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. Free speech, literacy, and great books are also discussed. 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, June 7, 2017
Book Expo Brings Out The Dreamers
just got back from Book Expo, the annual book publishing industry convention
and feel drained. I felt like I saw, heard, and touched so many
people who want something but don’t quite know how to get it.
was a big gathering of ego-centric people, dream-filled authors, and those who
help the book world run efficiently.
Literary agents come, hoping to sell rights to overseas publishers and
to sell a manuscript to a U.S. publisher.
Authors are hawking their new books or hoping to meet a literary
agent or book publisher to sell their next book to.
Publishers are there hoping to drum up sales for their upcoming
titles. Some members of the media are
there looking for a scoop, breaking news or a celebrity author citing. Yes, it’s a giant room of hopes and dreams.
see a hunger in the eyes of those exhibiting and attending. These are the go-getters. They spent thousands of dollars to display or
attend. There are banking on breaking
through the clutter, not because they expect to be successful but because they
hope to be. They desperately want to be
discovered. Even those who are
established brands, they need to hold onto what they have and to expand and
grow where opportunities allow.
in the book industry can say they don’t need to sell any more books or get any
more deals done. They may try to posture and position themselves as if they are
in a position of strength, but everyone is really struggling just to hold onto
what they have.
would I sound so negative or paint such a bleak picture?
technology, competition, changing consumer habits, and new times challenge
society when it comes to books. Here are some trends:
are not as willing to buy what they can get for free.
are not as available to read books for sale, when free books and other free
content take up their time.
has changed how books look, their availability, and even their quality, some of
which hurts the industry.
can put out a book and everyone seems to be doing so, flooding the market with
too many books, many of which are mediocre at best.
need more brick-and-mortar retail outlets selling books so discoverability can
get me wrong – the industry is doing well.
It has to work doubly hard to keep pricing competitive, and make good
bets, but it is thriving. However, it can unravel at any time. I can see from the Book Expo that there are
so many passionate, hungry, and eager companies and individuals searching for a
way to get attention for themselves.
They may, to a degree, cannibalize one another but because so many
people still want to be involved in book publishing, the industry will always
have a strong talent pool to draw from.
it’s hard to see so many people have a dream that while it’s pursued seems to
get mourned. As authors reach beyond the
sky it seems like the sky may have already fallen on some of them. But I admire their can-do spirit. They are entrepreneurs and courageous
voices. They are the creative class that
come with energy, vision, and a message.
Though most will fall short and fail miserably, someone has to breakthrough.
It’s a bit of a lottery, but those who embark on their journey seem to be okay
with those odds. Many have no choice.
you write or publish books or sell books, you do so because you love the
written word. You value ideas and
stories and people over money, sales, and possessions. Of course, these don’t have to be mutually
exclusive – there’s nothing wrong with getting rich, especially when you do it
honestly, passionately, and with society-serving intentions.
Expo is like a high school science fair.
Everyone’s on display, leading with big ideas or inventions. In the end, they compete with each other if
not themselves. Some hearts will be
broken along the way, but some dreams will come true. We’re for the latter.
DON”T MISS THESE!!!
can authors make good use of their network to sell books?