Hello! WOW - what a festival! You all helped make it AMAZING! I'm going to keep this short and sweet because Cardyn and I are still recovering, but I wanted to get these things out to you so you'd have an update before the weekend.
Below is a link to the feedback form. It's long. You can just fill out the parts you want, but as we are still new to the book fest game, your answers will help shape the future. Maybe take the survey when you have about 20 minutes free to do so.
If you are interested in being among the first to be notified before we go live with 2025 registration please fill out the interest form. We expect to be accepting registration in the spring of 2024.
Having 100+ participating authors this year who are mostly self-pubbed, indie or through Amazon combined with the complicated ordering criteria for Barnes & Noble and independent bookstores like Curmudgeon Books when stocking books that aren’t from the big major publishers created a bit of an administrative bottleneck. Sincerest apologies for underestimating how much more time was needed to make this element of TWWBF go smoothly.
The good news is that B & N and Curmudgeon Books still plan to create displays of books by TWWBF authors and to keep them up later into the winter holiday shopping season. B & N’s is currently a work in progress using books by TWWBF authors that were already in-stock to get started.
Is my book in the store?
Here's how to check for B & N:
Go to barnesandnoble.com, search for your book by title or author, then under "Pick Up In Store" click the "Check Availability at Nearby Stores" and change the distance to 5mi, enter 20715 zip code, which will yield the Bowie Town Center store as the only result. Green check marks next to "in stock in store" and "available for pick up in store" mean it's there; red check marks mean it's not.
A reminder that the store has complete control over this and their decision is final. Also, please be patient. This year's list of authors was significantly longer than previous years and has shown that we need a much longer lead time on ordering. On the plus side, books that make the bookstore criteria will be on display deeper into the winter holiday gift-buying season than in previous years.
And you can always encourage your fans to order books at the Bowie Town Center B & N in-person or online year-round, which still helps you as the author, the store and TWWBF.
Details are less defined right now for Curmudgeon Books, but here are the links for their store website and for bookshop.org:
IMAGES BELOW FROM THE B&N DISPLAY IN BOWIE
Hello Lovely TWWBF Community! I wanted to pause all of this frantic work to get everything in place to say thank you to all of you for your time and energy you've put into this event. We have at least doubled in growth since 2019 - and during two pandemic years! We pivoted! We twisted into pretzels! We figured it out as best we could under super weird circumstances!
As an event organizer I have two serious fears - that people will leave disappointed in the event, and that somebody will show up and say they registered for a table and I've never heard of them! I realize that last one is very unlikely, but it's kind of like the dream where you missed a test you didn't know about and now you won't graduate. SAME VIBE. But the first fear is a lot more realistic because we ARE STILL a newish event that is not genre-specific. I've done a lot of event research and it seems that two strong elements that help determine a sell-out event:
Each year we learn more and continue to evolve and improve. We still have big ideas for this event we plan to slowly implement. We're glad you're here to be a part of our history.
Please BE SURE to take photos, and videos, post on Instagram and Facebook and TikTok - talk about the event and show your tables off. Get photos for future posts to help market yourself at other events. This event will give you a lot of material for social media - which is important whether we like it or not!
That being said - we expect this new venue for Saturday's event to be great and keep us out of any weather and have plenty of parking. There's a bar for chatting after the event and meeting other authors if you like. There's going to be good energy surrounding this event, and we're so glad you're a part of it.
Thank you and all my best -
REGARDING BOOKSTORE & LIBRARY DISPLAYS
I'm sorry it's not easy to be brief with the bookstore info.
The library display is at the Hyattsville branch. Some people who have been with us for the past few years might recall that they had been at multiple branches previously and have an expectation of that. PGCMLS has changed it to the Hyattsville branch only, which is where they have their collection of local authors.
The bookstore displays at Barnes & Noble and Curmudgeon are in the works. First I want to just say that we appreciate that such big bookstores are willing to partner with us - they don't give us any money, and we don't give them any. This is just something I arranged because I know it feels really great to see your book in a book store. They are doing it to support our efforts and likewise for us.
The amount of authors this year has meant a lot more time spent on sorting and ordering. They expectation set from years past was that the display would be up and complete by the week of the fest, then come down right after. That was the days of 60 or fewer authors in participation. We now have - including virtual and legacy - about 130 authors. Naturally, it's taking longer for us, and for them to coordinate this larger effort. Also, apparently some of the printers for some of the publishers take longer than others by weeks.
