On 19th August two rather famous authors are having an evening chatting to each other in the Freemasons' Hall in London. These authors are George R R Martin and Robin Hobb, two authors who I have read and absolutely loved. All sound good so far? Did to me as well, until I realised that the event was being charged at £45. On a personal level, I cannot afford that amount, but I know that that isn't going to worry the publisher or authors, considering that my Twitter timeline is full of people stating that they've already brought their tickets.
I think that £45 is too much for an author event, no matter how famous the authors are or how many spoilers George *might* reveal about The Winds of Winter. I had a look and, for the same price, you can get a day pass to Nine Worlds, which would allow you to see many authors in conversation - and, I'm sure, if you take along books by those authors, you would be able to get them signed.
For absolute free, Fantasy Faction are hosting the Grim Gathering, an evening with Peter V Brett, Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence and Myke Cole. For free! Why, therefore, are we being charged to see £45 to see two authors?
One person suggested that this is now how publishers/authors will make their money - like bands now have to tour in order to make money because they are certainly not making money from selling music in these days of downloading and piracy. We've often asked how exactly authors make any money, and maybe now we have the answer.
Or perhaps the high fee is to pay for the location which is, frankly, gorgeous:
Just to add in another book event for discussion (one that is much cheaper), let's look at the Gollancz Festival. Here we have authorial powerhouses such as Joe Hill and Patrick Rothfuss. The cost? £6. For a whole evening of fun, and several organised panels.
So, I do ask, would you pay £45? Why? What makes this event so special, compared to the others I mention? Just the presence of GRRM?