I Survived BookExpo America

BEA LogoThis week the book world took over New York. The main event was a major publishing conference called Book Expo America. Yours truly had the opportunity to attend albeit briefly.

It all took place in the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center which, I found out, is huge. Like big-enough-to-be-its-own-city huge. With booksellers, book publishers and other book-related companies filling booths in every nook and cranny of the exhibit floor, you could say I was a bit overwhelmed.

Since I was only there for a little while, my activities were limited to an event that featured a discussion with author Nelson DeMille and his newest novel’s audiobook narrator Scott Brick, and then lots and lots of wandering the rows of booths. I collected two galleys of upcoming books, saw people videotaping messages to Harper Lee in honor of To Kill a Mockingbird’s 50th birthday, and walked by long lines of people waiting for authors’ autographs. Had I more time, I probably would have enjoyed more of the other events going on, such as a breakfast moderated by John Stewart, a talk about the future of the book industry and so forth. For the time being, though, I enjoyed my little taste of BEA.

For just a small peak into the conference from outside the book world, you can check out New York Magazine’s article here.

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2 responses to “I Survived BookExpo America

  1. You should have seen the ABA/BEA in the old days, especially the lavish parties, which are few and far between now. It was actually a challenge for attendees to be the one with the most invites to the parties back in those days.

    The show floor this year was about 25% the size of the show just a few years ago. The show is dying along with traditional publishing on paper. All trade shows in most industries are dying. The cost to display at these shows has skyrocketed with a rapidly diminishing return on investment. So many companies that display are dropping out. The BEA will probably go on for a few more years and then fade away. Smaller regional and city book festivals of end users/readers are the wave of the future.

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