Sunday, November 15, 2015

2015 Kentucky Book Fair (Part Two)

I survived the 34th annual Kentucky Book Fair. 

I sold some books, made some new friends, saw some old friends, learned a few things, and made a several connections during the course of the day.

My table mates were William Heath, a retired professor of American Literature from Frederick, Md., and Ron Gambrell, a public school teacher and contractor from Louisville. 

Heath, a novelist and historian, had a very good day as he sold out of his "William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest." Gambrell also sold quite a few copies of his young adult novel, "Grayson Springs." My latest novel, "Old Ways and New Days," was my best seller.

Frankfort Convention Center
There were more than 200 authors and illustrators participating in this year's fair. And more than 2,600 people showed up to buy books ($116,000 worth) and attend panel discussions and symposiums.

The top non-fiction seller was "Postcards from Historic Frankfort" by Russ Hatter and Gene Burch. Sharyn McCrumb headed the fiction list with "Nora Bonesteel's Christmas Past." The overall sales leader was photographer James Archambeault with his 2016 Kentucky Calendar.

Besides chatting with Heath and Gambrell during the day, it was nice talking to Cheryl Della Pietra ("Gonzo Girl") and Jason Mott ("The Wonder of All Things"), during a drive to and from Blue Grass Airport in Lexington. Among the friends I hadn't seen in a while were Lowell H. Press ("The Kingdom of the Sun and Moon"), Ed Ford ("The Plot") and Sharon Reynolds ("Walking Air").

Robyn Peterman and Tonya Kappes
I attended a lively Kentucky Book Fair Kick-Off event at the Paul Sawyier Public Library on Thursday evening featuring Robyn Peterman and Tonya Kappes. Besides talking about their bestselling novels, they stressed to aspiring authors they would be where they're at now without the help of folks along the way and that they try to pay it forward. 

I also had some folks come to my table and ask if I would be available to talk to their book clubs. Of course! And that goes to others out there. With today's technology, practically anything is possible. So keep that in mind if you want to work out something with authors in your reading groups. 

Bill Goodman, one of this year's KBF authors and a newsman at Kentucky Educational Television, conducted Skype interviews with Della Pietra and John Temple in the days leading up to the book fair.  That's also something authors should consider in promoting their books.

Now to take a few days off and get some needed rest.

Until the next time...


  1. Wow ,,that feel so good to share our work and where we may spend quality time with like minded people. A good place for sharing and learning. I hope you may enjoy your time. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Kiran. A book fair is generally a good place to share time with like-minded people -- writers and readers. I hope you are doing well. I look forward to seeing your photographs of your beautiful country.

  2. Many thanks for mentioning my book, William Wells and the Struggle for the Old Northwest, Michael. It was a pleasure to share a table with you and I hope we meet again. Best wishes, Bill

    1. Likewise, Bill. I hope you had a safe journey home. I wish you success with your books and that we meet again. Take care, Michael