Friday, December 14, 2007

Stick With Your Day Job

Who pays fifty plus dollars to go see a writer? Me for one (FYI, that's $50 for two tickets). That's how much I paid to see David Sedaris in Riverside this summer. And I hear that's the going rate to see him in 2008 when he makes a few stops in support of his forthcoming book Indefinite Leave to Remain (Little, Brown and Company - June 2008)

It seems like a growing trend for writers who are able to become famous in their careers...and why not? Musicians charge money to see them play a CD they want you to buy, so why should writers charge people to hear them read from a book they want you to buy? But here's the difference, and it's a big difference, if they charge big money then they should, at the very least, be good at performing.

In the case of Sedaris it was worth it; if nothing else I talked him before the reading for a good ten minutes, which was worth the price of ticket alone. But how many writers are like that?

Below is my incomplete list of writers I would pay $25 bucks to see:

1. Sarah Vowell
2. Dave Eggers
3. Thomas Pynchon
4. David Foster Wallace


Emily said...

I paid $35 dollars to see Chuck Palahniuk at Strand in NYC this year. It was well worth it - the price included a copy of his new book and a Strand Totebag. Since only 150 tickets were sold, we had the chance to get Rant signed and personalized, plus up to four other of his books signed and personalized, something you can't do at his packed free signings. He also posed for a picture with anyone who wanted one. He spent a long time talking to us and reading us unpublished stories, it was great. I wish more signings were like that. Usually I have to show up an hour early at the Union Square Barnes and Noble to get a seat and watch as people cut me in the signing line.

I would also pay to see David Sedaris, Dave Eggers and Sarah Vowell. I'd also pay for Bill Bryson. Many others too probably.

Anonymous said...

Definitely agree with you on Vowell, Sedaris, and Eggers. I'd pay a buttload of money just to see Pynchon in public! Wallace I was never really a fan of.

Donald Miller and Margaret Feinberg are also two writers I'd love to see. Maybe even have coffee with.