Last year's fair generated only $110,000. This time it was $145,000, one of the highest in the 32 years of the event.
A lot of work went into the book fair. It's primarily a volunteer effort with only a couple of folks on the payroll -- the manager and bookkeeper. It's a labor of love for everyone involved.
There are a lot of folks who donate time, expertise and effort into making this Kentucky's, and one of the nation's, top book fairs. And it helps to have authors such as Sue Grafton, Rick Pitino, Ann Ross, Eleanor Clift, Rick Pitino (coach and author) as well as the other talented writers, illustrators and photographers who provide the books that people want to have signed, and I hope, to read.
I always enjoy the book fair. As an author, it's great being around other authors and meeting readers (more than 4,000 in attendance, but not all to see me). As a volunteer, I love giving back to my community and state. And I like the idea that what I'm doing is helping public libraries and literacy programs across Kentucky. The ripple effect is simply amazing with all the lives that are touched.
If you love to read and write, I urge you to get involved in community and state programs that promote literacy. Perhaps work to organize a book fair -- local, state or regional -- where you live. And go to your local library and set up author readings and discussion groups. We have an excellent library where I live -- Paul Sawyier Public Library.
Now that the Kentucky Book Fair is over for another year, I'll turn my attention to writing. I have several ideas swirling about in my head that I hope to develop.
Until the next time...