I’ll admit it. On the eve of my 10th Book Expo, I still love it. Within a few miles of the convention center, my blood starts to beat with excitement at the great gathering of the tribe. Ah, to see and be seen – hastening to the next panel, grabbing galleys, hobnobbing in the aisles with everyone I’ve ever worked with – propelled by unabashed bookish enthusiasm through this promiscuous co-mingling of readers in owlish glasses and sensible shoes, and readers who love books enough to strut among them all day in short skirts & heels!
I’m glad that Book Expo’s permanent home is now in New York. Though I’m no special fan of Javits Center or working on Sundays, there are some undeniable advantages to having it here: more authors walking the floors, higher attendance by the rank and file from the big publishers (who are so often denied this kind of opportunity to grasp the big picture), real bagels and yellow cabs, and cheaper subways than in other cities, not to mention the pleasure of sleeping in my own bed. There’s also the prospect of moving the conference to mid-week in 2010, so next year, Sundays may even be out of the question.
I used to arrive late to educational programs on Thursday, and leave early – but have gradually shifted the balance, after discovering that it’s easier to network, receive new ideas and think in full sentences inside the conference rooms than amid the chaotic hubbub of the show floor.
Here’s are the programs I’m especially looking forward to – though there’s no way to catch them all.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
9:30AM – 10:30AM: A Strategic Approach for Harnessing the Power of Social Media: A Publisher Roadmap, presented by Tim O’Shaughnessy – CEO & Co-founder, LivingSocial
I’m curious to hear about how O’Shaughnessy advises publishers to work with the Visual Bookshelf community, touted here as the most popular Facebook application, even though I’ve personally found Visual Bookshelf too time-consuming to maintain regularly–and it’s not as popular among #followreader discussion participants as Library Thing and Shelfari.
10:30AM – 11:30AM: Data Crunch: Books and Their Competition for Leisure Time Attention – How do They Stack Up? presented by Kelly Gallagher – VP – Publisher Services, RR Bowker
Gallagher gave a fascinating presentation on consumer book buying trends in 2008 at the Making Information Pay conference a few weeks ago, with fresh statistics drawn from a monthly survey of 36,000 readers that we recapped in our most popular post to date. His look at where books fit into the general cultural mix is also likely to be provocative.
11:00AM – 12:00PM: Stay Ahead of the Shift: What Product-Centric Publishers Can Do to Flourish in a Community-Centric Web World, presented by Mike Shatzkin – Founder & CEO, Idea Logical Co, Inc
Few can match Shatzkin‘s pedigree as a second-generation publishing brat (his father Leonard created the Dolphin Books imprint at Doubleday in the late 1950s with Jason Epstein and later ran Collier Books), and fewer still can match his willingness to predict the future of publishing 20 years from now. If you’re looking for new ideas, you’ll find some here.
2:30PM – 3:30PM: The Concierge and the Bouncer: The End of the Supply Chain and the Beginning of the True Book Culture presented by Richard Nash formerly Publisher, Soft Skull Press and Dedi Felman – formerly Sr. Editor, Simon & Schuster
Richard Nash, a clever and experienced independent publisher turned publishing solider of fortune joins veteran editor Felman in asking “what might the ideal publishing company look like? How would we build a new system for connecting writers and readers?” Wild and witty tweets will surely flow at this one, and I’m all ears.
2:45-400pm, Room 1E12 : Social Media and the Independent Bookseller: Len Vlahos of ABA, Stephanie Anderson of WORD Brooklyn, Megan Sullivan of Harvard Bookstore and Ann Kingman, Random House sales rep.
This could be the perfect forum to find more bookseller tweeps and test some of the ideas from our #followreader discussion on how booksellers and bloggers can work together. Plus a chance to meet @lenhouse, @bookavore, @bookdwarf and @annkingman.
4:15PM – 5:15PM: BEA Editors Buzz moderated by John Freeman – US Editor, Granta.
Editors and titles include Paul Elie – Editor, FSG (Michael Sandel’s JUSTICE); Deb Futter – VP, Editor in Chief, Grand Central Publishing (Leila Meacham’s ROSES); Alexis Gargagliano – Editor (Alex Lemon’s HAPPY); Harriet Popham Rigney – Executive Editor, Tor Books (Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson’s A MEMORY OF LIGHT); Ben Sevier – Sr. Editor (Jonathan Tropper’s THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU); Robert Weil – Executive Editor, W.W. Norton (David Small’s STITCHES).
Friday, May 29, 2009
11AM to 12PM at the Firebrand/NetGalley booth (#4077): Stop by for a quick chat with Kat Meyer and me or check out the list of bloggers who will be signing over the weekend. I’m reserving time to meet as many as possible at the first blogger “signing” at BEA.
Also on Friday, 4:30PM – 5:45PM: 7x20x21 at BEA: Publishing’s most innovate thinkers talk about what inspires them. Presented by Debbie Stier, Harper Studio; Pablo Defendini, Tor.com; Jeff Yamaguchi, Doubleday/Knopf; Matt Supko, ABA/Indiebound; Chris Jackson, Spiegel and Grau; Richard Nash, ex-Soft Skull; Lauren Cerand, independent public relations representative.
Thanks to the generosity of The New Yorker, this panel is the only one at BEA with an open bar.
More liquid refreshment can also be had at the BEA Tweetup, Friday night from 8:00PM to 10:00PM at the Greenhouse, 150 Varick St (Between Vandam & Spring), New York, NY. Here are more details.
See you there!