Greetings fellow bookish friends…
My name is Lance Fensterman and I run ReedPOP, the global pop culture arm of Reed Exhibitions that produces our beloved BookExpo and BookCon. I’m also a former indie bookseller, BAC member and even ran BookExpo back in the day. I’ve known many of you for over a decade but I haven’t had the pleasure to meet some of you yet, which is a positive sign of the evergreen nature of our indie book community.
I won’t take much of your time; you’ve got a lot more important (not to mention better crafted) things to read but I want to take a moment to share some of the ways we’ve been working to refocus BookExpo for 2017 and for years to come (spoiler alert – it has a lot to do with you!)
First, some context I reckon you know better than most…
BookExpo is a reflection of the community we serve; what you see at the show should be what you see in bookselling and publishing. Mass market brick and mortar retail continues to suffer; consumers are in charge of what, when and how they read; authors have more channels to reach consumers; and publishers are working hard to find new ways to get content into their hands. These continue to be tumultuous days for our industry, but in these tumultuous times, the closer you are to the reader, the better you will fare. As booksellers, no one is closer to the reader than you; you’re listening to consumers every day and steering them towards the books they crave. Thus, it’s essential to have you at the center of BookExpo.
Today’s market realities make trusted content curators and purveyors of culture like you more important than ever before. We’re doubling down on you and your fellow ABA members. We need you and your team at the event making meaningful connections with authors, exhibitors, peers and publishing staff. These connections will improve your business and underscore the vibrancy of BookExpo and the indie bookselling community.
For a show like BookExpo to be relevant, we need to foster meaningful connections between the key players of our industry. We know that BookExpo can be a huge, noisy cacophony and we are trying to focus that energy and concentrate on you.
Here are a few things we’re working on that we think you’ll like:
- Offering ABA Members $200 a night rooms at THE ROW NYC hotel
- Both Attendees and Content will be more book-industry focused than ever
- A serious vetting process for attendees to assure only those most critical to our world are present, making the show less noisy and crowded for you
- Making it easy for booksellers and exhibitors to pre-plan meetings to assure they connect through recommendations, match making and online planning tools
- Offering more bookseller networking and education opportunities such as Meet the Editors, Celebration of Bookselling Lunch, two Publicist’s speed dating events, and sessions like Edelweiss + for Booksellers and Hiring for Diversity
- Hosting more events where authors discuss the most anticipated new titles such as Booksellers present Indies Introduce, Author Breakfasts, Buzz Panels, a slew of interesting stage talks and more
We want BookExpo to become a large scale yet intimate environment built on the foundation of business interactivity and community enrichment for independent booksellers. And we want BookCon to become a massive pop culture spectacle that directly connects creators and fans that raises the profile of books in media and culture at large. If we can pull this off, you’ll all smile and we’ll have a reinvigorated BookExpo that couples with a breakthrough BookCon to create the End-to-End solution publishers require to successfully launch books to you, consumers and the media.
To do all this, I need your help. Call up Diana Press at 203-840-5533 or write her at DPress@ReedExpo.com so she can register you for a complimentary 3-Day badge. This includes access to the ABA lounge, Show Floor, special autographing sessions, custom education and more. And then please set meetings, make appointments, make plans and help us make BookExpo the show we all want and need it to be.
Thanks for your time and as always feel free to share thoughts and suggestions with me.
I come from a long line of teachers. Both of my parents were teachers. My maternal grandparents were teachers. My eldest aunt was a teacher. My twin sister taught briefly. Heck, I was even an adjunct professor of non-fiction creative writing for four years (can’t you tell?). Yet despite a lineage that values education over everything, while growing up, reading was never atop my priority list. After all, there were sports and games to play, drawings to draw, and daydreams to dream. Despite my mom’s best efforts, it was often as much of a struggle for her to get me curl up with any book for more than 10 minutes as it was for her to get me to eat her beloved asparagus. That is, until I discovered Encyclopedia Brown, choose-your-own adventure, and books of geography and sports factoids – suddenly I had real page-turners and happy (read: relieved) parents.
Since parents can never truly predict their children’s interests, our line-up for this year’s Children’s Book & Author Breakfast at BookExpo represent an array of topics, reading levels, and genres, practically guaranteed to appeal to kids of all ages and affinities.
