May 9, 2021: Book Festivals
Book Festivals are wonderful!
A place for readers and writers to find each other and connect. I have had the honor of being part of more than 30 such festivals in the 13 years since my first book was published. And no two are exactly the same.
From formal and well organized, to relaxed and casual; from large and all-encompassing, to small and genre-specific.
Book Fests, from an author’s point of view, are a great way to “get out there”. Categorized under the sales, marketing, and publicity part of our careers. We pack up our books, banners, and swag and set up our tables. We smile and greet strangers and friends alike. We get to talk with both fans and new readers about our stories, our characters, and our processes. We do readings, sign books, and take pictures. It is so very different from our day-to-day work of writing and revising and writing and revising- most times in isolation.
And some Book Fests are wildly successful for us in terms of sales, while some are dismal. But they all allow us the opportunity to connect with the readers of our work.
Book Fests, from a reader’s point of view, are also awesome. It is a chance to chat with an author whose work you have enjoyed, and a chance to perhaps discover new works. It is a chance to support the art of literature and the power of books. It is an opportunity to get signed books as gifts for loved ones, and to add to your own collections. It is a place of inspiration and discovery.
Sadly, Book Festivals as a face-to-face event evaporated a year ago. Yes, some are on their way back, but virtual Book Fests have jumped in to fill the gap. So how do they measure up?
While you may miss out on the intimate discussion with the author, as a reader, there are many benefits of a virtual Book Fest:
- You can fit it into your schedule.
Most virtual Book Fests are longer in length, some spanning weeks, not days, so you can “attend” when it works for you. Available 24 hours, you can browse when insomnia hits or you have that lull in your work on the computer.
- You do not have to go anywhere.
With your technology tool, you can visit the Book Fest from your home, your backyard, or the beach. No need to get in your car and go somewhere.
- You can easily share the experience with others who might enjoy the books or authors featured. Posting a review, sending a link, tagging a friend, adding a picture- these are all things that allow you to let your friends and family know about this great opportunity.
There are also benefits for the author:
- Once your on-line “booth” is set up, there is no work. You do not need to pack up and haul things to a location. You do not need to break things down and store them at night. You do not have to re-stock your displays.
- You do not have to go anywhere or commit to specific hours. Your booth is there as long as the Book Fest is open. Once you have uploaded your pictures, links, videos, books and downloads, you do not need to be there.
- A recorded interview can reach so many more readers. I only have to “chat” once and then anyone interested can listen to my talk.
This current Book Expo was only going to run til May 10th, but it has been so successful, they are extending it! So before this ends, be sure to check out the Florida Writers Book Expo at: www.floridawritersbooks.com
And my specific booth: www.floridawritersbooks.com/judy-lindquist