Press Room

First LA BookFest Online – Organized in Six Weeks – Declared Success by Attendees, Participants and Organizers

Drawing attendees from around the world, the online LA BookFest featuring Mitch Albom, NJ Ayuk, Brandyn Cross, Sarah Kendzior, John Kobylt, Kiera Lyons, Jonathan Maberry, Raye Mitchell Esq., Connie Schultz, Sue William Silverman, Danny Trejo and many others, receives applause from attendees and participants. Content is to be re-released, and a second LA BookFest is being planned.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Los Angeles, CA – LA BookFest organizers and attendees declare success in delivering a virtual book festival for fans around the world on May 9, 2020.  With nearly 10,000 visitors experiencing a full slate of festival activities during and leading up to the day of the event, the ground-breaking online book fair was organized from concept to delivery in less than six weeks. Programming content will be re-released starting Sunday, May 17, and another festival is being planned for fall of 2020.

Desireé Duffy is the Founder of LA BookFest, as well of Black Château, Books That Make You, and is also the head organizer for TEDxResedaBlvd. She hosted the event, and says, “LA BookFest defied expectations, even my own. Originally, I thought we’d simply do a Facebook party. However, the concept quickly snowballed while brainstorming with the Black Château team. We imagined what was possible and then built it in record-time. Technology converged with creativity as we developed the site, created the programming, and designed an entirely new brand in six weeks.”

Due to overwhelming demand, the programming will be made available as re-watchable video content. Starting the week of May 17th, the panels, conversations and keynotes will be posted chronologically on the Books That Make You YouTube Page in playlists. Subscribers to the YouTube page who have rung the notification bell will be notified via email as videos are released.

The LA BookFest consists of an opening keynote, a closing power talk, two conversations and six panel discussions. There are several mini segments, such as cooking with celebrity chef-turned writer David Ruggerio, Mindfulness Moments with author Ora Nadrich, and Embracing Crankiness with crankiness expert Steven Joseph, that will also be released as a playlist.

The LA BookFest live After Party was recorded and will be re-released, too. It features actor, activist and restauranteur, Danny Trejo, reading the children’s classic, Goodnight Moon. The After Party has musical performances from Kiera Lyons and Brandyn Cross, artist Dacey Villarreal from Art Brut 27 creates a festival-themed painting, plus several participants of the fest stopping by to hang out.

Currently, there is content viewable on the LA BookFest website, including; videos of authors reading excerpts on the “Reading Room” page, “Virtual Booths” featuring many of the LA BookFest partners, and a “Books” page with all the books from LA BookFest authors.

Among those who participated in the LA BookFest is Gerald Everett Jones, author, editor and host of The Get Published! Podcast. He moderates the Power Pitching Panel and is a member of the Allure of the Memoir Panel. Jones says, “LA BookFest was stunning, professional, engaging, motivating, ground-breaking, and sensational! It was a privilege to participate. I was particularly impressed by Mitch Albom, Lori H. Schwartz, and Sarah Kendzior. The event really lined up some disruptive voices, and I mean that in the Silicon Valley sense of the word! The production values were stellar, and the whole effort is on the leading edge of what’s going on. My head is still spinning!”

Sue William Silverman, award-winning author of seven books, including her most recent memoir, How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences, was also on the Allure of the Memoir panel, and says, “A big congratulations on doing an outstanding job of accomplishing this incredible feat of a virtual book festival, and pulling it off with professionalism, excitement, and amazing content. I attended most of the sessions, and what you achieved was extraordinary! It was a significant highlight of my virtual book tour. What an extraordinary festival held at an unprecedented time in our nation’s history. Because of the social isolation caused by the pandemic, we need books and art now more than ever to help us feel connected to each other. Your festival was both a cultural celebration and a public service.”

Raye Mitchell, JD, MBA, Boss Girl and Chief Content Officer, The Genius Agency, Inc., delivered the LA BookFest Closing Power Talk. She says, “I am delighted to be part of the inaugural LA BookFest. Is a boss genius of an idea executed with pinpoint expertise and precision. Bravo Desireé and Black Château, you just raised the bar of what a great creative event looks like and feels like.”

