We love talking with you guys about books here at BAMF but some times we need to go a little further than just reviewing books and interviewing authors. Thus, Discussion Posts! We may give you some advice, tell you about something you may not know, and generally talk about the bookish world as a whole. The idea is to generate conversation around a topic so that you can think critically about it — or just think about it in general! Be sure to comment with your thoughts!
If there is a topic you want to see one of us discuss, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Discussion Idea!” and we will credit you!
Interacting With Others At Events
You’re going to a book event and are unsure how to talk to people because you hide yourself behind books 24/7 and need some advice: let us help you out. Here are some tips for interacting with other attendees AND the authors. Most important is to ACTUALLY interact with others and not just sit there. These events are so much more fun with a new friend!
Just say hello!
You already have something in common: books! Make the leap and introduce yourself.
Join in on conversations
If you’re in a queue and people are talking around you, jump in when you can contribute to the conversation. Sure it’s scary, but your opinion may be one they had never thought of before!
Don’t Stare At Your Phone
If you aren’t making eye contact with someone, they will assume you don’t want to talk. Put your device away and smile!
Find Other People Who Look Alone
If there are other people who are staring at their phone or trying to look busy, go up to them and say hello!
If they look familiar…
Ask them if they are that person you talk to all the time on the internet! More likely than not, they are and would love to have a conversation with you.
Don’t be intimidated
Fake it til you make it folks! Practice ahead of time by talking to yourself in the mirror. Like you will think you sound silly but having done it once, you won’t be as nervous to do it again.
It’s all about breaking that ice
Once you say hello, you’re in! You just have to say hello and introduce yourself.
Authors Are People Too
Authors are probably even more introverted than you because the people they talk to they make up in their minds. And they love to talk about their work and hear about how much you loved it! That’s why they do this! Here are some tips for when you are at a panel…
- Always be sure to ask before the panel starts if you can record what is being said – some authors are uncomfortable with being filmed or don’t WANT to be. I would hate to be filmed without giving my permission.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for a picture either! More likely than not they would love to be in a picture with you if they have the time. Some panels have very long signing lines and it would just take too much time to do both. Some authors may say they will do pictures at the END if you are willing to wait around!
- Internally freak out, but externally play it calm and collected. You can be EXCITED but don’t yell at them, you will scare them and everyone else in line.
- Tell them that you like their book and why! Tell them how they have impacted you and your life! They eat this stuff up!
- Authors are probably just as nervous as you, so take your time when talking to them. You get a couple minutes of one-on-one time where you can ask them things you want to know and chat with them about their books.
- Make sure you take a deep breath to help with those nerves and don’t speak too quickly!
But, don’t make them uncomfortable.
You wouldn’t want someone to ask you personal questions if you had just met them and authors don’t want that either.
- Instead of asking “Will you read my novel?”, ask “What tips do you have for someone writing a novel for the first time?”
- Instead of asking “Why haven’t you written more about THIS CHARACTER?”, ask “What are you working on now?”
- Instead of saying “PLEASE HAVE MY BABIES”, say “I really admire you and your work. Your novel has changed my life for the better”
- Instead of asking “How much money do you make?” Leave — but seriously don’t ask this. That’s rude.