The Economics of Book Festivals

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These days, you can’t throw a book without hitting a book festival. The Jaipur Literature Festival, the world’s biggest literature festival, is reported to have had 200,000 attendees this spring. In Britain alone, there are over 350 book festivals a year. For Financial Times, Carl Wilkinson looks at the economics behind these festivals. Who makes money from the events?

A fabulous author does not necessarily make a fabulous speaker. The only people who make money are the caterers.

It’s not all bad news for the authors though. Wilkinson reports that at the Bridport Literary Festival, authors are paid in local cheese.


Diksha Basu is the author of The Windfall. You can find her on Twitter @dikshabasu. More from this author →