When and where does the Texas Book Festival take place?
The 2023 Texas Book Festival will take place on November 11-12 in downtown Austin, Texas. The annual fall festival includes literary programming (featuring books/authors across genres and age groups), book sales, author signing, exhibitors’ tents and more. The 2023 Festival footprint will include the Texas State Capitol, nearby churches / cathedrals, tents outside the Capitol grounds and other centrally-located venues.
Will the Festival take place virtually, or in-person?
The Festival will take place in-person. Virtual-only sessions are not planned, though select sessions may be recorded and/or live-streamed. We will be in touch with confirmed authors throughout the summer and early fall with further details regarding session recordings and/or broadcasts.
How big is the Festival?
The Texas Book Festival, now in its 28th year, routinely programs nearly 200 sessions throughout the Festival Weekend, with 250–300 featured authors across all age groups; 175+ moderators, hosts, emcees, and presenters; dozens of exhibitors and food vendors; and nearly 1,000 volunteers. The 2022 Festival attracted approximately 40,000 attendees.
How large are the programming venues?
Typical programming venues range from 100 to 225 seats with additional capacity for standing room. Larger venues range from 300–800 seats.
What are the Festival sessions’ formats?
Apart from 30-minute picture-book story times in the Read Me a Story Tent and some 45-minute cookbook recipe demonstrations in the Cooking Tent, sessions during Festival Weekend are in-conversation, and most often limited to 45 minutes.
Most sessions are panel conversations comprised of 2–3 featured authors + a moderator, though a select few sessions feature a single author + a moderator. The final 10–15 minutes of most 45-minute sessions are generally reserved for audience Q&A. Immediately following their sessions, most authors will sign books in one of our Book Signing Tents.
While some featured authors appear in more than one session during the Festival Weekend, most appear in a single session. In the invited-author confirmation form, there’s a field to indicate your availability during the weekend (Saturday only, Sunday only, both days). We remain in touch with authors and publishers throughout the summer regarding session placement and availability.
How much does it cost for the public to attend the Festival?
Apart from a few ticketed sessions, the Festival is free and open to the public. The number of ticketed sessions varies from year-to-year, but we typically host 3–5 ticketed events and ticket sales are open to all.
What about book sales?
All confirmed authors’ featured titles (as well as select backlist) will be available for purchase in our BookPeople Main Sales Tent or BookPeople Children’s Book Sales Tent, each located in the center of the Festival footprint. BookPeople, Texas’s largest independent bookseller, is the Festival’s official partner bookseller. BookPeople handles all ordering, stocking, fulfillment, and selling.
Additionally, when the full lineup is released on our website (texasbookfestival.org) in the late summer, all author profiles will link to a purchase page on BookPeople.com.
If your book’s publication date falls after Festival Weekend (Nov. 11-12), and if an early-sales discussion has been had, the title will be available for purchase only in the BookPeople Sales Tents during Festival Weekend, as well as for pre-order on BookPeople’s website.
Depending on the venue, select sessions have options for on-site book sales as well.
What about book signings?
Typically, signings take place in the TBF Book Signing Tent and in the Children’s Book Signing Tent, both of which are centrally located within the Festival footprint. Signing sessions are scheduled to take place immediately after an author’s appearance in any given programming session.
Depending on the venue, select sessions have options for on-site signing sessions.
Does the Festival book flights and hotels for confirmed authors?
No. However, we work with a partner that arranges discounted hotel rooms in central Austin. We also offer complimentary ground transportation to/from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, courtesy of our dedicated team of longtime volunteer drivers. CLICK HERE to view discounted lodging availability – provided by Quintrooms – and stay tuned for author transportation sign-up.
What community and networking opportunities are available during Festival Weekend?
We’ll be in touch with all confirmed authors about RSVPing for private events as Festival Weekend approaches, but will include the following:
- Author Kickoff Party. This event will take place on the evening of Friday, November 10 from 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. This party is open to confirmed Festival authors, moderators, and select members of the local literary community and will take place at a downtown Austin venue.
- Author Cocktail Party. This event will take place Saturday, November 11, from 6:00 -8:00 p.m. and is open only to confirmed Festival authors, moderators, and invited members of the Texas literary community.
- Lit Crawl Austin. This public event will take place on Saturday, November 11. Beginning around 7:00 p.m and ending at about 10:00 pm, Lit Craw is a literary-focused bar crawl that will take place across a series of downtown venues. Each venue will feature a different fun session / literary-themed game. Stay tuned for details come early fall.
- Author Greenroom / Lounge. The Author Greenroom is open between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. the Saturday and Sunday of Festival Weekend. This space serves as a home-base for featured authors to relax, prepare, or grab coffee / a bite to eat before, between and after sessions. This is also where authors and moderators will convene prior to their featured session. Upon checking in with a TBF volunteer, an escort will guide authors/moderators to their designated venue. The Greenroom is centrally located on the Festival footprint and its precise location will be shared with authors in the months leading up to the Festival.
- Author Breakfast. Saturday morning, beginning at 8:30 a.m. or 9:00 a.m, we’ll host a casual buffet-style breakfast at a downtown venue. Open to authors, moderators, and select Festival friends, the Author Breakfast is an opportunity to mingle with fellow writers and members of the Austin and Texas literary community. Stay tuned for details.
What are some important dates to keep in mind?
- Midsummer: TBF will release a “sneak peek” of 12–15 featured Festival authors.
- September 13: TBF will release the full Festival lineup.
- Early/mid October. TBF will releases the full schedule and program.
What is the Texas Book Festival?
The Texas Book Festival, a 501-c3 nonprofit, connects authors and readers through experiences that celebrate the culture of literacy, ideas, and imagination. Founded in 1995 by Lara Bush, our mission is to honor diverse authors, promote the joys of reading and support the state’s public libraries. The first Festival took place in November 1996 and is now one of the nation’s premier annual literary events. While remaining an important showcase for Texas authors, the Texas Book Festival hosts writers from all over the world.
TBF also runs impactful literary and literacy programs throughout the year and across the state. Since its founding, TBF has donated more than $3 million to Texas public libraries and donated more than 150,000 books to students in Title I schools through our Reading Rock Stars and Real Reads programs.
What if my question wasn’t answered here?
If you have additional questions, please contact our Literary Director, Hannah Gabel, at firstname.lastname@example.org