It's not that I didn't see wonderful books at the Kentucky Bookfair. I did. Can't even tell you how many I wanted to scoop up. Giving in to my inner book geek I'd have waddled away under the weight of a staggering tower of new reading material.
But the realities of my budget prevailed. So I walked away with a handful of cards and booksmarks of authors that impressed me and will be talking them up and adding them to my Christmas list!
The first thing that struck me most about the book fair was that there were SO many people. Many authors and many shoppers. I was impressed with the quality of the small and self published books, good covers, lovely personable authors. And the buyers... those who were breaking out their wallets were buying in bulk - armfulls, bagfulls, one lady brought a child to carry the overage. Talk among the established authors was concern about numbers and the market and contracts that might or might not be forthcoming. It was no small thing that the bookfair came on the heels of the announcement that Joseph Beth Booksellers was filing for bankruptcy.
The new authors I met were upbeat and had some interesting experiences, so that's great to hear. Self published nonfiction seemed to do well, especially that with a local connection and/or ghosts!
It was wonderful to go and chat and see all the support for all those authors and books. If there is a book fair near you I hope you attend, even if you can't afford to buy a lot, you can talk and listen and learn and, well, just soak in the love of the written word. And when you walk away, you can share what you learned and show some of that love for the authors. Writers who don't read baffle me. Writers who don't support other authors, make my eyes cross. Readers read. It's not them against you. If they read a good book, they want another one. If you write good books then you should support authors who write them too, it's just the right thing to do.
Toward that end the wonderful authors I spoke with yesterday:(alphabetical)
Irene Brand - http://www.irenebrand.com/
Ann Gabhart - http://www.annhgabhart.com/
Molly Harper - http://www.mollyharper.com/
Allie Pleiter - http://www.alliepleiter.com/
Patricia Rice - http://www.patriciarice.com/
Jan Scarbrough - http://www.janscarbrough.com/
There were others but I can't remember names and I don't seem them all listed in the website sooooo when I think of them, I'll share - until then if you aren't buying at least be a good promoter :)