Made in South Milwaukee: Barbara Vey, Lover of Readers

Vey and the mayor

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Later this month, 60 authors from around the country will arrive at the Clarion Hotel near the airport for three days of Q&A, book signings, meet and greets, speeches, raffles, giveaways, and more, all with one goal in mind: to celebrate readers.

The woman behind this fifth-annual Reader Appreciation Weekend is made in South Milwaukee. She is Barbara Vey.

I met Barbara and her niece, Sarah Basterash, for coffee this week, and learned more about her journey from voracious reader to nationally respected author adviser and coach.

A former contributing editor and blogger at Publisher’s Weekly, Barbara has also been published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Family Caregivers” and co-wrote a book called “Book Marketing, Book Trailers and Author Etiquette in a Nutshell.” She travels the world speaking to authors on topics like building reader loyalty, social networking and branding.

But it’s her passion for reading that is most evident – one that will be on full display at her author celebration set for April 29-May 1.

Personal interaction with authors highlights the three days, which include a bingo party and author Q&A on Friday, a luncheon on Saturday, and a Sunday breakfast. This is the fifth year of the event, and it’s bigger than ever; more than 500 are expected at the Saturday lunch alone, which was sold out within hours of tickets going on sale last summer.

Check out the full schedule, and purchase tickets for the events outside the lunch, here.

I hope you can join me in attending … and get a chance to meet Barbara. After a few minutes, you’ll see why I’m proud she calls South Milwaukee home.

Learn more about Barbara on her website, and join her more than 15,000 followers on Twitter and more than 8,000 fans on fans on three Facebook pages, including this one. She also has a popular YouTube channel


Filed under Made in South Milwaukee, South Milwaukee

17 responses to “Made in South Milwaukee: Barbara Vey, Lover of Readers

  1. Thank you so much about featuring this extraordinary reader event. I love sharing books and authors with readers, so I hope everyone in the area gets a chance to attend one of the free events we have scheduled. And I look forward to seeing Mayor Brooks there!

    • I’m from Oklahoma. This will be my fourth time to attend as a writer. It’s my favorite event of the year and so unique. Getting to treat the readers who support us year round in our chosen careers is the highlight of the weekend for me.

  2. This will be my 3rd year coming to this event!. It is the highlight of my year! Its is such an awesome event and it gets bigger and better each year!.. Barbara and her crew do an awesome job!.. Its a great event for readers and authors alike!.. I cannot wait 18 days to go!!.. ❤ ❤

  3. Disco

    Thank you Erik for this article, Barbara work seams to parallel Roger Sherman Hoar’s ,also from South Milwaukee work in 1950’s. He had a national group entitled “Milwaukee Fictionaries” .

  4. I’m attending this year for the first time ever as an author, and I can’t wait to meet everyone! Thanks to Barbara and her crew for putting together one of the premiere events of the year and giving authors and readers a chance to connect.

  5. I’ve known Barbara for several years, she was a welcoming face from my home state when I attended my first book industry convention. I’ve admired her devotion to literacy and her appreciation for authors and readers since. She’s such an asset to the publishing world, so warm, smart, and savvy.

    S. Milwaukee is fortunate to be the home of this fantastic lady!

  6. Anna Doll

    I am so excited to attend my first ever Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Weekend! I truly adore Barbara…met her several years ago at Georgia Romance Writers. She is truly a gem…Milwaukee is lucky to have her!

  7. Cindi Streicher

    I’ve attended every event since the beginning and enjoyed it all. Barbara and her crew do a great job!

  8. This event is amazing! Great books, great authors, and great readers! Thank you so much for highlighting the event…’s gonna be fantastic!

  9. Milwaukee is Beer, Brats and… Books thanks to Barbara Vey. Have attended very year and have enjoyed the excitement of being with authors who care about their readers.

  10. This will be my first year to attend Barbara’s Author weekend and I’m so excited for many reasons. For one, I get to see a part of the country I’ve never traveled to before (I’m from Louisiana) and another, I get to spend an entire weekend with people who love books! How lucky you are to have Barbara as a community member – she tirelessly promotes books and the value of reading. Looking forward to coming at the end of the month!

  11. kaisquared4

    I was thrilled when Barbara started these luncheons. She and her family and crew some how manage to make the event even better every year, and authors and readers from all over the world have enjoyed the hospitality of South Milwaukee as a result. Barbara is a local treasure, so glad you got to meet her yourself, Mayor Brooks!

  12. Judy Goodnight

    I am so excited to attend the Barbara Vey Reader Appreciation Weekend for the first time. And it’s simply wonderful to have an event like this in Wisconsin that’s accessible to those of us who live ‘Up North’!

  13. I’m thrilled to be attending this event–so exciting to see how many people Barbara has touched through her love of books! Can’t wait to see everyone there, and for my first-ever trip to Milwaukee. Looking forward to meeting lots of readers 🙂

  14. Amy

    I have attended all of the luncheons and have watched it grow each year. It went from being at the community center to the hotel conference room, and from a 4-5 hour event to a three day event!! I look forward to this event each year and getting together with all of the friends I have made at the previous events. Many thanks to Barbara Vey and her family for making this event so much fun for both authors and readers!!

  15. As a librarian and book lover, I’m so excited to be attending Barbara’s event for the first time. As a Marquette grad, I’m thrilled to bits for an excuse to return to my second home. And as someone who made some really deep friendships at a previous reader conference, I’m delighted to get to reconnect with most of those friends at the BVRAW and make some new ones. Many thanks to Barbara, her family, and all of the authors!

  16. EliciaHyder

    I’m so excited about this event that I’m not sure how I’ll sleep for the next couple of weeks! We ❤ Barbara Vey!!

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