How to book
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There's no need to book for the online edition of the 2020 Edinburgh International Book Festival. All events are free and available to watch on our website.
Simply browse the programme, find the event you want to see and click the videoplayer button, which will take you to the streaming page where the event will be broadcast.
You have the option to save your place and receive reminders for the events you want to see.
You’ll also be able chat with fellow Festival goers via digital chatrooms and take part in Q&A sessions, and you'll even be able to meet the author and get your books signed (selected events). The chatroom and Author Q&A opens 30 minutes before events.
PLEASE ENSURE YOU ARE USING AN UP-TO-DATE WEB BROWSER FOR A SMOOTH EXPERIENCE: WE RECOMMEND FIREFOX, CHROME, MICROSOFT EDGE OR SAFARI - ALL DOWNLOADABLE FOR FREE ONLINE.
How to join a book signing with the author
You can meet some of our authors face-to-face in live booksignings (via Zoom) after selected events when you buy a copy of the featured book in our online Festival Bookshop. You’ll get the option to join the booksigning when buying the book.
The online Festival Bookshop is now open.
Go to our Festival Bookshop for more information: https://shop.edbookfest.co.uk or click the Bookshop button on the video player pages, which will take you straight to relevant bookshelf in the Bookshop.
The event pages will tell you when there’s a booksigning after the event. Due to the logistics of moving books around the country, signings must be booked at least 5 days in advance and the author will only be able to sign the designated book.
Once you’ve booked yourself on to the Zoom signing, your place will be reserved for an hour to allow time for you to browse the bookshop further. Signing slots are limited to 50 places and will be allocated on a first come first served basis. The Zoom link to join the signing will be sent after purchase.
See details below for when the Book Festival returns in its physical form:
Our online ticket-buying system is fully secure. All credit card transactions processed from this site are encrypted to create a secure service.
Tickets will be posted to you unless you are booking less than 7 days before the event. You can choose the e-ticket option or choose to collect your tickets from the Entrance Tent in Charlotte Square Gardens. A booking confirmation email will be sent to you automatically once you've submitted your payment details.
If you're new to online booking: If you have never booked tickets on our website before and do not have an online account follow the instructions below to create a web account.
To create a web account:
• Go to the Login/Register page and enter the email address you wish to use to log in – choose an email address that you have regular access to.
• Leave the password field blank and click ‘Continue’.
• Complete the registration form.
• You will receive an email containing a link to activate your account – click on this link to complete the process.
If you encounter any difficulties please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0345 373 5888 for assistance (10:00–17:00, Monday to Friday).
Due to high demand and web traffic, on our opening day of ticket sales we operate an online queueing system. The video below explains how this works so you can best prepare to join the queue and buy your tickets.
By phone: 0345 373 5888
Calls are charged at the same rate as a local call to a landline. Please check your mobile contract as its network charges may differ.
Tues 25 Jun: 8:30–17:00
Weds 26 Jun to Fri 9 Aug: 10:00–17:00, Mon - Sat
Once the Book Festival has opened: 9:30–20:45 daily
The first day of booking is extremely busy. We will do our best to deal with calls quickly however you may not get through immediately.
Open daily from Sat 10–Mon 26 Aug, 9:30–20:45
(Note: our George Street Box Office also opens Sat 3–Fri 9 Aug, 10:00–17:00)
Ticket prices vary according to the event. Most adult events are priced from £free - £15 and children's events from £free–£5. Please see the brochure or online listings for details.
Concession prices are available to:
Disabled visitors (carer goes free – see details below)
Young Scot cardholders
Proof of entitlement will be required.
Pay What You Can events
We invite you to Pay What You Can for these events. You may choose to pay an amount between £0 and £25 for your ticket, taking into consideration what you can reasonably afford to spend. This pricing has been introduced to help make the Book Festival accessible to those with limited means. The standard price is £12 but if you are able to pay more for your ticket, you will help support our efforts to provide financial flexibility to those who most need it.
Personal Assistant / Carer Tickets
If your disability requires that you need a PA/carer to attend our events, the PA/carer is entitled to a free ticket, which should be booked at the same time as your own. If booking online, buy all the tickets you need and we will refund your PA/carer ticket (free tickets cannot be booked online). Please email email@example.com with your name and order number (which you can find on your booking confirmation email) and let us know which of the tickets in your booking are for a carer and we will issue the refund.
If you cannot make alternative arrangements, we are happy for you to bring babies under 2 years to events. Everyone attending an event requires a ticket, including your baby. Please request a free baby ticket from the Box Office on the day of the event. If the event is advertised for babies (0-2 years), then you will need to purchase a ticket the usual way.
We accept Visa / Delta / Maestro / Mastercard. Cheques should be made payable to Edinburgh International Book Festival. Bookings are subject to a £1 booking fee unless tickets are purchased in person (this is applied to each transaction, not each ticket booked). Tickets cannot be exchanged nor money refunded unless an event is cancelled or substantially changed. Where ticket demand is high for sold out events, we may offer a refund. Tickets must be returned to the Box Office before a refund can be given and refunds will only be made to the original payment method.
Accessible Seating Requests
Assistance dogs such as guide dogs and hearing dogs are welcome.
BSL interpretation by request
We have provided a British Sign Language interpreter for selected scheduled events. Find these using our online events listings, or look for the BSL symbol in the printed brochure.
To request a BSL interpreter for any event in the programme see below:
• Buy tickets to the event you want to see in the usual way.
• Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0345 373 5888 to request an interpreter for the event.
• We will process requests weekly and make arrangements with our BSL interpreters before coming back to you to confirm your request. The final date for requests is 26 July.
Please note: We can only fulfil a limited number of requests. Tickets must be purchased in advance of any request, subject to availability. If we are unable to fulfil a request, we will refund your tickets or exchange to an alternative event.
A selection of events will be live-captioned. See the full list of captioned events once the programme has launched in June.
Learning disability friendly events
We have created events for people with learning disabilities. See the list of learning disability events once the programme has launched in June.
Events and seating
Events are 1 hour long unless otherwise specified in the event listing. All our seating is unreserved (seats don't have numbers) and therefore you can sit anywhere in the auditorium you wish.
Latecomers: Please be considerate and arrive in good time for your event. Latecomers are hugely disruptive and will not be admitted after the beginning of events. Please allow enough time to pick up tickets (if applicable) and get to the relevant venue. Refunds will not be given to latecomers.
Back to back events: Please do not book events back-to-back (where one event finishes at the same time the other starts). You will not get to the second event in time for the start, and we do not admit latecomers (see above).
Box office contact details
Telephone: 0345 373 5888
Edinburgh International Book Festival Box Office
PO BOX 23835