That said, the stuff about Wordsmith was pure speculation (hence, when I mentioned that I "unearthed some speculation" in the original post) from other local book people that I met at the Festival. I'm sure the stores did still get a good crowd, and I didn't mean to say that because they weren't "present" at the festival, they didn't draw business from it. Darren Wang (see comments), as head of the Decatur Book Festival, would certainly know better than I, but several sources did tell me that Wordsmith's application was rejected, and that they "lost" the right to sell books for the Charles Frazier event to Tall Tales.
Also, I never meant to imply that I was confusing the AJC with the DBF. But, you have to admit that it's a bit ironic. The biggest sponsor of the Festival (so big, their name gets to modify it) is the paper that drew so much criticism from the book community this year. That petition to save Teresa Weaver popped up in my inbox at least seven times - and I certainly signed it, for all the good it did. All I'm saying is, maybe they donated a bit more this year because they were feeling guilty? But again, people, I don't WORK there. SPECULATION.
Darren did put me in my place with the B&N info - seriously, Ladytron totally missed seeing them. I was probably too busy eavesdropping on people's conversations. However, his comments seem to suggest that I indicated the DBF was not supportive of independents. I certainly meant to convey the opposite (For example, when I wrote "So right on, DBF peeps.") I was proud of the independents being represented there - from Charis to Outwrite to Eagle Eye. I met tons of great people and was thrilled at a chance to mingle with the people that so lovingly handsell books and keep people like me in a paying job. One cannot live on slunch alone, you know.
I LOVED the Decatur Book Festival and think it's a wonderful event, and hope one day to be invited to participate myself, rather than just be an observer. I also did make my way over to Wordsmith and enjoy it. And I wish more power to Zach and the gang because Atlanta needs more booksellers that truly care about books. But, as a slunch contributor, it's my job to bring you what the people are saying (right until proven wrong)…and that's what they're saying, y'all.