The return of physical book fairs, including the much-awaited Tucson Festival of Books, signals the return to normalcy and new opportunities for authors to share their stories with the world.

Even before Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, book fairs and exhibitions have always been there. For hundreds of years, book fairs serve as a venue for selling handwritten books during the 12th century. After Gutenberg developed the printing press that would change the future of literature and publishing, book fairs also became a venue for launching books, marketing published works, and facilitating negotiations of international sale of rights and licenses.

The Frankfurt Book Fair or the Frankfurter Buchmesse is considered the oldest book fair. Its established founding date is still up for debate, but many agree that 1462. Today, the Frankfurt Book Fair is the world’s largest book fair and the most essential book event globally. For over 500 years, the said book fair has inspired many people to promote their books, meet fellow authors, and interact with book fans. Serious authors attend book fairs to promote their books and, more importantly, to establish their reputation.

Throughout centuries, book fairs have evolved, involving other activities such as panel discussions, poetry readings, musical performances, visual arts, media, and many other elements, making each book fair a comprehensive literary event. Today, many established annual book events have continued the traditions and at the same time infused modern programs and concepts to community book fairs. One of them is the Tucson Festival of Books.

During the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, many physical events, including established book fairs, were forced to postpone or cancel.

Since 2020, many book events have postponed or canceled their annual exhibitions. Established international book fairs, including the Tucson Festival of Books, decided to cancel their 2020 activity. In 2021, the Tucson Festival of Books organizers embarked on a never-before experience virtual book fair. ReadersMagnet also held its own virtual book fair, see here

Virtual book fairs and online exhibitions became the trend and, in a unique way, saved hundreds of publishers and thousands of authors. Tucson Festival of Books and other online book fairs enjoyed relative success despite the new format. It maximized digital technology’s special features and introduced a new experience to participants and guests. However, the physical presence of participants and the atmosphere were sorely missed. There are elements of physical book fairs that virtual book exhibitions cannot be replaced.

With restrictions easing up and the increased of vaccinated populations, book fairs, including the Tucson Festival of Books, are reverting to physical book fairs, much to the excitement of thousands of book lovers.

This March, the second-largest book fair in the country will be making its much-awaited come back to its usual venue- the University of Arizona Mall. This year, the Tucson Festival of Books will finally be held as a physical book fair after two years of abandoning the said format because of the pandemic. The event will gather thousands of authors, retailers, publishers, literary agents, tourists, and visitors. Indeed, many have missed the gatherings, face-to-face interactions, physical panel discussions, and live performances from musicians, poets, and artists.

Among the participants of this year’s Tucson Festival of Books is ReadersMagnet Self-Publishing. This is not the first time that ReadersMagnet has affiliated itself with the Tucson Festival of Books. However, what makes this year’s event super exciting is that we will be seeing other participants physically after two years. We will set up a booth, display hard copies of our authors’ books, and interact with book fans during a two-day event.

So what are you waiting for? Join us in physically attending the second-largest book fair in the country, the 2022 Tucson Festival of Books, happening this March 12-13.