When are details of the programme available?

Our 2017 programme will be launched on 13 June 2017.

When do tickets go on sale?

Tickets for the 2017 Book Festival will go on sale on 20 June 2017.

How long do events last?

The majority of events last one hour. Occasionally some events may be 75 or 90 minutes or even up to 2 hours long and events for very young children are often less than an hour. Check the end time of events when booking - each is detailed on the online event listing and in the brochure.

What time will author X be signing?

Most authors sign directly after their event. There are white boards up outside The Bookshop, the Baillie Gifford Children's Bookshop and the Signing Tent, which have details of the day's signings on them.

Where are the venues?

Edinburgh International Book Festival is unique as all our venues are in one place: Charlotte Square Gardens in the centre of Edinburgh, just off the west end of Princes Street.

When are the gardens open?

We are open every day during the Festival from 9.30am until 1am.
The 2017 Festival will run from 12 - 28 August.

Are there any events for children?

Yes, we have a whole programme of events entirely dedicated to children and their parents/carers. It features readings, panel discussions, creative workshops, demonstrations, storytelling and activities of every type to keep children absorbed and entertained. Use our event search to find events for children.

There are plenty of places to eat and drink in Charlotte Square Gardens and a whole bookshop dedicated to children's literature: Baillie Gifford Children's Bookshop.

Is anything free?

Yes - lots!

The free activities available during the Book Festival can be found using the event search facility on our website or in the brochure. Free events and activities include:

  • Daily Amnesty International Imprisoned Writers events offer a selection of short readings by or about writers incarcerated or persecuted for their beliefs and words. Readings are by a selection of Festival authors.
  • A fun Activity Corner for children is located in the Baillie Gifford Story Box and open daily from 11.00am to 4.30pm - just drop in.
  • There are daily signings in the Signing Tent where you can meet the finest writers from around the world and get your favourite book signed by the author.
  • Daily free events for children are a feature of the Baillie Gifford Children's Programme.
  • Ten at Ten is a free ten minute reading from one our writers, every day at 10am.
  • Story Shop, every day at 3pm, where Edinburgh's talented emerging writers do short readings of their stories.
  • Unbound, every evening from Sunday 13 August, which features a mix of debut and renowned writers who each try something a little different.

There is no admission fee to Charlotte Square Gardens - entry is FREE for everyone.

Do I have to buy a ticket to accompany my child / do teachers have to have tickets?

We strongly suggest that children under the age of ten are accompanied by adults to all events, except small workshop events (see below). Everyone attending an event must purchase a ticket.

Do I have to accompany my child in a workshop?

Each child's workshop ticket also admits one accompanying adult. As the sessions are small, adults are not required to attend. If you would like to, please be aware that space is limited and we are only able to admit one accompanying adult per participating child. Additional babies or siblings will only be admitted at our discretion.

If you do not accompany your child, we would request that you stay in the gardens near the event - a perfect place to read and relax while you are waiting.

Do you admit latecomers?

Out of consideration to audience members and authors we do not admit latecomers to events and no refunds will be given. Please note also that our events start punctually. Please be sure to allow enough time to pick up your tickets from the Box Office (if they haven't already been posted to you) and walk across the gardens to the venue before the event start time.

Who runs your bookshops?

We do! Both bookshops in Charlotte Square Gardens are owned and operated by us which means all profit from our independent booksales operation is ploughed directly back into the Festival itself. Any purchase you make on site, however small, is a most valuable contribution to the on-going development of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

How long has the Festival been running?

The very first Book Festival was held in Charlotte Square Gardens in 1983.

Can I bring a picnic onto site?

Yes! Charlotte Square Gardens is a great place to sit, relax and eat with friends and family and we provide two drinking water taps in the gardens for you to top-up your water bottles.

Can I bring my dog onto site?

We only allow assistance dogs on site.

Who is the statue in the middle of the garden?

Prince Albert.

How easy is it to get online in the gardens and in Edinburgh?

During the Festival there is free wifi access in Charlotte Square Gardens, to use it simply follow the instructions and login.

Edinburgh in general is very well covered by the main mobile networks, with a strong 4G signal in most parts of the city centre and beyond, and excellent 3G coverage as well for all your festival app needs.

If you're looking for wifi - the city has a very wide range of free options, with most cafes and bars now offering connectivity, along with all Lothian Buses and Trams.

Major tourist attractions also have generally good wifi coverage (more information here) - so you should have no problem sharing your pics with friends around the world almost as soon as they're taken.

What happens to the books after the Festival?

All the books in our bookshops are supplied to us on a sale or return basis and any left at the end of the Festival will therefore be returned to the publishers. Books given to us by publishers and other organisations for work use are donated to charities after the Festival is over.

How can I work at the Festival?

We employ short-term temporary staff during the Festival itself in August and some long-term contractual staff from May through to September most years. Recruitment and interviews usually take place from April onwards. We also employ permanent staff who work all year round. When we are recruiting staff it will be advertised on the Jobs page of this website and we also publicise new vacancies via Facebook and Twitter.