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Should Bookstores Charge for Author Events?

Many independent bookstores across the country are considering charging for in-store author events. According to The New York Times, bookstore owners feel that too many people use their businesses as a place to research new titles and later buy the books online.

Here’s more from the article: “Roxanne Coady, the owner of R. J. Julia in Madison, Conn., was one of the first prominent booksellers to begin charging for events about five years ago, a move that she considered ‘desperate’ at the time. A ticket to get in, she said, generally can be paid toward the price of a book … About 10 percent of her revenue now comes from events, which are held about 200 times a year.”

Do you think bookstores should charge for author events? In May, Boulder Book Store implemented an admissions policy for store events. New York City’s McNally Jackson Books will charge for some events once they finish building a lower level events space.

Book blogger Edward Champion expressed a concern that event fees would “alienate long-term potential customers.” Do you feel that it is fair for bookstores to charge admissions to author events?

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