Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Do you Book Fest? (or Catch the Festival Fever!)

Tip of the Day: Anyone in the greater Rochester, NY area must come to our Teen Book Festival this Saturday!

Last Thursday, Tina talked about which author events are generally worth an author's time. One type of event she didn't mention are Book Festivals. I guess they could be considered similar to "Author Fairs," but I'm not sure; hopefully someone will weigh in with their opinion on if these are a "must" or "bust."

What I do know is that the Rochester Teen Book Festival has grown and grown over the past seven years, and there are thousands of teens who attend. Through the promotion and publicity for the event, the attending author's names are spread across the county, and much of Western NY. Authors now ask the Fest organizer if they can come, instead of her having to pursue them. Part of it is, from what I hear, because of how well the authors are treated by the organizers.

But some authors still say no thanks when they are invited.

For the authors who do attend, is it worth going? Like Tina said, it is an all-day affair that takes away from writing/family time. Some publishers do pay the authors' travel expenses, but some do not, so for a long trip that can be pricey and a lot of books would need to sell for it to be worth it financially.

If the authors want to connect with teen readers, they will often succeed at this event. But if teens have limited money to spend and can't buy ooks no matter how much they love an author and her presentation, is it worth it?

And if you are an author with a limited audience/brand new book without a following yet, some authors may worry that no teens will attend their breakout sessions which can be stressful.

Yet during the autographing session at the end of the day, it is hard not to get excited at all the teens who are into books and authors and reading!

What do you think about Book Festivals as worthy author events?

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing


Kristina Springer said...

I think it depends on the location/event. Your book festival gets a lot of press so it would be worth it (especially if you lived nearby). Not to mention it's specific to teens. The one a couple of towns over by me that is charging for you to attend-- not so much. No one knows about it, who knows how many people will come and if they'll even be interested in YA.

G.M. said...

It's about 3 hours from my place. For a much bigger Book Festival, you might want to drive with your family to Toronto, Canada in September.

The audience last year was over 200,000 people.

Lisa Albert said...

Good question!

I'm doing the Southeast WI Book Festival in June -- two slots -- one talk about my debut and one talk about getting into the biz. I'll sign after each session.

I'm also on a panel at the Sheboygan Children's Book Festival (and possibly doing a workshop, too) next Oct. For that one, I'll have to take a day off work and drive two hours, but I've heard great things about it so I hope it's worth it.

I did the WI Book Festival last Oct (took off work, drove 3 hours total) and while it was fun to be in front of 200 teens, I only signed about 15 books.

Kristina, what event charges authors to pay to be there? Weird!