Simon & Schuster has announced a new series of virtual author events, called AuthorFest, intended to "provide live author programming to communities and readers in the U.S. and Canada not traditionally part of an-in person author tour." S&S will partner with book festivals, literary venues, and other author lecture series on the series.

The first event, to be held on October 14 at 7:00 p.m. ET, will feature the Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, who will discuss their new book, Peril. Mindy Marqués, v-p and executive editor at S&S and the former executive editor of the Miami Herald, will moderate the conversation. Currently, S&S plans to hold three AuthorFest events per year, one each in the fall, spring, and summer publishing seasons.

AuthorFest event partners will be asked to set up their own registration pages, with the option to enroll attendees through their established ticketing systems. S&S will handle all technical matters for the event, in addition to providing partners with a Zoom link for attendee access. Partners will be asked to handle book sales through their preferred bookselling partner.

“While we love an in-person book festival, we recognize that the world has shifted and there is a struggle to develop meaningful programming in real time," Holly Lange, executive director of the Mississippi Book Festival, said in a statement. "Simon & Schuster’s AuthorFest is an opportunity for book lovers to meet their favorite authors and discover new ones from the safety and comfort of their own worlds."

The new series is part of S&S's initiative to work more closely with book festivals. A newly-launched Book Festival Resource Page is intended to help book festivals and lecture series find authors relevant to their regions and interests more easily, in addition to requesting appearances.

“Book festivals play an important and vital role in celebrating book culture and promoting literacy," Jonathan Karp, president and CEO of S&S, said in a statement. "We are delighted that through AuthorFest we have found a way to partner with festivals that will enable them to provide their communities with world-class author events as a supplement to their regularly scheduled in-person and virtual programming."