In November this year, I published my second novel, Vandella: Resilience, and I had the privilege of unveiling it to the world during the biggest literary celebration of the Spanish-speaking world, Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL from its Spanish name Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara). For any writer in the Americas, having the chance to participate is a privilege considering it’s the second largest book fair in the world after Frankfurt, and a showcase for the entire world. For me, this was my first time attending as an author, and it was a very fulfilling experience.
I joined a group of incredible independent writers sheltered under the “The Inkwell Editorial Workshop” (El Tintero Taller Editorial from its Spanish name) which was created by writer Nadia Arce to provide opportunities to aspiring writers, and in this case, provide a space for independent writers to showcase their books at the book fair. I had the privilege to meet wonderful writers, learn about their books and publishing journeys and share the stage with some of them. This experience of networking with other authors it was invigorating and motivational, as we writers tend to be introverts, and finding people going through the same experiences and challenges and sharing the same passion about books and writing, is uplifting and provides a sense of community.
I had also the opportunity to participate in a few interviews, and I should confess being under the spotlight can be overwhelming at the beginning, but I had to push myself to learn about handling media in hopes of reaching new audiences, and my books finding potential readers.
During the book fair, I had two book signing sessions, the first and last day of the fair, and it was very emotional for me to receive the support of relatives, friends, and readers, and have the opportunity of new readers discovering my books.
Here, I share some of the photos taken during the book signing sessions and other activities of the fair.
Attending the Guadalajara International Book Fair for the first time as a writer was a gratifying experience for me. After so many years attending as a reader, I can’t deny there is an indescribable mystique about presenting your book there. Even considering your book is one among hundreds of thousands, the simple fact of putting your literary work in the eyes of the world is definitely rewarding. Hopefully this experience is the first of many, and if so, I’ll let you know in the future.
I want to take some time to thank all my wonderful readers who attended the book signing and to Diana Arce and all the wonderful The Inkwell Editorial Workshop team for enabling these spaces for independent writers.
See you next year!
M. Ch. Landa