November 18, 2014

INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair – Final Thoughts and Giveaway



Thank you to Inspire!, Knot PR, and Tourism Toronto for making this possible!





Gabby and I really enjoyed ourselves in Toronto (heck we fell in love with the city!), and the Inspire Toronto International Book Fair  was one of the things that helped to make this excursion so memorable.  It was an awesome experience, and it was an honor to have been able to participate in its inaugural debut.  We found, however, that there is still some room for improvement and we’d love to see how the event continues to grow in the future.

The wow factor when you walk in is definitely there.  As a book lover, you can’t help but be fascinated with the set-up and the various booths and stages.  The opportunity to meet some of your favorite authors is definitely a great way to bring the people in.  I completely understand that it’s a book fair, and the objective is to treat it as such.  For the public to come under one roof and purchase books.

We thought Entangled Publishing did a great job on their booth.  They encouraged people to keep coming back to their booth.  They were genuinely happy when we circled around.  They would stop us to talk about their titles, to see where we were headed to next.  They remembered our faces.  But we personally thought that something was missing with some of the other boots present.  For example, it felt like some of the individuals working at the booth distanced themselves from the people attending the fair.  At times, there didn’t seem to be enough interaction with the public.  There were some booths that were so excited that people approached their booth and that people were taking the time to look at the books that they had to offer, but others showed little to no excitement to have people visit their booth.

Maybe we were just looking at the wrong place, but we scoured the program on the daily, and still managed to miss some of the workshops on the main level of the convention centre that were separate from the hub bub upstairs. It felt like some of the panels/workshops were missing from the program listing that could have been of special interest to writers and/or aspiring authors.

With so many amazing booth set ups, one could get lost while perusing the various different books on display.  At times though, it felt like there was a lot of just walking around in circles instead of having more panels or special events.  Maybe including something for the public like flash giveaways or some sort of bookish contest to win prizes. Something to make spectators more active.  We felt that there were just not enough in between events.

A big highlight of the fair is having the opportunity to sit and listen to your favorite author talk about their writing style, their books, and upcoming projects.  But some of the speakers at the panels kind of strayed from what the topic of the actual panel was.  A lot of the discussion strayed from the point.  It would have been nice if some of the speakers remained more on the topic.

A huge treat is being able to come face to face with your favorite author and have them personalize their book to you!  Who doesn’t love that!  We really liked that at the Harlequin booth, fans were able to spend some time with the author to talk rather than shoo them away so that the line could get moving.  It made for a more lasting impression.  But at times, we felt that some of the signings were very impersonal.  It felt more like moving cattle through the lines…no time for chit chat.

The Inspire Toronto International Book Fair has so much potential, and hopefully with next year, they’ll take into consideration some of the feedback that attendees are saying.  I know I’ve seen a lot of talk in the Twitterverse about it.  Fellow bloggers did make a great point.  Media coverage.  I too noticed that the major Canadian television media was not present during the event.  Yes, we did see them on Thursday evening during the Lift-Off Party and Private Media Screening, but what about during the event?  I would think that a strong media presence would help get more people in.



We have some books that we received at the fair that we want to share with you, dear reader!

Just complete the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win.

Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. Chanpreet

    Not being coherent when I meet them.

  2. Susan T.

    I’ve only been to one book signing and that was Amanda Lindhout who wrote “A House in the Sky”. I was such a hard book to read and made me ugly cry. I was glad to see her looking so well in person!

  3. Chapter by Chapter

    I love books that make me ugly cry!

  4. Sioux

    Looks like some amazing times! I can’t wait to have my own cool author moment like this!! Someday sooooooon.

  5. Jessica Dunn

    We own a small bookstore in the town we live in, so i have had the privilege of meeting a few authors. I enjoyed meeting Bianca Sommerland the most I think.

  6. Gaby

    Just having been able to met a couple of my favorite authors, that’s one of the most amazing things that’s ever happened to me.

  7. Yash Levi

    I’ve never been to a signing event but I’m really looking forward to meeting Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher next year!! It will be the most memorable for sure! :)

  8. librarypat

    Very hard to pick one memorable author moment. I was lucky enough to go to RomCon in 2013. I met many authors there. I was lucky enough to get into several small author chats Heather Graham and Pamela Clare. They are two interesting and enjoyable people to visit with.

  9. Jillyn

    I got to meet the band Barenaked Ladies after a concert and they signed a copy of their kids’ book for me. That was pretty cool.

  10. Carley C

    I have not had the chance to meet any of the authors I have read their books. I am an avid reader and hope I will at some point, as it would be a pleasure to do so.

  11. Irma Jurejevčič

    Kathleen E. Woodiwiss!

  12. nurmawati djuhawan

    i really want to go to signing event …must be very exciting..
    thx u for hosting :)

  13. Christy Maurer

    I haven’t personally met my favorite authors, but I am FB friends with a few of them. I love how sweet and normal they are lol.

  14. shell

    looks great thanks pretty good

  15. Artemis

    Sadly I haven’t any memorable author moment but I am looking forward.

    Thank you for the great giveaway!

  16. deanna b

    When I was about 10 and discovered Nancy Drew. A girl detective – what could be better.

  17. Teresa Richards

    I have never met an author. Maybe I will one of these days. :)

  18. Kristen K.

    Taking funny face pictures!!!

  19. Sushma

    Meeting Dan Brown early this month was the best moment because I haven’t meet any of my favourite authors.

  20. Brooke

    Gosh I have so many favorite moments. But probably meeting Marissa Meyer since I adore her series so much. And she was such a great speaker and so down to earth. A lot of fun!

  21. Giselle

    I agree wholeheartedly.. People at the booths didn’t even talk to me and pretty much distanced themselves from me when I was looking at the books. I had nothing to do between signings and such and that was a big disappointment for me too. The big highlight would be waiting for the author signings but like you said it was impersonal. So glad you and Gabby came to Toronto!

  22. Stacy Renee

    I’ve only met one obscure author and it was at a local library get together for NaNoWriMo. She was really awesome even though I didn’t particularly enjoy her book very much.

  23. Mary Preston

    I met a children’s author one time. She was amazing.

  24. Valentina

    I have never met an author. Maybe someday…Thanks for the giveaway!

  25. Voidvamp

    Never met my favorite author yet cause all of them are traveling in countries except mine :(
    But will meet one day

  26. Vivien

    Meeting Marissa Meyer. Such a cutie!!!

  27. Lori Christensen

    The day one of my favorite authors suggested we write a book together. The day that will top that? The day we publish it later this month

  28. Tracey

    Going to Lena Dunham’s book reading

  29. Yun-a

    I don’t think there’s any one moment, but I love talking to authors in general.

  30. lea

    I`ve never met any author before..

  31. Bube

    I have never met an author :/,who knows,maybe someday :)

    Thanks for the great interenational giveaway :)

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