The list of LA BookFest authors, celebrities, journalists, and leaders includes: Bilal Alaji; Mitch Albom; Maria Alexander; NJ Ayuk; Sheryl Benko; Scott Brody; Diana Lee Brown; Jenna Busch; LaFern Cusack; Bob Diforio; John Dracup; Celeste Duckworth; Debra Eckerling; Lisa Goich; Gerald Everett Jones; Steven Joseph; Sarah Kendzior; Kathleen Kaiser; Deborah Zara Kobylt; John Kobylt; Paul S. Levine; Dan Lothian; Kiera Lyons; Joanna Dodd Massey, Ph.D.; KJ Matthews; Jonathan Maberry; Monica Matulich; Bill McCormick; Ray Mitchell, Esq.; Ora Nadrich; Russell Nohelty; Claudia Puig; David Ruggerio; Edgar Scott; Robin Quinn; Ray Richmond; Connie Schultz; Lori H. Schwartz; Sue William Silverman; Ryan Southwick; Danny Trejo; and Sara Winokur.

For the full description and more information, visit the LA BookFest website. People can still subscribe to receive updates on the release of content and future LA BookFest news. The hashtag #LABookFest2020 is also being used on social media.

Another BookFest is in the initial stages of planning for Fall of 2020. Whether communities are still social distancing or not, the online event intends to give people the option of joining virtually for a global celebration of books, literature, and ideas.

Duffy adds, “When innovation, passion and agility come together, we can achieve anything. The LA BookFest is a testament to how adaptive we all can be. I’m proud of the LA BookFest and of all the work our team put into creating this virtual event in record time. Though the bar will be raised, I look forward to doing it again in the fall of 2020.”

The LA BookFest is presented by The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society, an organization for writers in Southern California and beyond. Other partners for the event include: African Energy Chamber; Authors, Large and Small; Black Château Enterprises; Books That Make You; C. S. Lewis Publicity; D.E.B. Method; Get Published Radio; Horror Writers Association in Los Angeles; inFERNo Productions; The Lillian Todaro Collections; Napox Photography; PR Hollywood; RISE Brewing Company; TEDxResedaBlvd; TVGuestpert Publishing; WannaBe Press; and the Women’s National Book Association in Los Angeles; and WPN (Writers & Publishers Network, formerly SPAWN). Media sponsors include: LA Talk Radio; MyStar95.com; Screenworks Entertainment and Veritkal Life Magazine.

ABOUT THE LA BOOKFEST

Join us on a bookish adventure—the LA BookFest is a collaboration bringing together authors, readers, publishing professionals, journalists, business leaders, and creatives from around the world for an online celebration of books and ideas. The LA BookFest is presented by Black Château and Books That Make You. Desireé Duffy is the founder of both, as well as the lead organizer for TEDxResedaBlvd, the annual Beach Bound Book Bash, Scary Stories Around the Pitfire, and JingleBooks. Black Château is an award-winning marketing and public relations agency located in Southern California. It specializes in promoting authors, books, small press, personality brands, and creative individuals from around the world with a full-spectrum of services. The company’s motto is: We believe in storytellers. Black Château’s sister company, Books That Make You, is a multi-media brand that promotes books through its website, radio show/podcast, and events. For more, visit www.BlackChateauEnterprises.com and www.BooksThatMakeYou.com.

Danny Trejo to Read Bedtime Story at LA BookFest Online After Party, Saturday May 9th, 2020

In addition to Mr. Trejo, other additions to the lineup include Connie Schultz who will conduct “A Conversation” with New York Times bestselling author Sarah Kendzior, and John Kobylt of the John and Ken Show on KFI-AM, Los Angeles who joins the Integrity in Journalism Panel.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Los Angeles, CA – LA BookFest lineup expands with several additions to this online event. Designed to bring together booklovers who can’t gather physically at festivals and conventions that usually happen this time of year, LA BookFest includes an opening keynote speech, panel discussions, conversations, Live “Ask an Author” Chats, author readings, book giveaways, and an After Party featuring musical guests and festivities. To close out the night, Danny Trejo will read the children’s classic Goodnight Moon.

Trejo, an actor, activist and restauranteur, will also have his first cookbook, Trejo’s Tacos: Recipes and Stories from LA featured at the LA BookFest. In it, Hollywood’s baddest good guy shares 75 recipes that make Trejo’s Tacos the Los Angeles go-to for award-winning tacos, donuts, and more.

Pulitzer-prize winner Connie Schultz will conduct the Conversation with Sarah Kendzior. Schultz is a writer, journalist, and has a nationally syndicated column for Creators Syndicate. She has written three books, her latest being The Daughters of Erietown, releasing June 2020 from Penguin/Random House. Schultz and Kendzior will discuss Kendzior’s newly released Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America.

Joining the Integrity in Journalism Panel is John Kobylt from the award-winning John and Ken Show on KFI-AM 640, Los Angeles, which is a part of iHeart Media. The show has been top-rated for 27 years in Los Angeles.

