I went to the Kerrytown Book Festival last weekend, and it was amazing. Not only did I share a table with three other authors (Patricia Batta, W.S. Gager, and Susan Froetchel), but I touched base with others, like D.E. Johnson. I talked briefly with publishers about how their business is going (they claim it's great) and with a bookstore manager who works very hard to get the festival ready every year (Robin Agnew of Aunt Agatha's).
It probably doesn't sound like much to some--a little conversation, a recognized face--but for an author who lives in (choose one) God's country or the Boondocks, it's wonderful to talk with people who know the kind of crazy I am. I know Bouchercon isn't going to help me sell hundreds of books, nor is Magna Cum Murder next month. I don't go for the sales. I go to connect with others in the industry, so I don't feel so all alone when I come back to this office and sit here thinking, "This book will never get done," or "This book is awful," or even "I should give up."
We all face the same trials. We all help each other through it. Book events are kind of like church for authors.