The day began with an author's breakfast. The theme Promoting Yourself as a Writer afforded those of us just getting started pertinent advice on marketing ourselves and our books.
Our first speaker was Randy Richardson, President of Chicago Writers' Association. He gave us twenty promotional tips for writers, things which included joining a writers group, joining literary organizations, blogging, and creating a website, just to name a few.
Our second speaker was Joanna MacKenzie, a literary agent from Browne & Miller Literary Associates, LLC. She gave us ten tips on query letters. She also spoke to us about what agents look for from potential clients.
When the breakfast was finished, we walked into Glen Ellyn. I found it to be a lovely village. We found The Bookstore, a wonderful independent bookstore on Main Street. I plan to contact them regarding a book signing this fall.
There was a tent set up between the main street of the village and the library where authors were selling books and speaking with patrons. I purchased a book titled Unhinged for my daughter written by Sierra Kay. I was also fortunate enough to win two books--Birthright by Sue Mydliak and Halo of the Damned by Dina Rae. There were other familiar faces there--John Desjarlais author of Viper, David J. Walker author of The Towman's Daughter, and D. M. Pirrone author of No Less in Blood.
My friends and I also attended the Ladies' Luncheon. There were to be four speakers, however, Hannah Pittard (The Fates Will Find Their Way) was unable to attend. Sarah McCoy's (The Baker's Daughter) flight was canceled due to whether, but she came to us via Skype. The two who were present were Libby Fischer Hellmann (The Bitter Veil) and Charlene Ann Baumbich (Finding Our Way Home). It was interesting to hear how they came up with the concepts for their books and what continues to inspire them to write. I found them encouraging and was ready to go home and tackle my own work.
Next was a Pitchfest sponsored by Author! Author! It was different than I expected. The authors had thirty to sixty seconds to pitch their books in front of an audience. Author! Author! representatives gave each author a critique of their presentation and advice on improvements.
Our keynote speaker was David Finch, author of The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome and One Man’s Quest to be a Better Husband. Quite a title isn’t it? I found him engaging and humorous. I admire his courage in speaking in front of an audience since one of the symptoms of Asperger Syndrome is a lack of socialization skills.
Overall, my friends and I found this to be a very productive and informative day. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Glen Ellyn Bookfest and I would encourage my fellow local authors to become involved in future Bookfests.