We got back late Sunday afternoon and I've had time to reflect on my two days at the L.A. Times Book Festival.
First, the pluses. It's mind-boggling. So many people all in one place, and so. The UCLA campus is beautiful, the buildings are old and wonderful. If you love books, there were millions of them. The white tent booths are packed in a large area--book stores, authors, special interest groups, religions of all varieties, ethnic groups, college bookstores (not just UCLA's), radio stations, food--people selling all sorts of things had booths. There are also many interviews of famous writers and celebrities who have written books, and performances going on in auditoriums and in large tents.
I met so many people and even ran into old friends. I handed out lots of cards and even managed to sell a few books--mainly in the L.A. Chapter of Sisters in Crime booth.
This is my third time attending and I realized that it takes a toll physically. It's a long, long walk from the parking garage to the area on campus where the festival is held. And it seems even longer if you're hauling books, even if they are in a rolling conveyance. There are lots of stairs. Lines for the bathrooms were long. There is lots of competition because there are so many authors signing books--many much more well-known than I am. You must work to sell your books--by working I mean really connect with people and be able to describe your book in a quick and succinct manner.
And of course, if you're from out-of-town you must drive and stay in a hotel. Less expensive ones aren't in the best parts of town. Also driving in L.A. can be scary and confusing. (I learned to drive in L.A., but so long ago and things have changed so much.)
All in all, though, I had a great time.
Marilyn a.k.a. F.M. Meredith