The Times Festival of Reading features dozens of authors presenting their books, but this year it also brings its audience discussions of broader subjects in the world of books, such as e-books, self-published books and, of course, zombie books.
One of the fastest-growing segments of the publishing industry is e-books, those digital books delivered via Kindle, Nook, iPad or other electronic reading device.
They're having a huge impact on readers, authors, publishers and booksellers. At the festival, Times book editor Colette Bancroft will moderate a panel on e-books that includes Carla Jimenez, co-owner of independent bookstore Inkwood Books in Tampa, and James Swain, author of The Night Monster and nine other traditionally published books — and of four novels just released exclusively as e-books.
Another fast-growing part of the book industry is self-publishing. Author and former Times book editor Margo Hammond will present a talk on her experiences in self-publishing. Hammond, co-host of the Book Babes radio program on WMNF-FM 88.5 and co-author of Between the Covers: The Book Babes' Guide to a Woman's Reading Pleasures, self-published a collection of essays and other works by her mother after her death. Hammond will talk about how she published and promoted Post Scripts: A Writing Life After Eighty and offer tips on how to self-publish.
New to the festival this year is the Zombie Nation, a group born (or reanimated?) in a University of South Florida St. Petersburg literature class that has since published a collection of short stories, Zombie St. Pete, and has a series set in other cities planned.
Renowned zombie expert Dr. Professor Bologna will deliver a PowerPoint presentation on the major points of zombie evolution. (There will be a quiz.) In the book market, the Zombie Nation booth will offer "Meat the Zombie" — photos with a child-friendly zombie — zombie makeup, a zombie role-playing game and a zombie haiku contest.