Sunday, June 07, 2009

Chicago printers Row Book fest

While it was a pleasant enough day out and attendance was high, the Printers Row Book Fest mainly just a large used book sale. Relatively few publishers attended, and most of them were very small presses. While I was there (during the middle of the first day, Saturday) there was no apparent involvement of "big name" authors. I saw some poetry readings from children from the Chicago area (some of whom, dare I say, could be helped to enunciate a little more clearly), and a discussion lead by the author of a book about comics who had some interesting points to make.

I would suggest that some of the authors staffing booths need to strike a better balance between enthusiasm and rank desperation. Nobody wants an author to a) verbally assault them with a barrage of unwanted information while flinging bookmarks at their face, or b) or to lean back in there chair with glum and vaguely hostile detachment as if having given up any hope of selling the book. In contrast I would point out the guy at The Echelon Press table who opened conversations by asking what people liked to read, and steering them casually to books they might like. I just hope industry involvement in this event with rebound when the economy does.


Kimberly Garland said...

I agree that the bulk of Printer's Row was a big used book sale. However, you can't say they had no big name authors when both Neil Gaiman (THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, CORALINE, among others) and Elmore Leonard (GET SHORTY among many others) were there. Plus, I volunteered at a booth for a writing group I belong to, and the woman who was signing books there had written the book that was sitting on my nightstand at that moment. It was a cool coincidence. I agree with you that the Echelon booth was excellent. Good selection, lots of authors, and really friendly people.

veinglory said...

I agree that there were a few big name authors assocated with the event, but as a drop in through the middle of the first day I didn't have an opportunity to actually see any of them.