Under any circumstances, I would have been disappointed to learn that the Virginia Festival of the Book had been canceled. (I just received an email from the organizers to that effect, over fears of the spread of the coronavirus. It’s a perfectly rational decision, and probably wise.) I always enjoy going to panels and hearing authors speak about their books. I was especially looking forward to this year’s festival, however, because my own book had been selected to be featured on a panel and I was slated to moderate another.
It’s darn hard to get exposure for a book if you’re not already well-known and your book is published by a small press. Festivals like this one are a huge help in reaching readers we might never find. And now that opportunity is lost for this year.
My disappointment aside, I sympathize with the Festival organizers who have put in so much work getting ready for the event, only to see it end in this way. Here’s hoping the festival comes back bigger and better next year.