Whither the Book Festival?

It seems that the Alabama Humanities Alliance has deep-sixed the Alabama Book Festival for the foreseeable future. I exchanged some messages with a couple of their reps online, who told me they're not having one this year, and probably not next year either.

I asked whether it was the lingering effects of the pandemic, or a downturn in the market, or just a changing priority for the organization, and I got somewhat muddled answers. They shut down in 2020 as a response to covid, and that combined with fundraising difficulties and changes in the organization have taken the wind out of their sails.

I've only exhibited at one actual book festival, which was the one in Decatur (Georgia) in 2019. I made some sales and had an interesting time, but it was way too expensive for me as a bootstrapper. I did about as well at a couple of free small-town affairs last year, even though they weren't book festivals and I was the only author there.

I think it's sad how many book festivals shut down or went "virtual" because organizers decided to let the pandemic panic pornographers take the lead.

Maybe people are reading less these days. Well, more tweets and posts, fewer books. Maybe the book publishing industry has gone woke/broke and sloughed off legions of readers and writers. I don't know. But I'm looking for some revivals.

Let me know if you think of any.


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