Selection of children's books

Orange County Children’s Book Festival Coming Up in September

SDWEG member Diana Diehl shares the following information for other children’s book authors.

The Orange County Children’s Book Festival is the largest one-day festival for children’s books in the country. Approximately 20,000 people attend. There are many ways to participate. The info below is based on Diana’s goal to promote her children’s book in the exhibitor’s area. She collected this from the website and from email with festival organizers. More specifics are on the site; links are below.

  • The 2018 festival is Sunday, September 30, at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, CA.
  • Exhibitor spaces are still available as of 4/27, but the organizers predict they will all be claimed by June at the latest; they are on a first come-first served basis.
  • Authors may choose booths and tables to exhibit. A standard booth (10×10) is $495; larger booths are more. Choice is a matter of budget.
  • The most economical option is a table in the Authors Corner. This costs $150 for the whole day (half-days are available, too).
  • Authors Corner booths are arranged by genre close to a stage with the same interests; each Author’s corner booth contains several authors.
  • Each author in Authors Corner has their own 6-ft. table with a banner and 2 chairs alongside other tables in a 10×30 tent.
  • The festival might be able to cluster one writers’ group’s tables together (e.g., SDWEG), but organizers recommended that authors instead choose placement of your table in the Authors Corner with your specific genre (versus close to friends or other first-time authors). They also recommend getting your own table, rather than sharing a table with the goal of fostering networking and outreach with illustrators, publishers, and other authors.
  • Last year’s festival was blazing hot; prepare accordingly.

Words of wisdom to first-time authors from one of the co-founders:

ENGAGEMENT! Promoting your book and wanting to make sales at any book festival requires attractive, exciting, colorful, engagement with the kids and their parents. It doesn’t matter where your table is placed or how many other authors are around you.

Sitting behind a table, waiting for people to come up to you, is not the way anyone will sell books. The authors who demonstrate excitement and colorful, attractive displays sell the most books.

Helpful links:

Robyn Budlender

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