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So what is an online ebook festival?

April 4, 2013

Styling itself as ‘the festival that comes to you’ the Edinburgh eBook Festival will be in its second year in 2013 running from 12th-25th August.

This is an online festival featuring  writers and publishers of ebooks.   It has nothing to do with the official Edinburgh Book Festival and is an ‘alternative’ festival  which can attract a worldwide audience. The ‘audience’ engages by attending ‘events’ which are programmed at set times during the day. At the appointed hour the ‘event’ goes live. It then stays live for the rest of the festival so that people can drop in whenever they like.  The whole ‘event’ slot concept suggests familiarity with a regular ‘festival’ scenario, where you choose what to attend, but with an infinite audience capacity and it offers a flexible attendance pattern.  (You can be in Australia and attend any event at any hour of the day or night – once the ‘event door’ has been ‘opened.’)

Cally Phillips, Festival Director says:

For some people the concept of an online festival seems odd (for some incomprehensible) which I find odd. To me it’s a simple idea. But then, I went to my first online festival in 2001. And I won an award.  So I guess I would always be predisposed to like the idea from then on in!  The festival in question was the Toronto Online Short Film Festival. I was in South West Scotland. I’ve never been to Toronto. But I was ‘at’ the festival. Virtually. Just like you can be at the Edinburgh eBook Festival where-ever in the world you are. 

Here’s THE UNIVERSAL HAMLET  (apologies for the ropey old quality… it’s one old film cobbled together long before YouTube or personal digital film making were de rigeur!)

Anyway, for those of you interested in finding out what the Edinburgh ebook Festival actually is all about we’ll be weaning you into it gently over the next four months.

Key points to remember:

You don’t have to go ANYWHERE. You don’t have to be in Edinburgh, or even Scotland or even Europe –  you just have to be in THE WORLD with access to some technology.

You can ‘attend’ using an ereader with wi fi, a pc or mac, a tablet or a smartphone.  A couple of clicks and the festival comes to you.

You can attend any and all events FOR FREE.

Events have a START time but once live they are there FOR THE DURATION so you can wander in and out of them at will. There’s no dress code. You can make as much noise as you like.  You can attend on your own or with friends.

Much of the ‘content’ of the festival is text based but we are working on video and interactivity as well.

There is a facebook page and a twitter feed live during the festival.

Cally Phillips adds: Something you maybe don’t know. The other reason why I thought an ebook festival would be a good thing. I have a chronic medical condition which means that there’s no way I can TRAVEL  to events or SIT in an event such as run by the Book Festival (or any other festival) if indeed I could afford to attend. And I thought – hey, why not have a festival that someone like me can attend. Someone with little money and poor health.  So that’s what I did. And given that I’m heavily into writing and publishing ebooks these days it seemed like the obvious choice.  eBooks are consumed DIGITALLY so why not have a DIGITAL festival for ebooks.  Now for 2 weeks in August I don’t have to go anywhere but I can experience that festival atmosphere in the comfort of my own home FREE.  And so can you.  What’s not to get? What’s not to love? 

I hope to see you there ‘virtually’ in August. And bring all your friends. It’s going to be quite a party. 

We’ll be pre-launching the festival on 12th August for the 4 month countdown.

If you have comments or questions feel free to email us on

From → News

  1. We all need something to look forward to as we near the end of what could turn out to be a virtual summer.

  2. John McGroarty permalink

    Nice video, Hamlet has always been one of my heroes. I’m a fairly regular contributor to McStorytellers and one of my stories was in the second McCollection. Many thanks for all the hard work you put in last August and for the excellent introduction to the McStorytellers collection. I hope this year’s festival will be as big a success as 2012’s was.

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