This year’s Harlem Book Fair was a different experience for me than in the past. In previous years, I was in attendance as a patron, a lover of books, and a study of the publishing game. I attended panels with writers talking about how they did it. This year, I attended the book fair as an author. It was interesting from the other side, and now I see that there is much more to being an author than merely releasing the book.
While making my usual rounds, I noticed that Angela Williamson was in attendance. She, like me, is also a first time author. The title of her book is “Effective Treatments and Solutions for the Autism Population” Shoutout to her for the collaborative effort yesterday, and the interview as well.
I snapped some pictures while walking around. There were some interesting author booths this year.
Towards the end of the day, I would also participate in an technology forum called the “Unpanel” This was an opportunity for everyone to share tips and strategies for Black writers who want to reach out to their audiences using social media.
I unfortunately had no bars on my phone, so I could not live tweet the questions. However, what ensued was a discussion of the ins and outs of social media, and how writers should embrace it in order to keep up. Here, I was able to offer my thoughts to an attentive audience on using social media to augment the knowledge of your writing. This was a good discussion, and I hope that more things like this occur in the future.
I have to wrap up by saying that this year’s Harlem Book Fair was awesome to me. As an established blogger and a first time author, I experienced the best of both worlds. I braved that heat yesterday to have a good number of folks come by and engage me in conversation and support my work. It is not at all an easy task promoting poetry when not too many are doing that at book fairs nowadays. Be that as it may, I still feel good about my prospects as I carry on with my writing. Thanks to everyone who came out yesterday, it was much appreciated.
-Marc W. Polite