Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Online Book Fair Begins Wednesday

For as long as booklovers have been pacing the padded halls of cyberspace, we’ve been wanting to know how to pack the semi-euphoric, paper cutting world of the book fair into the tightly defined restrictions of a Web site.

While some might think it isn’t possible, others are taking stabs at it, putting their heads together to cook up some online facsimile of the sort of intellectual exchange that occurs when you put a lot of book lovers together in the same place and mix them up.

Online literary publicists FSB Associates are taking a run at it this week with their second annual Love of Reading Online Book Fair. The event, which runs from November 14th through the 16th, will offer up ongoing podcasts, author readings, guest bloggers and reviewers, roundtable discussions, contests and a good deal more.

“The purpose of the fair is really a celebration of the online books
community,” says FSB publicity director, Jeffery Anderson. “The collection of Web sites, eZines and blogs about books that we work with throughout the year make up a community of great people who provide a lot of powerful commentary about books for readers.” Part of FSB’s goal here, says Anderson, is to give back to the community. And another is to try and help create a very real sense of excitement around books and reading.

Though last year’s numbers were modest, Anderson feels they were also a great start. “Last year we had around 25,000 unique visitors to the fair over the three days. It was a pretty good number for the first fair. It is even more impressive when we think about the fact that we only launched the Web site a few days before the fair started. The support we got from our sponsor sites made it a big success.”

The Love of Reading online book fair takes place here.