Top Book Fairs and Book Festivals Authors Should Attend

Book fairs are wonderful places to interact with fellow authors and publishers, network with book industry leaders, locate the help you need such as a publicist or book editor, and learn what’s new in the marketplace. Includes a list of book fairs and events that are worthy of your attendance.

Authors who want to sell books need to do what anyone else with a product needs to do – find the place in the marketplace where your buyers can be found. And, in the case of authors, readers will be found in largest numbers at book fairs, festivals and conferences.

Book fairs and festivals are held every season around the world so it’s a fairly easy task to locate one to promote your book. As an internet book marketing specialist, I am the first to impress on authors the new and powerful marketing avenues open to all authors on the Internet – from book websites to book trailers to social networks like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. While these are fantastic tools when used properly, authors should never overlook opportunities to meet the reading public face-to-face.

Book fairs usually want speakers. By volunteering to speak, the author not only gains great exposure but can also add that appearance to their resume and press releases. But plan ahead; dates for panel participants, speakers and autograph sessions are arranged months in advance.

Book fairs are excellent places to interact with fellow authors, publishers, network with book industry leaders, locate the help you need such as a publicist or book editor, and learn what’s new in the marketplace. For more information about book marketing visit and for upcoming book events on C-SPAN2 visit: For a great blog about book fairs by the LA Times go to

Here’s a list of upcoming book fairs and events that are worthy of your attendance in 2011.

1.       2011 Dayton Book Expo, Christian Writers Marketplace, April 30, 2011, Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio A great opportunity for authors of books on Christian topics.

2.       Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, April 30-May 5, 201. The festival attracts more than 150,000 readers.

3.       South Carolina Book Festival, May 14-15, 2011, Colombia Metropolitan Convention Center, Columbia, SC, more than 6,000 book lovers attend

4.       BookExpo America, May 23-26, 2011, Jacob Javits Center, NYC, the premier North American publishing event of the year

5.       Printers Row Lit Fest, June 4-5, 2011 Chicago, Illinois at Dearborn and Polk street. A large book fair attended by more than 100,000 book lovers

6.       American Library Association Annual Conference June 23-28, 2011, New Orleans, LA, some 2,000 seminars and events plus a huge trade show.

7.       International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) July 10-13, 2011, Atlanta, GA Considered the best show for Christian authors according to Sara Bolme author of Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace

8.       Harlem Book Festival, July 23, 2011, West 135th Street, NYC

9.       The Atlanta Black Book Expo, August 6, 2011 at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park, GA.

10.   Decatur Book Festival, Sept. 2-5, 2011, Decatur, GA,  largest independent book festival in the country. Since its launch, more than 600 authors and 190,000 attendees have attended this event in downtown Decatur.

11.   Fall For the Book Festival, Sept. 18-23, 2011, George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus, Fairfax, VA., sponsored by George Mason University, Fairfax County Public Library and Barnes & Noble. Attended by more than 150 authors.

12.   Baltimore Book Festival, Sept. 23-25, 2011, attracts more than 100 authors.

13.   Sonoma County Book Festival, September 24, 2011, Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa, CA. attended by thousands of book lovers.

14.   West Hollywood Book Fair, October 1, 2011, at West Hollywood Park, more than 180 exhibitors expected.

15.   Frankfurt Book Fair, October 12-16, 2011 in Frankfort, Germany. Considered the biggest book show in the world.

16.   Southern Festival of Books: A Celebration of the Written Word October 14-16, 2011, War Memorial Plaza, Nashville, TN, attracts more than 200 authors from throughout the U.S.

17.   Texas Book Fair, October 22-23, 2011, State Capitol Building, Austin, TX, established in 1995 by First Lady Laura Bush, a former librarian, more than 45,000 attend.

18.   Kentucky Book Fair, Saturday, November 12, 2011, Frankfort Convention Center, attended by up to 5,000 people including 150 authors

The bottom line: Make it a priority to visit a book fair in the coming weeks and months. You’ll be glad you did!

Book publicist Scott Lorenz is President of Westwind Communications, a public relations and marketing firm that has a special knack for working with authors to help them get all the publicity they deserve and more. Lorenz works with bestselling authors and self-published authors promoting all types of books, whether it’s their first book or their 15th book. He’s handled publicity for books by CEOs, CIA Officers, Navy SEALS, Homemakers, Fitness Gurus, Doctors, Lawyers and Adventurers. His clients have been featured by Good Morning America, FOX & Friends, CNN, ABC News, New York Times, Nightline, TIME, PBS, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post, Woman’s World, & Howard Stern to name a few. Learn more about Westwind Communications’ book marketing approach at or contact Lorenz at or by phone at 734-667-2090. Follow Lorenz on Twitter @aBookPublicist