Frequently Asked Questions

Q : What is the Festival of Books?

A: The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books began in 1996 with a simple goal: to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them. The festival was an immediate success and has evolved to include live bands, poetry readings, film screenings and artists creating their work on-site.

Q : Where is the Festival?

A : The Festival of Books takes place on the University of Southern California (USC) campus. USC is located in the University Park neighborhood of downtown L.A. near such attractions as the California Science Center, the Natural History Museum, the Exposition Park Rose Garden and the California African American Museum.

Q : How can I attend a festival event?

A : All outdoor events are free to attend. Indoor panels require a small fee for advance reservations. You must have a ticket to attend an indoor event.

Guests with panel tickets must arrive 10 minutes before the scheduled panel start time to ensure seating. Tickets are non-refundable.

Q: Is there a waitlist or standby line for indoor events?

A: Standby lines are formed at each indoor festival venue. If seats are still available at the start of an indoor program, people from the standby line will be allowed in without a ticket.

Q: Do I need a ticket to attend an outdoor stage event?

A: No, outdoor stage programming does not require a ticket.

Q: When can I reserve tickets for the event at USC?

A: The 2024 schedule and participant list will be released on 3/13/24. L.A. Times Book Prize Awards Ceremony tickets and early bird Friend of the Festival Plus packages will be available starting 2/21/24, with regular Friend of the Festival packages available on 3/13/24.  

Q : Can I ask questions of the authors during the events?

A: Traditionally, microphones are set up in the venue aisles so that attendees may line up and ask participants questions.

Q: How do I buy the authors’ books?

A: You can purchase copies of the authors’ books from booksellers set up near each signing area.

Q: Can I bring my own books?

A: Yes, you can bring books from home. However, we strongly encourage you to purchase at least one book from the festival booksellers at the signing areas before getting in the signing lines. Purchasing books at the festival is a way you can directly support the independent booksellers that make up such a large and important part of the festival and our communities.

Q: Will authors sign their books?

A: Most authors will sign their books after their panel/presentation. However, we cannot guarantee that every author will sign. Each guest may have no more than three books to be signed by each author at a time before having to go back and rejoin the line for additional signed book requests.

Tip: While you are waiting, write the name of the person you’d like the book inscribed to on a piece of paper to ensure the correct spelling.

Q: How can authors participate in a panel or other program this year?

A: Information about participating in Festival of Books programming can be found here. Please note that due to the volume of submissions received, we are not able to respond to each one.

Q: I was contacted about participating by a company outside of the L.A. Times. Are they legitimate?

A: We have a variety of exhibitors who work with independent authors. Please refer to our exhibitor page for full information regarding confirmed exhibitors. Here is more information about vanity presses/author services and how to avoid scams.  

Q: Does USC have a sustainability plan?

A: USC’s sustainability commitments include eliminating single-use plastic beverage bottles from campus. Since July 2022, USC has prevented over 1.5M plastic beverage bottles from entering the waste stream. The university has installed numerous hydration stations to help reduce the use of plastic water bottles. To learn more about USC’s efforts, visit their website.

Q: Do you have a lost and found service?

A: All items found during and after the festival are turned in to USC’s Department of Public Safety (DPS). Items are kept for a total of 90 days. If you have lost an item, call DPS at 213-740-9759.

Q: Who should I contact for special accommodations at the event?

A: If you need special accommodations or have questions about accessibility, please contact eventinfo@latimes.com. The festival spans the 226-acre USC campus with multiple points of entry. If fatigue is a concern, please consider panning your schedule and bringing a wheelchair or other aids.

Q : How do I contact you?

A : For general information please contact eventinfo@latimes.com.