By Paul Lonardo
The Cumberland Public Library sent a call out to Rhode Island authors asking them to participate in their second annual Book Lovers’ Local Author Expo, which the library will host on Saturday, Feb. 18 from 1 to 4 p.m.
Aaron Coutu, the library assistant director, is spearheading the event, which welcomes both traditionally published and self-published authors in all genres and target audiences, whether adult, teen, tween or children.
The fair is a venue for local authors to gain exposure, sell books, and build relationships with their audience, free of charge. Each author will be provided with a table and chair, space enough to showcase and sell copies of their books to the public, who are invited to meet the authors, get a book signed, purchase copies of titles, and learn about upcoming titles.
“The single author events don’t always get the biggest turnout,” Aaron says. “But this is not because the author or the book isn’t good enough, it’s just that the draw to the public isn’t always there if the author is not well-known. It’s the biggest challenge all authors face, and we have many talented authors in Rhode Island waiting to be discovered by a new audience.”
The solution to this problem, Aaron thought, might be found in having a big event, one in which a group of local authors could get together and attract a bigger audience collectively. There is strength in numbers, and when it comes to authors and their books, there is still no better place to reach the public than at the public library.
“I liked the idea of having a bunch of authors in one location that would create a good buzz,” Aaron says. “While no one would have the spotlight all to themselves, having a larger audience available to all of them would be a good trade-off.”
Although there will not be enough time for individual author presentations, talks or readings, people will have an opportunity to chat with all the local authors.
Aaron adds, “I know many of our patrons are excited about it. We have a number of active writing groups here at the library that are filled with people who are interested all different genres, and that just makes an event like this beneficial to everyone.”
The Rhode Island Association of Authors has done a lot of marketing in the local author community to increase awareness and interest in the expo.
For more information about the Cumberland Book Expo contact Coutu at (401) 333-2552 x128 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Smithfield Times, Inc. 37