In addition to Mr. Trejo reading at the LA BookFest After Party, author of Double Blind: The Icelandic Manuscript Murders, Sara Winokur, will be there mixing a Midnight Sun Cocktail. Dacey Villarreal, 20-year veteran high school and college adjunct, and founder of Art Brut 27, will provide a fun painting session. Plus, there will be musical performances from Kiera Lyons and award-winning singer/songwriter Brandyn Cross.

The full slate of activity features, listed in Pacific Time:

10:00am – Welcome Message from LA BookFest Founder Desireé Duffy

10:15am – Opening Keynote by Best-Selling Billions at Play author NJ Ayuk

11:00am – A Conversation with Mitch Albom

Noon – The Future of Fiction: What Are People Writing Today for Tomorrow’s Readers?

1:00pm – Intermission

1:30pm – Integrity in Journalism in the Age of Covid-19, Fake News and Partisan Politics

2:30pm – The Allure of the Memoir: Telling the Human Story

3:30pm – The World Is Getting Closer: How Digital Media Is Changing Society

4:30pm – A Conversation with Sarah Kendzior

5:30pm – Power Pitching Your Manuscript or Screenplay: How to Make Them Love Your Story

6:30pm – Be Genius – Bossology 101: 5 Power Moves to a Big Idea with Raye Mitchell Esq.

7:30pm – After Party Celebration

8:45pm – Danny Trejo Reads Goodnight Moon

Plus, throughout the day there will be several special segments to enjoy in between panels:

  • Ora Nadrich, Founder and President of the Institute for Transformational Thinking and author of Live True: A Mindful Guide to Authenticity will present a Mindfulness Moment.
  • David Ruggerio, celebrity chef-turned writer will present tasty recipe-making sessions.
  • Steven Joeseph, Author of The Last Surviving Dinosaur: The TyrantoCrankaTsuris as well as the forthcoming The Crankatsuris Method: A Grownup Guide to Effective Crankiness, will do a segment on Embracing Your Crankiness.

The list of participating LA BookFest authors, celebrities, journalists, and leaders continues to grow. The list includes: Mitch Albom; Bilal Alaji; Maria Alexander; NJ Ayuk; Sheryl Benko; Scott Brody; Diana Lee Brown; Jenna Busch; LaFern Cusack; Bob Difornio; John Dracup; Celeste Duckworth; Debra Eckerling; Lisa Goich; Gerald Everett Jones; Steven Joseph; Sarah Kendzior; Kathleen Kaiser; Deborah Kobylt; Paul S. Levine; Dan Lothian; Kiera Lyons; Joanna Dodd Massey, Ph.D.; KJ Matthews; Jonathan Maberry; Monica Matulich; Bill MicCormick; Ray Mitchell, Esq.; Ora Nadrich; Russell Nohelty; Claudia Puig; David Ruggerio; Edgar Scott; Robin Quinn; Ray Richmond; Sue William Silverman; Ryan Southwick; Danny Trejo; Sara Winokur; plus more to be announced.

The LA BookFest is presented by The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society, an organization for writers in Southern California and beyond. Other partners for the event include: African Energy Chamber; Authors, Large and Small; Black Château Enterprises; Books That Make You; C. S. Lewis Publicity; D.E.B. Method; Get Published Radio; Horror Writers Association in Los Angeles; inFERNo Productions; The Lillian Todaro Collections; Napox Photography; PR Hollywood; WPN (Writers & Publishers Network, formerly SPAWN); TEDxResedaBlvd; TVGuestpert Publishing; WannaBe Press; and the Women’s National Book Association in Los Angeles.

Media sponsors include: LA Talk Radio, MyStar95.com, Screenworks Entertainment and Veritkal Life Magazine.

The event’s hub will be the website, LABookFest.com and visitors can find the stream activated there on the day of the event. Live “Ask an Author” Chats will happen in the chat room of the website. Videos of authors reading from their books will premiere during the event on the “Reading Room Page”. Attendees can also browse “Virtual Booths” which are pages for partners designed to be a substitute for a physical booth one might find at a festival or convention. There will also be a “Books Page” showcasing new books and a giant book giveaway presented by Books That Make You.

For news and insider information, people are encouraged to sign-up on the LA BookFest website for email updates. They can also follow the Facebook Event Page. Hashtag #LABookFest2020 is also being used, and social media for Black Chateau and Books That Make You will be used to spread the word and for updated information.

