UPDATE: The Sonoma County Book Festival has made its Kickstarter goal! Donors gave $10,101 by Monday’s deadline.

Vicki DeArmon, Copperfield’s Books’ marketing and events director and a festival official, wrote me Tuesday night:

“We are hiring Toni Bodenhamer as our Festival Director and it’s on for Saturday, September 21 at the SRJC. Big things await!”

Congratulations, organizers. Now readers and writers can look forward to the festival.

(This post was first published June 6, 2013.)

BY ROBERT DIGITALE

The next two weeks could decide the fate of this September’s Sonoma County Book Festival.

For a dozen years, hundreds of readers and writers have gathered in downtown Santa Rosa each September for the free festival. It’s a rare venue for readers to meet local independent writers, as well as to hear talks by more widely published authors. Last year, about a dozen Press Democrat and local writers read our chapters from the newspaper’s fictional serial, “Sonoma Squares Murder Mystery.”

Well, the festival’s board has begun an online fundraising campaign via Kickstarter. The goal is to raise $10,000 to put on this year’s event Sept. 21 at Santa Rosa Junior College. The volunteer directors say they are working with local bookseller Copperfield’s Books and making plans to bring in some “nationally acclaimed authors” to spice up the day.

But on the Kickstarter site they said they first need money to hire an executive director to help make the event happen:

“Currently, we are running on the graces of our board of directors, all volunteers committed to the Festival who are hoping Kickstarter will save the day.”

Robbi Sommers Bryant, president of Redwood Writers, the local branch of the California Writers Club, is encouraging readers to make a donation and “keep the Sonoma County Book Festival alive.”

As of Thursday morning, the campaign still needed about $3,300 in new pledeges to reach its minimum goal. But the way Kickstarter works, if the festival doesn’t bring in at least $10,000 in pledges by June 17, no money will be provided. Should that happens, Sommers Bryant said, “we lose it all. This means no book festival.”

To visit the festival’s Kickstarter page, click here.

Read about the struggles and triumphs of some local indie authors here and check out what’s up in the world of books here