Monday, October 1, 2012

Why Book Festivals Are So Fantastic

I spent all weekend (seriously - I logged a total of 21 hours between Friday night and Sunday) at the Baltimore Book Festival, ensconsed in our Maryland Romance Writers' tent. (Here's photographic proof - the awesome Stephanie Draven and I getting ready for our panel on Writing Funny Contemporaries.)

As an author, it was a terrific experience because:
  • You get to energize readers who already like your genre;
  • You get to snag new readers. Being part of a panel with some heavy hitters is a great way to raise awareness of your book.  Whether by doing readings, and/or perhaps managing to sell it on personality alone. Readers and authors rarely get to interact, so when we do, it is a happy thing.
  • You get to network with soooo many amazing authors (thrilled to meet Caridad Pineiro, Robin Covington, Kimberly Kincaid, Jennifer Armentrout, just to name a few!). Sharing panels with authors you respect and enjoy is such a perk....and hanging out with them at dinner afterwards is even better!
My chapter managed to keep our tent packed by offering informative, fun, and of course, sexy panels and readings and open forums. Pretty sure we touched on every possible romance topic.  On a purely selfish level, it was great to have the luxury of extended time with my chapter mates - and to be reminded all over again how talented they are.

And, taking off my author hat for a moment, as a reader I was able to go all fan-girl over some of my favorite authors. I discovered new must-have books, as well. Three solid days devoted to all things book - what could be better? So if you are an author, I highly recommend you find a festival near you and sign up to participate (or, if you are in the mid-Atlantic, let me know that you'd like to be a guest with us next year!).  If you are a reader, run, don't walk, to your nearest festival, and revel in a day all about reading.

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