The annual awarding of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes has been moved from UCLA's Royce Hall, scene of a fairly copious free dinner and open bar for authors, invited and paying guests in recent years, to the more sober and private surroundings of the Times offices downtown:
The 2008 Book Prizes Event will be a private event not open to the general public.
It's the night before the Times' Festival of Books, which runs April 25-26 at UCLA. The Times is again running a fiction serial leading up to the festival, this time written by invited novelists rather than readers.
Noted: For the first time in a few years, I'm not on a panel at the festival. Hard to say if the disinvitation is related to publisher Eddy Hartenstein's little obsession with LA Observed or something else. But I'll still be around the festival and signing both days at the Angel City Press booth.
Add festival: I'm hearing gripes from media planning to cover the FOB about a new requirement that credentials be picked up in advance at the Times office, rather than at the festival as in past years. Example: "I live two hours north of downtown LA. I work full-time. Naturally I replied (politely) asking them how I was supposed to pick up my pass."
Final add: Village Books in Pacific Palisades and Equator Books in Venice are struggling, the latter emailing that it "is actively (aggressively / desperately) seeking Investors!...NOW is the time. Call us or email us. The sooner the better."