Since the displays are somewhat delayed what they're going to do is leave them up after the festival for a bit. I don't have the exact amount of time yet, and I still don't have a list of who or what books they were able to acquire yet. As soon as they get me that info I will update all of you, but it may be after the book fest. THE UPSIDE is this is a perfect opportunity to push folks to the bookstores for buying yours and other author's books for the holiday season. If your book does not make it into the display due to it being print on demand indie or self pubbed with limited distribution, then we recommend following advice on platforms for publishing wide - like Wide for the Win on Facebook and Johanna Penn's podcast has a lot of advice. Draft2Digital is also helpful and has lots of videos and a blog, and when we do this again you should be all set.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14
Bowie Comfort Inn
++You DO need to bring your own books and products and way to sell them - we don't do any of the sales. WIFI IS AVAILABLE AND COMPLIMENTARY THROUGH THE HOTEL - THERE IS NO PASSWORD
++Lunch will be served at 1:30pm. We won't be breaking for lunch, it's an eat at your table sort of situation. Apparently the hotel has a place they set out the boxed lunches and you collect them - the ones for special dietary needs will have their names on them - so please pay attention and don't take one of the special lunches.
The digital program for Saturday is here:
Marietta House Museum
Sunday is broken up into two parts:
The luncheon and Workshops
***THERE IS NO TABLING/SELLING ON SUNDAY***
it's networking and lunch and workshops only.
The first part of the event presenters and participants who registered for the luncheon should arrive around 10:45am (no earlier than 10:30am) and check in at the info table.
Parking is on the premises and free.
Please fill out the form as to which workshops you'd like to take:
You'll collect your badge, learn where things are located and if you're teaching a workshop, you'll want to locate your room for when lunch is over because the schedule is tight. We plan to make the days a little longer in the future so we have more time between classes.
After the luncheon then you'll head straight to classrooms - and that's when other members of the public will also arrive who will be attending workshops, but did not sign up for the luncheon.
It is OK if we run a bit past 5pm. Don't get too stressed about that.
Carli & Co - Carliss Maddox
Cheryl W. Brooks
Jacy Sellers & Nicole D’Archangelo
Katie Egan Schenck
Rachelle Jones Smith
Maria Secoy AWW
Quill and Co.
Mary Tilghman/MRW Authors
Patti & EC P&P
Terri Johnson BSZ
Talitha C. Davis
E. R. Griffin
J. Ember Hintz
Katherine Gibson Newcomer
Lorie-Ann Brown, M.S., LCPC
Ciara L. Hill
Mary E. Jung
Dr. Monica Hawkins
Stephanie K Clemens
D. D. Hopkins
Michelle M. Brown
FOR VIRTUAL AUTHORS ONLY
If you would like to provide swag for the event you can mail it to:
The Write Women Network
324 Main St.
PO Box 1652
Laurel, MD 20707
We will put your swag at the INFO BOOTH during the Saturday event. Left over swag may be used for giveaways. We cannot return leftover swag.
Please note, it's hard to give everybody an update as to if I got their swag or not. I will post updates here on this blog entry as the list updates. I may not post the day I get your swag, but I will post evry four or five days if swag keeps arriving.
One of the things we would like to do to help promote the event is to suggest people who already may own one of your books to come get it signed. If for some reason this is disagreeable to you, please let us know as soon as possible as we will be starting that campaign soon.
Below is a list of who has filled out the bookstore participation form.
THE DEADLINE FOR THIS HAS PASSED!
LIST UPDATED 9/12/23 9:45pm
C. L. Holliday-Firmin
Cardyn Brooks & C. X Brooks
Carrie S. Boone
Cheryl Woodruff Brooks
Ciara L. Hill
Dr. Monica Hawkins
Dr. Taiye Ayoola Adedeji
J.Ember Hintz / Jessica Hintz
Jacqueline P. Walker
Jacy Sellers and Nicole D'Arcangelo
Katherine G Newcomer
Katie Eagan Schenck
Khushi T. Saha
Latrell R. Morris
LJ Smith /LaFrieda Smith
Mary E Jung
N. D. Jones
Stephanie K. Clemens
L. E. DeLano
Mary K. Tilghman
D D Hopkins/Diana Owens
UPDATE! I did skip some lines and I appreciate nobody taking it personally. I've added the ones I missed and did a double cross check by hand with a highlighter. I'm human, we're a small crew of just a couple of people and we've grown a lot. We will make mistakes. I hope that the double-checking is comforting and affirming to you that we are doing our best to make sure you have an amazing experience. BELOW IS THE UPDATED TABLE LISTING. In the near future there will be listing adding a column for those who have paid for space for an assistant and chair counts. Maybe next week.