We’re thrilled that Savannah Guthrie will shepherd the entire 90-minute conversation. As the co-anchor of NBC’s Today, she is truly beloved and eager to discuss her own new young readers’ book, Princesses Wear Pants, which was co-written with Allison Oppenheim and illustrated by Eva Byrne.
And as you may have read in our press release on February 10, 2017, we couldn’t be more excited to bring Jason Reynolds, Marieke Nijkamp, Jennifer Weiner, and a soon-to-be-announced special guest to the stage.
Reynolds will talk about his three forthcoming works, YA Spider-Man novel Miles Morales and novels Patina and Long Way Down. Founding member of We Need Diverse Books™, Marieke Nijkamp, discusses her new YA novel, Before I Let Go, and acclaimed author Jennifer Weiner brings her middle grade book, Little Bigfoot, Big City. Soon we’ll unveil the final author who we know will delight both kids and adults alike
We’ve also tweaked the format this year to get the most out of the impressive cast of authors, as this time around all the authors will participate in a panel-style format for the bulk of the breakfast, answering questions from both the host and the industry. You can read all about the entire breakfast here.
So now, who’s going to invent a time machine by June 2nd so I can bring my 8-year-old self? I know both he and my then slightly-disappointed mom would love this!
I’m Matt Wasowski, Content Director for BookExpo.
One of the highlights of our year is announcing our Special Events and there’s none bigger than the Adult Book & Author Breakfast which consistently showcases the best and brightest in books and entertainment.
This year sets a new standard as comedian and actress Whitney Cummings will play host and be joined by Blackish creator Kenya Barris and literary powerhouses Claire Messud and Jesmyn Ward.
If that wasn’t enough we’ll have a special “prologue” from the master of horror himself, Stephen King, and his son Owen.
We’ve tweaked the format of the breakfast to put more authors on stage and more importantly create candid conversation that gives you the story behind the story.
Each author will provide an inside look at their new work before they join together on the couch and answer questions from Whitney Cummings (with an assist from attendees who can submit questions via Twitter before the show).
Are you as excited as we are? Who’s your favorite author in the line up?
Leave us a comment!
While planning the launch of this blog I got to thinking about what BookExpo means and why we need it in today’s digital business environment. The Book Industry has seen consolidation via mergers and acquisitions, beloved brands shut their doors and sadly the closing of many institutions home to books and learning. Not to mention the daily deluge of social media and digital communication that’s changing the way we interact.
But with all the disruption and noise happening around it the Book Industry remains not only resilient but prosperous. Membership in the American Booksellers Association is rising, new bookstores are opening, libraries are engaging their communities in inventive ways, publishers are producing more thought provoking books than ever and many authors have established rock star status. Books are ingrained in pop culture now more than ever.
BookExpo is being reimagined to provide you with a focused, professional environment to Discover, Engage and Learn. Paramount in this mission is BookExpo’s ability to forge face-to-face relationships between publishers, distributors, authors, booksellers, librarians and retailers.
Whether on the show floor, at a special event or in a conference session the meaningful in-person interaction that BookExpo provides is exponentially more valuable than any amount of digital communication. Above all it’s a platform for you to get out and build relationships and gather the information needed to grow your business and spread your love of books and learning.
Our industry continues to evolve but one thing that never waivers is the passion of those in it. What sets us apart is the community we’ve built around books, authors and readers. That’s why it’s incredibly important to come together and elevate our industry one relationship at a time and share the ideas that lead us in to the future.
Thanks and we look forward to welcoming you to NYC this spring.
I’m Brien McDonald, the new Event Director for BookExpo.
As you’ve read we’re making important changes to the event in order to provide the book industry with a focused, professional environment to conduct business and build face-to-face relationships.
BookExpo is being recrafted to allow you to do what really matters: Discover emerging authors, Engage with your accounts and vendors and Learn from industry leaders and peers.
This blog is our way of communicating with our community in an authentic, no frills fashion.
We’ll tell you what’s new and different with the event and what it means for your business.
We’ll break event news, provide tips and tricks for maximizing your time onsite, and share profiles of booksellers, librarians, publishers and other leaders in the community.
On behalf of the BookExpo team I want to thank you for playing a role in our event, we look forward to sharing what’s in store. We value your feedback so please leave us a comment or send me an email to let us know your thoughts and what you’d like to see at the event.