Pitching an Author Event: Tips from Talks with Bookstore Event Coordinators

April 2005
by Robin Quinn

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On any given night across the wide metropolis of Los Angeles, scores of authors can be found in area bookstores chatting up their titles through presentations. My flamboyant city is one of the largest and busiest book markets in the nation. I figured that L.A. bookstore event coordinators would have valuable advice to offer about author events, and I was not disappointed when I interviewed Lise Friedman at Dutton’s of Brentwood, Maret Orliss at Vroman’s of Pasadena (who co-reviews submissions sent to Jennifer Ramos), and Christine Louise Berry at Book Soup of West Hollywood.

The insights gleaned from three of L.A.’s best-known and most prestigious independent bookstores are revealed in the following eight tips:

1. Research the interests and personality of each store where you’d like to present a program. I was surprised to discover how different independents can be in character and outlook. On the hip Sunset Strip, Book Soup leans toward celebrity and the notorious. In the upscale Westside neighborhood of Brentwood, Dutton’s is known for events featuring local authors and star novelists. With a Pasadena cityscape behind it, Vroman’s is a 110-year-old literary landmark offering all types of author events. So, since bookstores’ interests and customer bases vary, do your research.

If a store you’re considering is local, begin by stopping by and checking out its ambience and clientele. While you’re vi…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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