Literary festivals have long been considered a bastion of in-person connection for fans, authors, and publishing houses, but what do they look like in the new virtual world of COVID? The largest book festival in the world, the Edinburgh Book Festival, wrapped up their digital event at the end of August with the intent to “Keep the Conversation Going.” Implementing their first-ever virtual event, the festival drew in hundreds of thousands of viewers in the midst of the global pandemic.
With so many choosing to listen to books instead of reading the physical copies, it is no doubt the publishing industry has needed to change with the evolving demands of technology and fast-paced culture.
Whatever changes, we know from history that technology will play a large part. Spending the time to learn new technology will allow publishers to work smarter instead of harder.
My “2019” shelf sat, neatly and chronologically ordered for me to peruse. Month by month, the books I had slogged through and the books that shone brilliantly awakened in my memory, but something else happened too. I began to remember other parts of my life in those months.
We must rethink our concepts of what is digital, what is physical, and what the grayness in between looks like.
Although digital readings are great opportunities for publicity, it can be daunting when a digital event is one of the only events that will occur, as was the case for many events for debut authors in early 2020. With all of that pressure, how can publishers get their authors ready for these events? What is the best way for an author to prepare for an online reading?