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What’s going on with BookExpo?


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 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.


Lance Fensterman

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