Saturday, May 9th at the LA BookFest

10am PDT to 7pm PDT

7:30pm to 9:00pm After Party

ABOUT

Join us on a bookish adventure—the LA BookFest is the collaboration to bring together authors, readers, publishing professionals, journalists, business leaders, and creatives from around the world for an online celebration of books and ideas. The LA BookFest is presented by Black Château and Books That Make You. Desireé Duffy is the founder of both, as well as the lead organizer for TEDxResedaBlvd, the annual Beach Bound Book Bash, Scary Stories Around the Pitfire, and JingleBooks. Black Château is an award-winning marketing and public relations agency located in Southern California. It specializes in promoting authors, books, small press, personality brands, and creative individuals from around the world with a full-spectrum of services. The company’s motto is: We believe in storytellers. Black Château’s sister company, Books That Make You, is a multi-media brand that promotes books through its website, radio show/podcast, and events. For more, visit www.BlackChateauEnterprises.com and www.BooksThatMakeYou.com.

LA BookFest™ Online Event Showcases Authors, Literary Luminaries, Journalists, Speakers, Thought Leaders, and Publishing Professionals on May 9, 2020

A full slate of activity that features Mitch Albom, NJ Ayuk, Bob Difornio, Sarah Kendzior, Dan Lothian, Jonathan Maberry, Raye Mitchell Esq., Ora Nadrich, Sue William Silverman and many others, is presented by The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society.
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
 
Los Angeles, CA – LA BookFest brings an array of panel discussions, conversations, keynote speeches, live author AMA chats, author readings, music, book giveaways and interactive fun together for an unprecedented online bookish event on Saturday, May 9th. Readers and fans who are not able to come together physically for festivals that usually happen this time of year can enjoy a virtual gathering to celebrate books and share ideas.
 
The opening keynote will be delivered by NJ Ayuk, author of Amazon number-one bestseller, Billions at Play and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. He will discuss key themes explored in Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals and shed a light on the state of the African energy industry amid the COVID-19 pandemic and low oil prices.
 
In conversation will be best-selling author Mitch Albom, with Tuesday People podcast co-host and producer Lisa Goich. He will discuss Human Touch, a new serialized story of hope during the Coronavirus pandemic, set in the moment we are all living through together. Human Touch is being written by Mitch Albom in the present, one week at a time, offered free of charge in an effort to raise funds for COVID 19 related charitable activities in his hard-hit home city, Detroit. He will also talk about his recent book, Finding Chika and the power of writing poignant stories like this, as well as Albom’s personal journey since releasing the all-time bestselling memoir, Tuesdays with Morrie, 23 years ago.
 
Also in conversation will be journalist, podcast host, and author of The New York Times bestselling The View from Flyover Country, Sarah Kendzior, who will discuss her newly released Hiding in Plain Sight: The Invention of Donald Trump and the Erosion of America.
 
Several panel discussions will feature topics relevant to our times and the bookish community:
 
The Future of Fiction – What Are People Writing Today for Tomorrow’s Readers?
Integrity in Journalism in the Age of Covid-19, Fake News, and Partisan Politics
The Allure of the Memoir – Telling the Human Story
The World Is Getting Closer – How Digital Media Is Changing Society
Power Pitching Your Manuscript or Screenplay – How to Make them Love Your Story
 
Ora Nadrich, Founder and President of the Institute for Transformational Thinking and author of Live True: A Mindful Guide to Authenticity will present a Mindfulness Moment during the event.
 
Raye Mitchell, Esq., Boss Girl, a part of the Genius Agency, will deliver a talk titled: Be Genius™ – Bossology 101: 5 Power Moves to a Big Idea, which is about mastering the art and science of Bossology™ and realigning your vision in challenging times, telling your story in any form, and how to plan for the release and strategy of your intellectual property.
 
An after party will feature musical performances from Kiera Lyons and Brandyn Cross. The networking event will be in a relaxed online setting so that attendees and participants can mingle and enjoy the evening together. There will be a fundraiser to help indie bookstores and a special bedtime story reading with a surprise guest happens at the end of the night.
 
Among the dozens of authors, celebrities, journalists, and leaders participating in LA BookFest, are: Mitch Albom; Bilal Alaji; Maria Alexander; NJ Ayuk; Sheryl Benko; Scott Brody; Diana Lee Brown; Jenna Busch; LaFern Cusack; Bob Difornio; John Dracup; Celeste Duckworth; Debra Eckerling; Lisa Goich; Gerald Everett Jones; Steven Joseph; Sarah Kendzior; Kathleen Kaiser; Deborah Kobylt; Paul S. Levine; Dan Lothian; Joanna Dodd Massey, Ph.D.; KJ Matthews; Jonathan Maberry; Monica Matulich; Ray Mitchell, Esq.; Ora Nadrich; Russell Nohelty; Claudia Puig; David Ruggerio; Edgar Scott; Robin Quinn; Ray Richmond; Sue William Silverman; Ryan Southwick; Sara Winokur; plus more to be announced.
 
