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Calling All Authors!

Monday, October 1, 2018
Jax Book Fest logo, Sat. Feb. 23, 2019, call for author applications

Jacksonville’s literary event of the year will return on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019! The Jax Book Fest is back for its third year in a row. The event—held at the Main Library in Downtown Jacksonville—features presentations and signings by authors of both national and local acclaim, book sales, children’s activities, and more. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

woman signing 2018 Jax Book Fest poster

The Jax Book Fest application for authors and literary-related vendors is now open. Completed applications are due through our Foundation’s website by Friday, Nov. 30, 2018.

The Jax Book Fest yielded over 3,000 attendees this year, and is expecting even more in 2019. J.R. Sharp, author of Feeding the Enemy and the soon-to-be released Breaking From the Enemy, says that the energy of Jax Book Fest 2018 “was wonderful throughout the day. It really picked up after the lectures finished and all the patrons started walking around. They were full of excitement after listening to their favorite authors.”

Author J.R. Sharp at his table at the 2018 Jax Book Fest

As a result of participating in the Jax Book Fest, Sharp sold dozens of books and was invited to give lectures outside of the library. He says he gained “a tremendous following” as an author.

Jessica Hatch, professional literary editor and owner of Hatch Editorial Services, agrees that the Jax Book Fest packs “an aura of joy, excitement, and discovery, as well as teamwork among the vendors.” Hatch used the book fest as an opportunity to connect with potential clients. “I really enjoy having conversations with novice and intermediate novelists and memoirists who don’t even know resources like freelance editing exist prior to querying literary agents.” At the festival, she connected with local author Taylor Tampa, who hired Hatch to make structural edits to her middle-grade novel prior to sending her manuscript off to agents.

table at 2018 Jax Book Fest

The Jax Book Fest also gives Jacksonville authors the chance to connect with one another. “The best part of the festival was the interaction with so many other authors, book lovers, and the people of Jacksonville,” says Sharp.

“Because the book festival is held in the Main Library in a central downtown location, it brings together people from many different Jacksonville communities,” says Hatch. “For the cost of a vendor table, it is so easy to put yourself in front of hundreds of readers and customers who would never have heard of you otherwise.”

Authors and customers at Jax Book Fest 2018

When considering applications, Hatch suggests applying to participate in the Jax Book Fest with a goal in mind. “Do you hope to get some new business?” she asks. “Do you want to sell a certain number of books? Do you want to expand your network or just see what the event is about? I’ve found that having specific goals for this day—as well as a solid means for following up—helps make the book festival so much more than the highlight of one weekend in your life.”

Our annual celebration of the written word focuses on authors residing in the Jacksonville area. Eligible Florida counties include Duval, Nassau, Clay, St. Johns, Baker, Union, and Bradford, and Georgia counties include Camden, Charlton, and Glynn.

Andre Frattino at 2018 Jax Book Fest

Completed applications are due through our Foundation’s website by Nov. 30. Applications postmarked or hand-delivered after Nov. 30 will not be considered. Authors will be notified about their application status by Jan. 4, 2019. Please note that author participation space is limited, so applying to participate does not guarantee acceptance. For more information, please examine the rules and regulations of the Jax Book Fest application.

Two girls holding their Jax Book Fest tote bags and smiling at the camera

Book lovers and authors alike, mark your calendars for the Jax Book Fest on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. We’ll announce our keynote authors soon, so follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates! Also, subscribe to our e-newsletter for more information.

Jacksonville Public Library