Today’s a good day for my annual “how authors are chosen for Coastal Magic” post. 🙂 I do things a little different than most convention directors, so I hope this offers some clarification.
I love, love, LOVE that people are so excited about Coastal Magic. Everyone seems to have a great time, and that just means that every year, more and more people want to be involved. That’s such a blessing, and I appreciate everyone’s interest. However… in order for the event to continue to have the laid back, relaxed feeling it does, I have to create limits and make choices.
This is from our FAQ page:
Authors: I have gotten MANY questions about how authors are selected for Coastal Magic. Here are the basics: We do not have open registration for Featured or signing author positions. I try very hard, each year, to put together a Featured Author group that includes both established and newer/local authors. I also include authors from a wide range of sub-genres, publishing paths, and target age groups. The most effective way for me to do this is by invitation. The first round of invitations are sent in late March/April, and go out to returning authors, authors on my own “wish list”, and authors mentioned on our attendees feedback forms. The second round of invitations goes out to authors who’ve contacted me, who I believe will help create a dynamic, interesting, fun lineup for our attendees. Every year I discover fantastic “new-to-me” authors, thanks to their inquiries about Coastal Magic. If you’d like to be considered for Feature Author status (listed on the Featured Author page, guaranteed space at public signing, participation in panels/meet & greets) please use the contact page (there’s a tab, above). Our goal is 50 Featured Authors. The contact page will be updated when Featured Author spots are full. I will be keeping a waiting list, once we reach our Featured Author limit, in case of cancellation. We also have a small number of signing only spots available. Those spots are also filled by invitation only. Signing only authors will not participate on panels or other activities, but will be listed on the charity booksigning list on this site. *NOTE* Contacting me does NOT guarantee you a spot as a Featured Author or signing author. I will make all final decisions based on individual communication with authors.
I get some unhappy emails every year about not having an “open sign up” policy for Featured and/or Signing Authors. I know this is a common practice for other events, and I’m thrilled that it works for them. That has never been a procedure we’ve used, though. Coastal Magic is something I work very hard to build into a representation of the things I love. For better, or for worse, depending on your outlook, I choose the authors and bloggers who participate, I choose the panels we have, and all manor of other things related to the weekend.
Having said that, I am absolutely open to suggestion! I start out inviting authors I’m already familiar with… but I LOVE learning about new-to-me authors, too. The requests I receive, both from attendees and authors, themselves, are fantastic sources of new info. I check into every recommendation — the author’s website and book list, their social media and blog. It may not the best way, or the most popular way, to run an event… but it’s what has worked for us so far.
I’m incredibly lucky. One crazy idea, over 5 years ago, has become a weekend that feels a little like an extended family reunion. In theory, it really shouldn’t have worked, but I’m so glad that it has. I owe that to the amazing authors, bloggers, and readers that have given us their talent and their time.
Please, keep the requests coming. If you’re an author who wants to join us, or a reader who wants their favorite author to be considered… let me know! But please understand that the process takes time, and our spaces are limited.