pete Mulvihill, co-owner of Green Apple Books in San Francisco; Susan Hans O’Connor, owner of Penguin Bookshop in Sewickley, Pennsylvania; and Valerie Koehler, owner of Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston. Along with providing several tips for authors interested in working with bookstores, the panelists addressed several tips of book store owners to keep in mind when organizing an author event.

Mulvihill explained that author events are always worth doing "not just because of what will happen during the event, but because of what can happen after." These events build a relationship with employees in the store regardless of how many patrons come out to the event. Having employees who remember an author and their book leads to increased recommendations and hand-selling of that title which helps both the author and the bookstore.

O’Connor said that Penguin Bookshop has hosted several major authors, but is dedicated to working with local and/or self-published authors. According to O'Connor, "events with self-published authors who have a very strong local connection have been some of Penguin’s most successful." Hosting local authors is also important for bookstores because of their roles as a communal space within their neighborhood.

Another important aspect of hosting author events is making bringing in authors with different voices and from different genres. This opens up the abiality to cater to segmented groups and make sure a diverse set of interests are being catered to within the community. 


Finally, investing time into advertising the event on social media before, during, and after plays an important role in the success of an event. Not only must the bookstore make sure they are reaching out to their community at every step of the event, but the author should also be promoting their signing or reading on their social media as well. Having marketing efforts from both parties throughout the process is an integral part of both parties reaping the most benefits of the event.

In order to find a local comic creator to host at your bookstore, there are several tools and resources that can be utilized. Many creators advertise their hometown along with their contact information, and setting up an author event can be as easy as simply reaching out to them. In other cases, groups like the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund have curated a list of creators that are willing to work with local stores and libraries. Furthermore, comic publishers such as Image Comics are continuously creating and updating their tools and resources for indpendent bookstores and libraries. The Image Comics Authorless Event Kit provides several event activities and tools needed for creating a successful event.

For a full pdf of Image Comics Authorless Event Kit, click here. For more information on the full education session from BookExpo, click here.

Monstress Volume 2: The Blood Monstress Volume 2: The Blood
Image Comics
Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900's Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power. >>
Saga Volume 7 Saga Volume 7
Image Comics
From the worldwide bestselling team of FIONA STAPLES and BRIAN K. VAUGHAN, “The War for Phang” is an epic, self-contained SAGA event! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. >>
Bloodborne Official Artworks Bloodborne Official Artworks
Udon Entertainment
In the terrifying video game Bloodborne, deranged mobs and nightmarish creatures lurk around every corner of a horror-filled gothic city. Bloodborne: Official Artworks collects the hair-raising artwork behind this modern action role-playing classic.  >>
Walking Dead Volume 27: The Whisperer War Walking Dead Volume 27: The Whisperer War
Image Comics
The time has come. The forces are aligning. The war has begun! Has Rick brought about the demise of everything he's built? Or will he triumph once again? Know this... there will be a cost. Collects THE WALKING DEAD #157-162. >>
Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide Volume 47 Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide Volume 47
Gemstone Publishing
One of the most influential comic book artists ever, Jim Steranko, brings his compelling mastery of the art form to the cover of the book that has been the Bible of serious collectors, dealers and enthusiasts since 1970!  >>
Rick and Morty Volume 1 Rick and Morty Volume 1
Oni Press
Based on the hilarious animated show RICK & MORTY by Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, depraved genius Rick Sanchez embarks on insane adventures with his awkward grandson Morty across the universe and across time. >>
Providence Act 1 Providence Act 1
Avatar Press
Alan Moore’s quintessential horror series has set the standard for a terrifying examination of the works of H.P. Lovecraft. Providence Act 1 Hard Cover edition that contains Providence issues #1-4. >>
Snotgirl Volume 1: Green Hair Don't Care Snotgirl Volume 1: Green Hair Don't Care
Image Comics
WHO IS LOTTIE PERSON? Is she a gorgeous, fun-loving social media star with a perfect life or a gross, allergy-ridden mess? Enter a world of snot, blood, and tears in this first collection from New York Times Best Seller BRYAN LEE O’MALLEY (Scott Pilgrim, Seconds) and dazzling newcomer LESLIE HUNG! >>
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook
Paizo
This complete standalone fantasy roleplaying game takes your fantasy campaigns to new heights of adventure! Backward-compatible with the 3.5 fantasy rules but offering new solutions and options that place it firmly on the cutting edge. >>