I was tremendously excited to learn about another book festival near my hometown. I genuinely enjoy attending these events, and the prospect of another so close to home was encouraging. It's a wonderful thought to consider that books are still so popular that more festivals are popping up to serve readers. But when I got there, I was disappointed.
At first, all looked like it might work out, until I noticed that the tables were placed so closely together that the chairs backed into each other, making it difficult for authors to stand whenever visitors approached their table. I understand the desire to include as many authors as possible, but this was squeezing things too tight. The eight-foot tables, again, seemed like they might be a good idea, except that stuffing three authors at each table made it difficult to present the books in a positive way. Things were too tightly packed, and it was often times difficult to tell when one author's display ended and the next began.
The concept of having spoken word, panel discussion, music, and reading performances during the festival was a good one... except that everything took place in the same room. The speakers were set far too loud, making it nearly impossible to hear and hold normal conversations with the visitors who stopped by to look at my books. I actually came home with a bit of laryngitis from screaming so much; and the noise level was so high that I had a headache, as well... and I wasn't the only one.
I noticed that there were several tables set up that had virtually nothing to do with books... cosmetics, clothing, etc. It was disheartening to walk the room and see that several tables had no books on them... I was expecting a "Book Experience" not a night club or boutique.
There weren't many visitors to the room... at least, not visitors who were interested in learning about the authors and their books. Most of those who attended were there to see a performance, and left immediately after the performance was over. It was frustrating. My fellow Grey Wolfe authors and I packed up two hours early... and we weren't the only ones.
Unfortunately, I don't think I"ll be attending this festival again next year, unless I discover that some changes will happen... more focus on books, and the elimination of an ear-splitting sound system. And that makes me a little sad because, as I said, I think more book festivals are a good thing - and I want to be involved with as many as I possibly can... but not to the detriment of productive conversations with readers, nor the loss of voice and hearing.
Diana Kathryn Plopa
I love being in love; writing; reading; mammals of nearly every kind, and especially micro-humans! Come enjoy my world with me - Secret Decoder Ring not required!!