FAQ for Authors and Presenters
1. What are the days/times of the festival?
Friday, October 22nd and Saturday, October 23rd, 2021 from 10am-6pm.
2. What is the Louisville Book Festival?
The Louisville Book Festival is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization founded in 2018 to celebrate and promote the love and the benefits of reading, writing, and literacy. We believe that literacy is a fundamental human right and that there is power and purpose in bringing books to life every day of the year. We celebrate books and use them to highlight and grow the resilient culture of our vibrant city, as well as to encourage and elevate our creative thinking as a community.
3. Why is the Louisville Book Festival going virtual this year?
To ensure the safety of our community and all festival participants, we made the difficult decision to move our event online. Because of the impact of the Coronavirus, having a large event is not a safe decision for many reasons. We are confident that our festival will still be a success, and we are excited to bring our community together in person for our 2022 festival next year. Our hope is to build a relationship with you so you will want to come meet us in person and come back year after year!
4. How can a virtual book festival still be successful?
While a virtual event doesn’t seem as exciting as an in-person event, many organizations have had to move to an online format over the past year or more. To ensure a virtual book festival is successful, marketing is key. You each have your own fan base. Please make sure they know what you are up to and where to find you. Heavily advertise your involvement with the Louisville Book Festival throughout the coming weeks. We will also be marketing heavily in our community and on social media.
Last year close to 1,000 people registered to attend our event including people from a couple other countries. We expect that number to grow this year.
Our virtual festival will be structured in the same format as we planned for our live event. Authors will still be able to visit and chat with attendees, and presenters will still have an audience for their session(s). We are confident the Louisville Book Festival will be a success and vital for our participating authors, as well as for our community.
New fans are waiting to meet you.
5. What kind of community involvement do you have?
We are so excited to be partnering with organizations throughout Louisville. Through a partnership with Jefferson County Public Schools, we will have students, teachers, and parents in attendance during the festival. We are also partnered with the University of Louisville Creative Writing program and Carmichael’s, Louisville’s oldest independent bookstore. The Louisville Free Public Library has been an incredible collaborator. They have personally coordinated story time events throughout the duration of the festival which will be held live on social media platforms.
6. Who will be in attendance at the event?
The event is free and open to the public! Anyone, from anywhere, is welcome to attend. The amount of variety we have in authors and presentations will ensure a diverse crowd of book lovers in attendance.
7. Will there be prizes and giveaways to entice people to visit authors?
This is a great idea for authors to drive more traffic to their room, if you are able to do so. If this is something you are interested in, advertise this on your personal social media and website as soon as you can. During the event, you can hold the actual giveaway to those in attendance. If you choose, you can have attendees enter by email or anything fun you would love to incorporate. The LBF will also be holding multiple giveaways over the course of the entire event.
8. What is the difference between an Author and a Presenter?
An author attends the festival to meet new fans as well as some who may already be familiar with you. This is a great way to spread the word about what you do on a free platform filled with book lovers. A presenter may not be an author. A presenter may be someone in the industry who has volunteered to discuss anything from marketing a book to creative writing to how to hold your own book club. Most authors will also be presenters, but authors do not have to present in order to par
9. As an author, what will my day look like? Do I need to prepare anything special?
All participants, both authors and presenters, will need to create a Zoom account in order to log onto the event and be placed into a breakout room. Authors are not expected to plan anything in particular for the event since they are not doing a presentation. They will simply be chatting with attendees who visit their breakout room and promoting their book(s).
However, to keep conversations flowing, authors are encouraged to have some conversation starters or questions handy. Example: Share the “ah-ha” moment that inspired you to write your current book. Why do you feel books are more important than ever during a global pandemic? And so on… People also love to hear why you wrote a book, why you decided to become an author, and what that journey has been like.
When authors enter the author room everyone will be together, and you can chat and even share ideas, tips, and information with each other. Fans will also enter the room and may ask to speak specifically with an author. At that time, the moderator will allow for you and the fan to enter a breakout room together. This is where you will really have the opportunity to build a new fan base. It will be just like meeting people in person at a table during a live event.
Pro Tip: Since people are viewing you from your office or home, take the steps needed to ensure good lighting, reduce clutter in the background, turn off social media and reduce all noise, including putting your phone on silent. Show viewers how amazing and professional you are to help build your fan base! New fans will share your work with others as well.
10. As a presenter, what will my day look like? How long will I have to present?
You will receive a festival schedule that will give your exact day and time to present. As a presenter, you are only required to log on during your actual presentation time rather than the entire festival. You will need to make a Zoom account prior to the event. We will send you a Zoom link and you will be able to enter the room early to talk with the moderator.
If you have questions, please direct all questions to LBF staff before this day. The actual two days of the festival are very hectic and while you may be able to see the monitor, they may not be able to answer questions at that moment as we have to admit people to the room among other things to ensure that you have a successful presentation.
While your presentation won’t be in person, we still want it to feel as impactful as possible. If you would normally incorporate visual aids or videos throughout your presentation, please still do so. See our tech questions below if you are unsure of how to do that on Zoom.
Audience interaction is encouraged but not required; however, if you want to have attendees participate during your presentation, please be sure to prepare questions and/or activities for them. You will have one hour to present. This will include any Q&As, introductions, or activities. You do not need to send us your full presentation before the festival but, we would love to see a brief description of what you will be covering.
PLEASE REMEMBER CHILDREN MAY BE IN ATTENDANCE DURING YOUR PRESENTATION. Please keep your presentation PG.