The LA BookFest is presented by The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society, an organization for writers in Southern California and beyond. Other partners for the event include: African Energy Chamber; Authors, Large and Small; Black Château Enterprises; Books That Make You; C. S. Lewis Publicity; D.E.B. Method; Get Published Radio; inFERNo Productions; The Lillian Todaro Collections; Napox Photography; PR Hollywood; WPN (Writers & Publishers Network, formerly SPAWN); TEDxResedaBlvd; TVGuestpert Publishing; WannaBe Press; and the Women’s National Book Association in Los Angeles.
 
Media sponsors include: LA Talk Radio, MyStar95.com, Screenworks Entertainment and Veritkal Life Magazine.
 
The event’s hub will be the website, LABookFest.com and visitors can find the stream activated there on the day of the event. Live author AMA (ask me anything) chats will happen in the chat room of the website. Videos of authors reading from their books will premiere during the event on the “Reading Room Page”. Attendees can also browse “Virtual Booths” which are pages for partners designed to be a substitute for a physical booth one might find at a festival or convention. There will also be a “Books Page” showcasing new books and a giant book giveaway presented by Books That Make You.
 
For updates and insider information, people are encouraged to sign-up on the LA BookFest website for email updates. They can also follow the Facebook Event Page. Hashtag #LABookFest2020 is also being used, and social media for Black Chateau and Books That Make You will be used to spread the word and for updated information.
 

Saturday, May 9th at the LA BookFest

10am PDT to 7pm PDT

7:30pm to 9:00pm After Party

 
ABOUT
 
Join us on a bookish adventure—the LA BookFest is the collaboration to bring together authors, readers, publishing professionals, journalists, business leaders, and creatives from around the world for an online celebration of books and ideas. The LA BookFest is presented by Black Château and Books That Make You. Desireé Duffy is the founder of both, as well as the lead organizer for TEDxResedaBlvd, the annual Beach Bound Book Bash, Scary Stories Around the Pitfire, and JingleBooks. Black Château is an award-winning marketing and public relations agency located in Southern California. It specializes in promoting authors, books, small press, personality brands, and creative individuals from around the world with a full-spectrum of services. The company’s motto is: We believe in storytellers. Black Château’s sister company, Books That Make You, is a multi-media brand that promotes books through its website, radio show/podcast, and events. For more, visit www.BlackChateauEnterprises.com and www.BooksThatMakeYou.com.

Schedule (Pacific Time)

10:00a Welcome Message from LA BookFest Founder Desireé Duffy
10:15a Opening Keynote by Best-Selling Billions at Play author NJ Ayuk
11:00a A Conversation with Mitch Albom
Noon The Future of Fiction: What Are People Writing Today for Tomorrow’s Readers?
1:00p Intermission
1:30p Integrity in Journalism in the Age of Covid-19, Fake News and Partisan Politics
2:30p The Allure of the Memoir: Telling the Human Story
3:30p The World Is Getting Closer: How Digital Media Is Changing Society
4:30p A Conversation with Sarah Kendzior
5:30p Power Pitching Your Manuscript or Screenplay: How to Make Them Love Your Story
6:30p Be Genius – Bossology 101: 5 Power Moves to a Big Idea with Raye Mitchell Esq.
7:30p After Party Celebration
8:45p Danny Trejo Reads Goodnight Moon
1:00p Russell Nohelty
1:15p Jenna Busch
1:30p Maria Alexander
1:45p Edgar Scott
2:00p Scott Brody
2:15p Debra Eckerling
2:30p Sara Winokur
2:45p Bill McCormick
3:00p Sheryl Benko
3:15p BREAK — 15 minute intermission
3:30p Sue William Silverman
3:45p Bilal Alaji
4:00p Gerald Everett Jones
4:15p Diana Lee Brown
4:30p Brandyn Cross
4:45p Ryan Southwick
5:00p Ora Nadrich
5:15p Steven Joseph
5:30p David Ruggerio
5:45p Joanna Dodd Massey, Ph.D.
6:00p Raye Mitchell, Esq.
Register Now

Saturday, May 9, 2020
Location: LABookFest.com

Register and we’ll notify you of updates, how to enter bookish contests, details on the programming and more. You may unsubscribe at any time.
Presented by Black Chateau and Books That Make You.