Hello All! This post is related to SATURDAY 10/14 the author tabling & reader event in Bowie at the Comfort Inn.
Below is what I have organized for FULL tables and HALF tables. At this point all I am doing is counting table capacity to prepare for the floorplan. I don't bother to work on the floorplan until all of this is finalized because it changes too much otherwise which is wasted hours.
The GENRE note is really just so I can organize the tables and keep like genres with like as much as possible. It's not an official listing of your genre, it won't be listed anywhere in this manner - the genres came from me reading your bios and if I couldn't tell your genre from your bio I went to your website. If I've listed your genre as women's fiction and you consider yourself fantasy or hot romance or non-fic - please let me know that. Or if it's way off in some way. Otherwise, it's just to try and make sure your neighbor is a similar genre where possible.
IF YOUR NAME IS NOT ON THIS LIST FOR A TABLE FOR SATURDAY AND YOU PAID YOUR INVOICE DO NOT DISPAIR - I probably just made a mistake. It's a lot of names and lines. We're a small crew. That's why I do these double-checks. Please let me know ASAP if you're supposed to be on this table list or I have you down for the wrong kind of space.
After the deadline closes on 8/15 I will be putting up the final listings on the website.
REGARDING SUNDAY'S AUTHOR-FOCUSED EVENT
There has been a little confusion - Sunday is not a tabling event. You come for a luncheon, networking, and seminars - it's for authors, not readers. Those who signed up to do presentations - as soon as we have closed registration on 8/15 I will get to work on the presentation schedule and luncheon info. Thank you!
In order to ensure we make the most ticket sales possible it's vital you post about the event and tell friends, family - even those who don't read your genre, about the event and ask them to consider supporting the event. Many genres will be present and there is likely to be something there for them, or somebody they want to buy a gift for.
Below are some images you can save and share. Some have a blank space for you to drop your own image into the graphic.
If you've been a past participant of TWWBF then you know we love swag. It's little prezzies to remind people who you are and what you've got to offer. We are doing a little re-vamp of how we handle swag this year. In the past we collected all of it via mail, took it took the facility, and pre-stuffed the bags the weeks before the event. For our first few years it was perfect and not too hard, but with the way we've grown it's become a very heavy lift, so we're gonna switch up to having authors and vendors keep their swag at the table, and do a game of getting people to go to your table and get your swag from you. This isn't a new technique or unique - many festivals do this. We just were smaller and the other way worked pretty well at first. As always, we try to evolve and change as we grow to keep things scalable and sustainable. Even though we've grown we are still a very small team of three and this way I think will work better.
This is going to work better for us because we don't have to find volunteers, coordinate a weekend to do it, as well as store and sort everything, confirm swag as it comes, coordinate pickups etc.
It's going to work better for you because you won't have to pay shipping or otherwise find a way to get swag to us. Previously we needed a promised amount of swag, but this way you can provide less swag than 50 to 100 pieces. Plus, doing it this way with so many genres present, your swag will likely be collected by somebody who is into your genre.
When planning what swag to bring, keep table space in your mind, and how you're going to display it.
DO I HAVE TO BRING SWAG?
Absolutely not, but we think it's a good idea and make sure your info is on the swag. We have gotten beautiful bookmarks and other swag with no name on it for the attendees to look back on and find the author!
WHAT KIND OF SWAG SHOULD I BRING?
Bookmarks (flat printed, or mini magnetic), fridge magnets, candy, pens, stickers, pencils
Popular & Fun
Buttons with graphics or words, keychains, can koozies, free story downloads, little booklets with mini stories or the first chapter of one of your books - this is great for pushing a specific book!
Other Unique Swag We've Seen
Cellphone stands, fancy bookmarks (gem encrusted, ribbons with charms, etc.), cute coin purses, hot cocoa kits, tea kits, charms, favor sized soap with custom stickers, travel candles, lip gloss, chokers, necklaces, small character posters, character cards, mini-tools
It's great to go to Etsy and check out all the unique wedding favors - many could translate into book swag.