For anyone not in Brooklyn (or in Brooklyn but living under a rock), yesterday was the Brooklyn Book Festival. There were three things that made this year’s event the best yet for me:
1. It was not 90 degrees or freezing and rainy.
2. I live a 15-minute walk from the festival site now.
3. We shipped our boxes to the festival in advance instead of bringing them there the morning of.
Seriously—why did we ever schlep into the office at 7 am on a Sunday morning to haul boxes to Brooklyn? That was very foolish. Anyway, this year started off a little slow but quickly improved once we started offering a free tote or T-shirt with every purchase. We were visited by some of our authors—Simon Van Booy, Justin Taylor, Adam Wilson, Rachel Fershleiser, Austin Kleon (who happened to be visiting from Texas!), and many more. We sold lots of books—Andrew Shaffer’s Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love was the very first. We tried to be nice to everyone, though my patience was tested by the guy handing out 9/11 bookmarks who tried to guilt me into taking one by saying “the 9/11 whistleblowers have suffered for you” (My response: “That’s great, but I still don’t need that bookmark”) and the guy who tried to sell us the phone number 212-Authors and wouldn’t take no for an answer. But perhaps my favorite moment was when Mark (the online marketing manager for Harper hardcover who was helping out at the table) asked me what I thought the best book on the table was—and then two people immediately wanted to buy it!
I utterly failed in taking pictures of the booth, so we’ll have to use these:
(This photo is totally book-related. See, that’s Zooey, and he works at Donadio & Olsen as an assistant to agent E. Carrie Howland.)
(You can’t see the booth in this one, but it was taken there, and it was in the New York Times!)
All in all, it was a lovely day spent talking about books. What could be better?