Book festivals don’t offer the same networking opportunities as writers conferences, but they can still be a good learning experience. (Click here for my post on conferences) Most book festivals are free, and many offer panel discussions with the same topics as those at writers conferences, so for that reason alone they are worth attending. For example, I’ve given my $75 workshop called I want to get published. Where do I begin? at book festivals– at no charge.
In addition to attending panel discussions and workshops, a great way to learn at a book festival is simply to wander up and down the aisles and strike up conversations with the people manning the booths. Most of them will be more than happy to chat about why they are there. Some will be selling books they wrote and published on their own. Others will be representing publishing houses and independent publishers. Still others will be promoting services that may be useful to you at some point, such as writing workshops, design expertise or book marketing help. If you keep asking questions, I guarantee you’ll come away with some useful nuggets.
If anything, attending a book festival might give you the motivation and/or inspiration you need to finish the manuscript you’ve been working on - or perhaps to finally start it. Writing is a lonely craft, so taking the time to mix and mingle with those who share your passion is a good reminder that, while you may spend a lot of time alone at your laptop, you’re not in it alone!
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2014 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.