BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Lit Fest!

Just ignore the line above here ... it's something to do with Empire Avenue deciding if my blog is a "Blog" (in their terms) or not ... very irritating.

Anyway ... I'd missed getting down to the Printers Row book show (or "Lit Fest" since the Tribune's taken it over) for several years now. Back in my publishing days I used to exhibit there, so it was a familiar scene. However, in recent years it's been either too hot, scheduled across from something else, too rainy, or something, and I've not been able to get down there. For some reason I wasn't even able to get The Girls interested, and they love looking for books.

However, I had "an excuse" this year ... a couple of friends were on the program. Above is Tracy Samantha Schmidt from 435 Digital (formerly the head of the ChicagoNow blogging site), who was doing a "social media" presentation down at the Trib Nation tent. She was going to be on from 10-10:45am, and immediately following, over in the cooking tent, were college friends Susan and Drew Goss, doing a demo of recipes from their new cookbook.

As it turned out, Susan was doing the demo while Drew was hanging out at their booth, signing copies ... I meandered down there and had a nice chat. I was impressed to hear that they'd independently self-published the book ... that's a big leap to take!

It was fun that Tracy worked me into her presentation ... they brought up ChicagoNow in her intro and she pointed out that there were CN bloggers in the audience (me and her dad, who writes a thing about Chicago history), then had my tweet from this morning in the slideshow, and used that as an example of using Twitter for events.

I ran into a bunch of folks, aside from Tracy (@TracySamantha), and Susan and Drew (@WestTownTavern), I also got to chat with TribNation head honcho James Janega (@JamesJanega), and Leslie Banks (@redinthecity who had showed up at the TribNation tent for the presentation after Tracy's), and had some passing chit-chat with a very busy Stacy Ratner (@stacyjratner) who was, literally, in the center of the whirl of activity that was the OpenBooks tent!

Amazingly, I didn't end up buying any books ... it was very crowded, and a bit hot & sunny for me, so when I was done schmoozing, I grabbed a beverage at 7-11 and popped across the street to pick up the 36 Bus (did I mention how convenient the Printers Row location is?). My "networking" wasn't done yet, though, as I ran into a lady I had worked with at the Census on the bus, and she said there was a fairly active Facebook group for folks who had been at our office, and she said she'd pass along that info, and there was another lady from my building (also coming back from Printers Row) who was talking about how she was trying to get a book published, but was having a hard time connecting with an agent, and I pointed her to some of the self-publishing services out there.

Oh ... forgot to mention ... I was bummed because I missed some other old friends on Saturday ... I just happened to see a Tweet that mentioned that George Black and David Stowell had been demo'ing recipes from their new cookbook "Veganopolis" (named for their former restaurant in Portland, OR). I knew George & David "back in the day" when they were in the bands Stations and Rops 56 ... at some point they got more serious about their catering than their music, I guess!

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