11. How will I sell my books at the festival?
We are partnered with Carmichael’s, Louisville’s oldest independent bookstore, as our official bookseller for the event. Most books will be ordered by Carmichael’s through a publishing distributor.
If your book cannot be ordered through a publishing distributor: please mail your books to Carmichael’s at the address below with ATTN: LOUISVILLE BOOK FESTIVAL on the mailing envelope or box. If your books cannot be ordered through a distributor, your book will be listed on consignment for the duration of the festival with our official bookseller. Carmichael’s consignment fee is 40%.
We recommend sending ten books unless you will have a lot of fans in attendance who may be interested in supporting you while at the festival by buying more books. We do not recommend sending more than ten books to Carmichael’s unless you believe you will sell many more than that.
Please mail in your books as soon as possible, but no later than October 10th.
Only indie or self-published authors who don’t have a distributor will need to mail their books, along with a completed consignment form, directly to Carmichael’s at the following address:
2720 Frankfort Ave.
Louisville, KY 40206
A Carmichael’s Consignment form is included in this email.
12. What should I do if I can’t stay logged on for the entire event?
We understand that some authors are not crazy about being present for the entire event, however we ask that you remember that a virtual event attempts to mimic a live event as closely as possible. While you will be permitted breaks throughout the festival, authors are required to stay logged on for the duration of the event. If you are participating as an author and have a major conflict that will prohibit you from attending the entire festival, please email email@example.com ASAP. If you are just participating as a presenter, you are only required to stay logged on for your presentation, although we would love for you to
attend the rest of the event as much as you are able.
13. If I am an author, what should I do if I need to take a small break during the event?
We will not monitor your breaks and you can break as needed. We advise that if you need to take a small break, to share your screen with a statement indicating the specific time you will be back so people can find you. This way, if someone visits your room, and you are not there, they know exactly what time they can revisit your breakout room.
14. What security measures will be taken to ensure there are no “ZoomBombers”?
We want to take all of the steps necessary to make the festival as secure as possible. There will be a registration process for attendees to come to the event, so we don’t have random people logging on. Those who have registered will be screened in a waiting room on Zoom the moment they log on. If they aren’t in our system as having registered, they will not be admitted into the event.
For those participating as authors, presenters, or volunteers, you will receive the link to the Zoom event as closely to the festival start date as possible for security reasons. Throughout the festival, LBF team members and volunteers will be monitoring and visiting each breakout room. If there is any issue, these individuals will alert our host who will kick people out of the event.
15. How do I share a slideshow, video, or image on Zoom?
You can share your screen on Zoom. We will make you a cohost so you have the ability to share a presentation if you like. You can choose to share your entire desktop, so audiences can see your dashboard and tabs. Or you can just share the slideshow, so audiences only see that rather than your entire desktop.
Learn more here.
16. Will someone be introducing me before my presentation begins?
Yes, we have wonderful volunteers and LBF team members who will introduce all of our presenters to audience members. If you are not happy with the bio you sent when you applied, or if you would like to submit an updated bio, please send it as soon as possible to firstname.lastname@example.org before October 1st, 2021.
17. Will there be a facilitator on hand to keep the audience engaged? Is there a way I can capture my attendees’ names or have them sign up for something or mine to get on my email list?
There will not be a facilitator on hand to keep audience members engaged. Instead, we encourage presenters to implement audience interaction throughout their presentations, and we highly encourage authors to have some conversation starters or pieces of their work they’d like to discuss.
Please encourage those who visit your breakout room or attend your presentation session to follow you on social media or sign up for your mailing list. Because we have so many different breakout rooms going on at once, we will not be able to keep tabs on who visits which room and who wants to be added to an author’s mailing list.
We hope that all of our festival participants will be able to build long-lasting relationships with those who visit with them at the event.
Please invite your friends to like the LBF Facebook page for updates.
18. How will we be utilizing Facebook Live during the event?
We plan to promote this event on Facebook and/ or on Instagram Live for more personalized interaction. You may also be asked to do a short reading from your work.
19. Can I promote my involvement with the LBF on social media?
Absolutely. We require that you promote your involvement on social media and on your website. The festival will do a great deal to promote you, but we also need your help to make your participation successful. You have your own fans- make sure they know where to find you. Our hope is to increase the size of that fan club. You are welcome to share as much as you would like on your own social media.
20. How much marketing am I responsible for? Will LBF be providing me with copy-n-paste social media updates and images to share?
We have a post lined up for each specific author and presenter that shares a little bit about them and their involvement with the festival. Festival participants are welcome to share these posts or utilize these graphics on their own social media channels.
We have included festival logos in our email, so you can make your own posts.
21. Will I be able to attend other participants’ presentations or speak to other authors?
If you are simply participating as a presenter and not an author, please DO support the authors in attendance and the festival by engaging with as many authors as you are able. If you are participating as an author, please email your schedule to email@example.com before October 15th so we can list the schedule of times you will be present on the official festival schedule. This will prevent attendees from becoming frustrated that you are not available when they visit.
22. Are there any opportunities to pay to boost or further advertise my involvement in the Festival?
Yes, and we will send further communication about this soon.
Bottom Line: We are putting in a lot of effort to make this work for our authors. We want you to have a platform to interact and we want you to come back. There was an option to cancel the festival altogether this year, but we feel authors, more than ever, really need opportunities to interact with the public and the public needs opportunities to do things that stimulate their creative mind. Let’s make this event a success so fans will come to meet you in person in 2022!