Yesterday I did the BEA-- the annual Book Expo America-- at the Javitz Center in New York City.
It's a huge annual event-- the biggest one for the American
book publishing industry. I started to write books, but it is so much more.
Here's a blurb from the BEA website:
BookExpo America (BEA) is North America's largest gathering of book trade professionals attracting an international audience. The event is widely known as an ideal place for content creators, media, booksellers, rights professionals, and movie and television executives to meet new authors, discover new books, learn about trends shaping the book industry, and network with those who have a passion for books and reading. BEA is foremost a gathering place for creative writers and thinkers and the commerce they create. It is recognized for the media attention it brings to upcoming books as well as for the notable authors it attracts to the convention itself.
There are a lot of booths offering new technologies-- new ways to digital, audio,
I go for a few reasons:
-to find books whose authors would make good guests for my radio show.
-to make arrangements with publishers to excerpt content form their books.
-to see new trends in ideas and issues publishers are covering
-to bounce book ideas off editors and publishers.
Many of my author friends have made the trek to NYC to do the show. They all love it. Some walk it to get a feel for the market and the publishing world zeitgeist.
Some to to promote their latest books. Matter of fact, walking down one of the aisles I saw one signing books in the Mystery Writers booth It was Jon McGoran, author of DRIFT
, which Amazon describes as, "An ecological thriller about genetically modified foods and pharmaceuticals." Matter of fact, last time I saw Jon, outside of our writers group, was at the 2013 March Against Monsanto, where he spoke (and then wrote about it for OEN.
) I rarely, hardly ever read fiction, because I'm always prepping for my next radio interview. But I'm going to commit to reading this one, which could get me in trouble, since Jon has two more coming out in his series.
it was also really fun to have a surprise. I was talking to the publicity person at New World Library, a very cool publisher which has had some huge successes, like the writings of Eckhart Tolle. She told me she was getting ready for the next author coming to sign books. As she opened a carton of books I saw that it was a book by my friend Jim Donovan
, who's contributed over 30 articles to Opednews. The book is titled, Happy at Work: 60 Simple Ways to Stay Engaged and Be Successful
Every year the show is marked by long lines of people, queued up to get a free book signed by an author, often very famous authors.
In past years, I've brought a suitcase with wheels to carry all the books I've picked up. In the bowels of the Javits Center there's a huge room where thousands of people fill boxes with books they're going to ship back home. This year I decided to be more discriminating. I took a backpack instead of a wheelie suitcase AND a backpack. And I finished the day with only 20 books instead of the 50 or more I've acquired in the past. I knew I had plans on going from BEA to Left Forum and I did not want to be lugging so many books. It was a good decision. I got a great pick and a lot less back pain. I'm also hoping that the exhibitors who said they'd send me books we discussed will follow through. There's one publisher that does not follow through every year. So I didn't even bother with them this year.
There are all kinds of people who go to BEA-- writers, publishers, editors, publicists, printers, binders, literary agents-- tech people, librarians-- a lot of librarians, bookstore owners, website builders, major websites like Google and Amazon.
This year I was a bit disappointed that I didn't see more progressive people. And it seemed there were less progressive publishers. That worries me.
Here are some pics from last year:
For a complete listing of exhibitors please click here
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