Friday, January 18, 2013

What we can learn about events from John Green

John Green, NYT bestselling author of LOOKING FOR ALASKA, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, and other novels, sold out at Carnegie Hall for the one year anniversary of TFIOS on Monday, January 14th. At the show, he was joined by his brother Hank, the Mountain Goats, Neil Gaiman, and many other amazing people.

If you haven't watched their show, which was streamed live, you can still catch it here! I watched it live and  I thought it was amazing.

John and Hank have built up a huge community over the past six years, known as Nerdfighteria, where we work together to decrease world suck and tell each other DFTBA (don't forget to be awesome), among other things. I consider myself a Nerdfighter (though yes, an old Nerdfighter, but one nonetheless), as I have been with them since day 1 of Vlogbrothers 2.0. I read LOOKING FOR ALASKA in 2007 and loved it so much, I was ready to follow John Green anywhere. And, wow, look how far he's come!

So that event, combined with another event I witnessed this week, got me thinking about author events in general. On Wednesday night, I went to Powell's to see Martha Brockenbrough (DEVINE INTERVENTION), Kevin Emerson (THE LOST CODE), Sean Beaudoin (THE INFECTS), and Cat Patrick (REVIVED). They were so fun and funny and never once did I think to myself, I hope this is over soon, like I sometimes do at author events. They played a couple of fun games and they found a way to read from their books in a hilarious way, with a timer and people shouting out numbers from the audience, and using famous people's voices. The hour flew by, and when it was time to buy books, well, let's just say my TBR pile now towers even higher.

John has shown us that teens want to feel like they are a part of something awesome. Maybe we can't do something as amazing and life changing as creating Nerdfighteria, like he and Hank have done, but we can make our book signings more fun and more interactive and more about the readers and less about the authors. Yes, it's more work, and yes, you have to get creative, but I believe it's time well spent. Every time a teen goes to a FUN author event, it makes it much more likely she'll go to more events in the future. Guess what happens if she goes to boring event after boring event? 

I know getting up in front of people can be hard for authors, who are often introverted and are most comfortable in a quiet office, in front of the computer. That's certainly true for me! But honestly - I'd much rather play a silly game with the audience than stand there talking about my book and then reading from my book, with all eyes on me, everyone thinking about how boring it all is. 

I'm currently making game paddles for a game Kim Derting and I will play at our event coming up on Monday, Feb. 4th at Powell's in Beaverton. I got my inspiration from watching many, many (probably too many) episodes of the reality show, Big Brother. It will be silly and it will have nothing to do with our books. But there will be prizes and it will be FUN. You should totally come if you're in the area. 

Now if I could just figure out how to get Neil Gaiman to stop by...

1 comment:

  1. Oh, so fun. What are we going to do, Lees? You packing the cupcake costume?