A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
The Aging Of Book Expo
Expo comes to New York City - along with Book Con, May 31-June 4. The 2017 edition will be one that will be
like scores of other ones – a chance for authors and publishers to promote
their new books, a place for bookstores to find great deals, and a site for
literary agents to sell foreign rights to books. But it will also be a time for those in the
book industry to unite and reflect upon where their beloved book world is
BEA will be the smallest one in decades. The number of exhibitors has
steadily shrunk in the digital book era while conference officials artificially
limited the number of conference attendees.
But it will still represent what the book industry is all about –
creativity, great writing, and a networked industry that wants to see continual
me, I’ll use BEA to network with existing connections while meeting with new
people – some scheduled and some that I’ll just happen to come by. The public relations firm that I head up
marketing for is sponsoring the convention, as thousands of their fliers will
be given out to all attendees. I’ll be
looking to secure new clients, firm up existing relationships, and take a
peek into what big books are coming out soon. It’s a great time and place to
spot trends and take the temperature of an industry that’s seen a lot of
change and upheaval.
remember several Book Expos well. My
first one, which was called ABA back then was in Las Vegas, 1990. I went with the publisher of a small indie
press where I was the senior publicity director. This company had promotable books and
afforded me a great opportunity but they were cheaper than cheap and the
publisher, who worked with his fiancée (they eventually would break up) was
nuts. I used to field calls from authors
complaining and demanding royalties, and telling me how unhappy they
were. His solution was to ignore them
and screw them some more. He was the
book publishing equivalent of a slumlord.
2000, a decade later, I had my best BEA ever.
I met my wife there. Held in Chicago,
I attended a party where I met Laura, then the audio book marketing manager at
Random House Audiobooks. I was early into
my career at the company I presently work for. We hit it off and will be married 15 years this August, raising two
children, and an English bulldog.
BEAs have been a blur for me. They are
not as big or fun as they used to be.
There are fewer parties and not as many sightings of celebrities are to
be had. But it’s still the place where
we take time out to come together and celebrate one of the most precious
resources – books. May BEA 2017 and
beyond continue to hold promise for an industry in flux -- but growing again.