Back From L.A. Times Book Festival

If possible, every author should try to go to the L.A. Times Book Festival. It's eye and mind boggling. Thousand and thousands of people attend. Is it worth it as far as welling your own books? No, because there's far too much competition from all the big name authors like Mary Higgins Clark and her daughter. (They also appeared on stage and if you had gotten a free ticket ahead of time you could of seen them being interviewed--same with many other celebrities who have written books.)

I've been three times and I've decided this was my last. Not because of low book sales because I did fine in the Sisters in Crime booth, but I'm too old to be walking about a mile from the parking garage pulling a load of books in a carrier down hill to get to the venue and up hill to get back to the parking garage at the end of the day. (Plus it's scary driving around in L.A.)

Just being on the UCLA campus is wonderful. The buildings are old and beautiful. Seeing the sea of thousands of white tents side-by-side as you come onto what is usually a grassy and cement open-area is mind-boggling.

Every kind of book you can imagine is available from authors, publishers, bookstores, special interest groups (political, health areas, product sellers), and religions of all kinds.

I had a one-hour signing experience on Saturday and Sunday in a co-op booth where I'd paid for the time. The booth wasn't in the most advantageous spot--nor was it in the worst places. I only sold one book each day there. However, I did talk to many people and hubby handed out lots of cards.

The L.A. Chapter of Sisters in Crime was far better. I had a two hour signing slot there on Sunday. I joined that chapter for a couple of reasons: one, so I could sign in their booth and to keep in touch with what their members were doing in So. Cal.
Six authors signed at a time and I knew a couple of them and believe I sold as many books as most of them did. Hubby acted as a shill, handing out my cards to passers-by and talking about my books and I must say, some folks came and bought a book because of his efforts.

We stayed in a crummy motel (good chain) in a not so great part of town, but only about seven minutes from UCLA. Took much longer to walk from the parking garage to the festival than the drive. Friday evening we walked around the corner to an Arabian cafe, food was good. What was interesting was several people were smoking hookahs (water pipes)inside the place. Never saw that before.

The next night we risked our lives cross Santa Monica Blvd. to go to a Japanese Restaurant. (The crossing sign was way too short and we had to run.) The restaurant was a tiny hole in the wall with wonderful food.

Except for the fact there are scary drivers on the road, our three and a half drive to and fro was uneventful.

If you ever want to do this, you need to make arrangements with a bookstore or organization this is going to have a booth as it's the only way you'll be able to sell books.



fast times, rude drivers, street light walk signs that should say run for your life rather than walk, traffic, traffic and more traffic, unfortunately, it's all L.A. Sometimes, I have to wonder why people really want to live here.
Despite all that I had a good time. Hubby and I laughed a lot. Things have changed a lot since I left L.A. in 1951. Smile.

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