#KeepFestivalsHybrid and Upcoming Publishing Events
By Michaela O’Callaghan
Since The Publishing Post began, we have shared events about all things books. We have witnessed how valuable digital events have been for many book lovers including our readers and publishing hopefuls throughout the UK looking to get involved in a book business that often feels out of reach and opaque.
Digital events have transformed who can watch, and take part in, book-related events. Disabled people and those with chronic illnesses could engage with bookish events in ways that they could never before. Disabled authors could promote their books and connect with a community that they might have felt cut off from pre-pandemic. Events became accessible to a diverse range of publishing hopefuls looking to learn about the industry but perhaps not having the money or ability to travel across the country.
As such we would like to show support for the #KeepFestivalsHybrid campaign, a campaign set up in December last year to encourage event organisers in the publishing world to prioritise accessibility by running events both in-person and online. Penny Batchelor and RedDoor Press have written an open letter to literary festival organisers, asking them to (where possible) offer both in-person and online tickets. You can sign the open letter here.
You can also follow the hashtag #KeepFestivalsHybrid on social media. The open letter has received a wave of support thus far throughout the publishing community, from publishers, readers and authors alike. The letter highlights the important role hybrid and digital events have played in ensuring a level playing field for disabled authors unable to promote their books physically.
The letter also highlights some useful resources that we recommend you look at. The Society of Authors’ ADCI Group has created a guide to making events accessible, for both authors and attendees with disabilities and chronic illnesses. The guide highlights the importance of remaining flexible and transparent about how you can accommodate people’s needs and provides some useful questions to ask yourself when organising an event.
They have also discussed the Inklusion guide which is in process but will serve as a free guide to summarise best-practice accessibility across hybrid, online and in-person events and ensure accessibility sits at the heart of event planning. You can read more about this guide here.
EDPR: Salon Series on Book Publicity
If you haven’t heard of EDPR before, they are a PR agency specialising in books and culture. Many publishers do not have an in-house publicity team, which makes agencies such as EDPR invaluable as they provide both the sector specific PR knowledge and resources to help promote books. EDPR has announced a series of free online PR Salons to help demystify the role publicists play within the industry.
This is a brilliant opportunity to learn more about what it means to be a publicist and what is involved in publicising a book. This is a chance to gain valuable insight into award-winning book campaigns for titles such as The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and Poor by Caleb Femi.
The first event has already happened but there will be plenty more coming! The sessions will run every three months and are aimed at all publishing hopefuls keen to learn more about PR within the publishing industry. You can find out more about EDPR by looking on their website.
Ruby Wax Live: And Now for the Good News
Wednesday 26 January 6:30 pm - 8:45 pm Physical
Ruby Wax will be at The Clapham Grand sharing the stories behind her book, And Now for the Good News. Ruby Wax will discuss ways we can make the world a kinder place and share her practical tips to help you feel better not only within yourself but also about the world we live in. Tickets are five pounds and you can find out more here.
"Why I Write Poetry" at Manchester Poetry Library: Book Launch
Thursday Jan 27, 7:30 pm Online
Any budding poets out there might enjoy this online book launch of Why I Write Poetry: Essays on Becoming a Poet, Keeping Going and Advice for the Writing Life. Published by Nine Arches Press, this book includes reflections from twenty-five contemporary poets on what inspires them to write poetry. The event will feature editor Ian Humphreys and contributors Jane Commane, Daniel Sluman, Rachel Mann and Jean Sprackland. Find out more and book your free place here.