Thursday, March 01, 2012

My Book Festival Experience

This past weekend was the Book 'Em North Carolina book festival. Packed with over 60 authors, plus panels and discussions all day, it was a major event. There was an author meet-and-greet dinner Friday night and then Saturday was the festival.

For me, the fun is meeting up with author friends! Like authors Judy Walters and Pamela June Kimmell.

I also got to see author Betty Schiefelbein and her husband, along with author Bonnie Watson who is also an amazing artist. (And I’ll be a guest on Bonnie’s blog next week.)

I’d set up my table on Friday, so Saturday morning before the doors opened, I roamed around. I got to meet Susan Whitfield for the first time. We’ve known each other through the Internet for years but we’ve never met - and we only live 30 minutes apart!

I tracked down Valerie Connelly, who owns Nightengale Press. I’d done an interview on her radio show a few years ago and met her when she came to Lumberton for a talk. I just adore Valerie - she is so knowledgeable and fun!

I roamed one more time and when I returned to my table, there was the last author I was seeking - Elizabeth Spann Craig! We know each other online but never met in person, so it was a real treat. I’ve always thought Elizabeth was so organized, professional, and wise. I also thought she was reserved.

That notion went out the window!

Elizabeth is FUN. She is just so bubbly in person. Someone you feel comfortable around immediately. She ended up setting her table up in the same area so we got to chat quite a bit. She also attended my panel discussion on ebooks and then we were on a panel together about book promotions.

As for the great ebook experiment, since I was one of only three authors selling ebooks… I sold half and half. I think next year it will be more ebooks, too.

It was a fun weekend filled with books and friends!

How many of your writing or author friends have you met? And have you been to a book festival or writer’s conference to do it?

17 comments:

Sarah Pearson said...

I've never met any of my writing friends, but I would love to one day. I'm glad you had such a great time.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've only met a couple. I bet next year everyone will want to sell eBooks.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

What a sweet thing to say! You're fun, too (knew you would be) and I loved spending the day with you and your husband. It's wonderful to meet my online friends and make them in-person friends!

I thought the way the ebook sales were handled was really smart...I bet we'll see a lot more of those sales in the future at conferences.

Talli Roland said...

Oh, that's fantastic - how lucky you are to be able to meet so many lovely writers. Sigh.

Matthew MacNish said...

Looks like such a blast. I've only ever been to one writing/publishing conference, but it was the time of my life.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Diane .. sounds great fun - so lovely to see the two of you together ..

You both live your writing lives to the full - so I'd expect great interaction together and at the conference ..

Interesting to be updated re your process there .. ebooks v books .. cheers Hilary

Laura Marcella said...

That's so cool! It sounds like it was a fun time.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, what fun! There is really a disproportionate number of writers in North Carolina, isn't there? I'm so glad you got to meet Elizabeth!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

It is great to meet the people you write to. As you know I met Arlee Bird 2 weeks ago and he was just the same as he is on line.
Loved the pics and reading was very interesting.

I wished I'd had prepared the publication of my book better.
As it was I didn't know how to go about it.

Have a good day.

Yvonne.

Southpaw said...

I have not met any author friends in person yet, but I have not attended any conference yet either.

M Pax said...

I don't think I've met anyone from bloggyland yet. I hope to remedy that soon. I have lots of local writer friends.

That looks like a great time.

The Golden Eagle said...

It sounds like it was an awesome weekend!

I've never met any writing/author friends in person. But maybe someday . . .

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I liked this, of course! In fact I like it generally so much there is a whole section in The Frugal Book Promoter (www.budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo) on trade shows, book fair appearances, and how to use value-added promotions that I explored when I sponsored a cross-promotional booth at one of the country's biggest book fairs, The LA Times Festival of Books.

I'm glad to see you be so proactive. Like any other promotion, we gotta promote the promotion for them to be successful. (-:
Best,
Carolyn

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I met some of my friends at conferences but many I've never met.
Sounds like this was a great event.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Elizabeth, I'm so happy we finally made it happen.

Hart, it feels like there are thousands of writers here!

Yvonne, I saw that you met Arlee recently.

I've done this for so many years now that I have many author friends I've met in person.

Jai Joshi said...

I've been lucky enough to meet a lot of my writer friends when I've toured the country on book tour. I've been stayed at some of their houses! It's great!

Glad you had such a great time at the lit festival. I love places like that because of the pure love of books that everyone displays. It's my type of crowd!

Jai

DL Hammons said...

That sounds so fun! I've met only four of my writing/blogging/author friends...but I can't wait until I meet more...which includes you! :)