Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Texas Book Festival

I didn’t think I’d be posting about the Texas Book Festival this year (October 22-23), unless it was an “after-party” post about events I went to see. For years now, I’ve been the Chair of the events going on at the Austin Museum of Art. At that venue, we hosted a lot of art, architecture, and photography books and authors. But since the 2010 TBF, the Austin Museum of Art (AMOA) moved out of the downtown area, so we lost it as a venue.

That meant I no longer had a Chair position. As it turns out, TBF needed a third person to help chair the Author Escorts committee, so I’m back working. While AMOA was a one-person chair that needed around 20 or 25 volunteers over the weekend, Author Escorts needs three chairs, well over a hundred volunteers and one night of pre-training.

The good news is that those volunteers are the ones who “herd” authors, some local, some national. (The complete listing of this year’s authors is not up, but the lineup for the 2011 Gala can be found, starting on the home page.) They escort them to their event venue. When their talk is over, they escort them to the book signing tent. They make sure the author gets where he or she needs to go, has everything he needs, including nametag and water or coffee, and she doesn’t arrive late because she stopped to talk to another author and lost track of time. The volunteers get to meet and talk to authors, be they best-selling politicians or first-time authors.

Doesn’t that sound like a cool volunteer opportunity? If it does, you can go to the Texas Book Festival site and sign up for a shift or two. If you do, be sure you yell “hi” to me!

14 comments:

  1. That's a new profession - author herding!

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  2. Author herding - Do they feel sheepish when they lose track of time? Sorry, couldn't resist. ;) Sounds like a good time!

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  3. Alex, big money can be made doing herding. Not at the TBF, though.

    Laura, I've driven authors, but never escorted them, but it actually sounds like fun to me. I'll let you know about the sheepish part.

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  4. They don't have dogs for herding? Sheesh. Actually, it sounds like fun. Enjoy yourself! If I lived closer...

    Sia McKye's Thoughts...OVER COFFEE

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  5. Enjoy, Helen. Glad your computer is back up and running.
    Karen

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  6. Wish I lived in Texas...

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  7. Herding authors ... kinda like herding cats.

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  8. Sounds like a fun opportunity. I have a few friends who might be interested in participating...and by virtue of their roles as mothers, they have some herding experience. :)

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  9. I think I needed a herder at the last con I went to! Got lost trying to figure out where the book signing table was. :) Sounds like a fun volunteer opportunity.

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  10. Is author herding similar to cat wrangling? I can do that!
    I hope I get lots of volunteers for author herder at Book 'Em NC next year. This thing just keeps getting bigger and bigger!

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  11. Bad timing; one month too late to fit with my trip to Texas

    Cold As Heaven

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  12. I imagine it is a bit like cat wrangling, Diane.

    Karen, I'm still without computer. I'm working off an iPad -- and it's not easy!

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  13. Karen, send them to the website where they can sign up. If they do, tell them to find me & say "hi". I'll have a name lanyard on & would love to meet them.

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  14. I got to meet Liz Carpenter when I was a "herder" at the Dallas Craft of Writing Conference some years ago. Actually, a lot of years ago.

    But we didn't call ourselves herders or escorts, we were the author's host or hostess. So much more refined, I think. (smile)

    Would love to make the conference, but have a conflict that weekend. Did last year, too. Need to plan better so I can make it next year.

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