I am wondering what people think about the etiquette of going to a book launch when you may not buy the book. Would you feel obliged to buy the book knowing there was food and drink provided? I am regularly invited to book launches (some by friends and others by authors I have heard of but don’t know well) and don’t always want to purchase. I hadn’t thought anything of it until someone said to me, “I wouldn’t go if I didn’t intend to buy the book”. 1126-18
Book launches are an advertising expense for the publisher (or the author if self promoting) and it’s written off as an expense in the hope that eventually the revenues will be greater than the expense. In my opinion, it would be imprudent for any business owner to presume that 100% of his/her potential customers will all respond to advertising and purchase the item being advertised. It simply isn’t realistic.
However, having as many warm bodies at a book launch or signing is advantageous…nothing worse than walking into a book store and seeing a sad author sitting forlornly at a signing table with no one interested in his books at all.
So , go, enjoy the book launch parties. Just because you don’t buy the book at the event does not mean you won’t at a later date.