Using technology, John Wiley’s events planners have found an inventive way to upgrade and extend the traditional author bookstore appearance. On April 16, Wiley Events used SKYPE, the internet webcam and telephone software technology, to allow editor/author Mark White to appear and talk to a live audience at a Joseph-Beth Booksellers store in Cincinnati about his new book Watchmen and Philosophy, from his home in New Jersey.

Wiley director of events P.J. Campbell said the event used computers, cameras and microphones set up in White’s home and at the bookstore. White’s image was projected on a screen and, thanks to the SKYPE hookup, the author was able to discuss Watchmen and Philosophy, which examines philosophical questions in Alan Moore’s acclaimed graphic novel, and respond to questions from the audience at the bookstore in Cincinnati just like a typical bookstore event. The event was cosponsored with Clifton Comics and Games, a local comics shop.

“It was great to connect with fans from the comfort of my home, as if I were in the Joseph-Beth Booksellers’ store,” White said.

Michael Link, publisher relations and events manager at Joseph-Beth, said the store was pleased with the event (they sold about 25 copies of White’s book) and planned another SKYPE event in June. “We were very happy with the event and the level of discourse between the author and the audience. While the event was in progress, curiosity got the better of people who stopped by to join in,” he said.