Last night I spent a fabulous evening at a private reading with author Susan Conley.
The author of The Foremost Good Fortune (Knopf, 2011), Conley mingled with guests before reading from her China memoir and fielding questions.
I love the idea of a private book reading and had first learned of the concept in this NY Times article. And it worked really well last night.
The hosts of the party, friends of Conley, contacted a fabulous indie bookstore, who sent a bookseller and boxes of Conley’s book to the reading last night.
So how did I score an invitation to this event? Social networking, bien sur. After I’d read Conley’s two NY Times articles about her life in China, I friended her author page on Facebook and sent her a message.
I asked if she planned to visit Chicago on her book tour. And that’s when she mentioned the private reading at her friend’s house.
So I brought along my friend–and book signing buddy–Chandrika, who posed with Susan and me in the photo above. Unlike a traditional bookstore reading, this private one allowed us multiple chances to take impromptu photos like this one or to talk to Susan about China, writing, and the next stops on her book tour.
The cocktail party setting also allowed us to talk to people we probably wouldn’t have had an opportunity to engage with at a traditional signing.
It was an ideal way to spend a Friday night!