5 Tips for Traveling to a Book Festival, Plus 5 Events To Check Out This Fall

Book Signings and Conventions

For first time book conference attendees, there are some tips you can follow to make the most of your time at the event. Bustle recently put together a list of Dos & Don’ts for book signings and we also added to the conversation with some of our own tips below:

Before You Go

Research New Authors and Books 

Catching your favorite author is always the number one priority, but use these events to expand your horizons and potentially learn about a new favorite book or author.

Read the Guidelines of the Event

Some events don’t let your bring your own books to be signed or there could be a limit to how many books you can have signed. No matter, each event is unique, so take the time to learn about the rules in place so that you can come prepared and ready to maximize your time to meet more authors and hear more talks.

 Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash

When You Get There

Show Up Early

If there is a speaking session or signing you can’t bear to miss, make sure to arrive early so you can snag a good seat and meet other attendees who share your interests.

 Network With Authors and Attendees

If you’re a writer yourself, take time to meet and network with other authors at the event. Building your network of authors will help you when you need advice and motivation to keep writing. If you’re attending as a fan, take time to meet other attendees. You never know who may open your eyes to a new author, new genre, or a new friend to meet up with at other events.

 Ask Questions

Prepare some questions for your must-see sessions and don’t be afraid to speak up. Preparation and participation will make the session better for yourself, for fans and for the author.

 Explore The City

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to really immerse yourself in whatever city or state you’re headed to. Plan to stay a few extra days before and after to get the most out of your travels. Research the top things to do and see — literary or otherwise — and take a notebook or good book with you for whenever inspiration or motivation strikes.


Photo by Tom Hermans on Unsplash

Book Events Around The U.S.

For authors and readers alike, traveling to a book conference is a wonderful experience. It gives you an opportunity to explore a new city, meet some of your favorite authors, discover new and talented writers, and get some inspiration for your next writing session or new recommendations for your reading list. Here are a few great events taking place this fall across the country that are worth checking out:

Alabama’s ConStellation

An annual convention built for the Science Fiction and Fantasy friends among us, Constellation XXXV: Horolgium takes place in October in Huntsville, Alabama and is sponsored by the North Alabama Science Fiction Association (NASFA). This year’s event will be from the 13th to the 15th of October and will feature award-winning authors like Mary Robinette Kowal and Orson Scott Card. While you’re there, be sure to check out other things to do and see in the Heart of Dixie.

Las Vegas Book Festival

When people think about things to do and see in Vegas, one of the first thoughts that comes to mind is late night gambling. What many people don’t realize, however, is that Vegas is a mecca of entertainment for people with varied interests – book lovers included!


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 The 16th annual Las Vegas Book Festival is taking place on October 21st. Set in downtown Las Vegas, you’ll be able to visit Vegas and realize there is more to the city than just the Strip. Best part about the Las Vegas Book Festival (besides getting to meet and hear from some excellent authors?), it’s free! Then there is LoveNVegas, an annual book convention in Las Vegas that takes place the weekend of October 27 at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. Event attendees can enjoy a weekend full of activities and can meet many authors.

 If you’re making the trip into a bigger vacation for yourself, be sure to look into some Vegas vacation packages to find good deals.


 Texas Book Festival

If you’ve never had a reason to visit Austin, Texas, now you do. This year, the 2017 Texas Book Festival is taking place on November 4-5th. This two-day event will feature Dan Rather’s official book launch for What Unites Us as well as a visit from Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush as part of their Sisters First book tour. Don’t forget to look into all the amazing things worth exploring in this vibrant city while you’re there.


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Wordstock: Portland’s Book Festival

Although it’s a one-day event, tickets to Wordstock give you access to an incredible book fair, writing workshops, author readings, concerts, admission to the Portland Art Museum and more. It’s scheduled to take place on November 7, so start planning now and do your research to find some vacation deals to make the trip extra worth it.

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Miami Book Fair

For a full week of literary goodness, check out the Miami Book Fair which takes place from November 12th through the 19th, as if you needed another reason to want to visit Florida. Perhaps the most notable event taking place this year is a visit from Joe Biden, who is traveling the nation for his American Promise tour, where Biden will “reveal the big political moments of his career, the life-altering choices he made, and they key traits that have helped him persevere through challenges.” To take full advantage of all this extended book fair has to offer, look into nearby budget-friendly places to stay.

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 These are just 5 events coming up this fall, but there are so many more worth putting on your list throughout the year. Check out more festivals from every state and let us know which ones you’ve been to and which ones you hope to be able to attend!