Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Book Festival?

A book festival is an opportunity for authors and book lovers to join together in a festive environment. At the AJC Decatur Book Festival, you can mingle with your favorite authors, discover new ones, or pick up that book you have been dying to read. For children, a book festival is a great place to develop a love for reading.

What Happens at a Book Festival?

A lot. Every book festival is a little different, but at most festivals you can expect:

  • A Keynote speech by an author of national or international importance
  • Authors reading from their books or talking about their work
  • Panels of authors talking about a theme common to all their work
  • Authors signing copies of their books for readers
  • Tables, tents or booths where you can buy books and other reading-related products

Is the Festival Open to the Public or Publishing Industry Only?

The DBF is open to the public.

What is the Cost to Attend?

The DBF and all of its events are free to the public.

Where is parking for the festival and is there any charge?

We are a downtown event. There's plenty of parking, some is free and some is not. Here's a link to a guide for public parking in our town. Please note that the parking deck located west of the DeKalb County Courthouse is no longer free on the weekends.

What is the Anticipated Attendance Based on Previous Years?

Based on previous years, we expect about 80,000 individuals to attend the DBF over the weekend.

Are Authors Able to Sign Up or Are They Only Allowed in By Invitation Based on Some Criteria?

There are several ways to be involved in the DBF. We hold the AJC Decatur Book Festival Street Fair with 150 booths, food and drink, music and storytelling. The booths are taken by writers, journals, publishers, writers' groups, artists, and many other groups and individuals celebrating the written word.

Also, we have an Emerging Writers Pavilion, targeted to the self-published author but often attractive to writers from small presses. The booths and the Emerging Writers Pavilion require an application and participation fees.

We have several featured author stages. The presenters on these stages are invited by our programming committee and must be from traditional publishing houses. Visit our Authors page to express interest in presenting.

Self-published authors and authors published by vanity presses should apply for the Emerging Writers Pavilion.

What Genres are Included at the Festival?

We have authors and books from all genres. No genre has ever been specifically excluded from the DBF.

What are the Deadlines to Apply?

The deadline to apply for the Emerging Writers Pavilion is July 31, 2017 or when all of the space is exhausted. Exhibit space is typically sold out by late July or early August. For consideration as a presenter on our featured stages, please submit your press information or proposal by May 1, 2017.

Are Participating Authors Able to Sell and Sign at Their Booths?

Yes! In fact we will be happy to arrange a brief reading and a signinig for you if you participate as an Emerging Writer. Also, if you prefer to rent a booth, of course you may sign and sell your books there.

What Are the Costs to Exhibit or to Register as an Emerging Writer?

The costs for renting a booth or for participating at the Emerging Writers Pavilion are explained in their respective applications.

Who Should I Contact if I Have Additional Questions?

For general questions not answered here, please visit our contact page.

Why Decatur?

The Atlanta area — the economic and cultural center of the Southeast — has long needed and greatly deserves a successful, viable book festival. And no part of Atlanta offers a better cross-section of book lovers and experienced festival organizers than Decatur. Only four square miles in size, Decatur is home to history (older than the city of Atlanta), academia (Emory and Agnes Scott Universities), and a long-standing appreciation for arts and books (the Decatur Arts Festival, the Georgia Center for the Book).

With the cultural perks of a university town (local book clubs, art galleries, and music) and access to the resources of a major city (press outlets, public transportation), Decatur is the perfect setting for the vibrant book festival Atlanta so desires.

Another reason Decatur was chosen to host the DBF is its proven track record for hosting fun, successful, and well-attended events. Drawing over 80,000 attendees each Labor Day Weekend, the AJC Decatur Book Festival proves year after year that downtown Decatur is one of the best venues in greater metropolitan Atlanta for family-friendly events.