Monday, June 2, 2014

BookExpo America 2014 Short Takes

The BookExpo America autograph area.
NewYork Times story this morning by David Carr about BookExpo America says:
Someone forgot to tell the book business that it was dead. ... I walked over to the Javits Center... The immense space was brimming with optimism.
Autograph Lines. That was my impression as well. The lines for autographs were huge. One reason is that the books are given away to those who take the trouble to sign up and wait in line - a good move.

 Another reason is that people who are reading books online are hungry for physical contact - ideally, with the authors.
The entry point to the autograph lines.

At the back of each line is a publisher's representative, who stays with the author and gets more books from boxes behind a curtain. At the front of each line are people in yellow T shirts, mostly young women, who shepherd the fans to the author they want to see.

I talked with one of them, who said that she was a volunteer and was recruited via a summer publishing program.

The autograph lines are cheerful.
What's not to like?
 Some lines are so long there are extra waiting areas to one side to control the crowds. Other lines are very short.

At the end of the corridor of waiting fans is the author with a pile of books.

These are not the only autograph areas. Headline Books, for example, has a table in its exhibit area at which its authors sign books, and they even offer space to authors who do not publish with them.

Book Support Services. Besides publishers, the exhibits include publicists, printers, trade associations, collateral products (stationery, cards), distributors, remainderers and government agencies.
Sarah Miniaci, Publicist for Smith

I stopped by Smith Publicity, run by Dan Smith and his wife. Boissevain Books has used them to promote A Meaning for Danny, a Boissevain Books title. We have also used PR Web to promote Time Bomber.

Sarah Miniaci was on hand to talk to authors. She likes bloggers about books because collectively they are effective at getting the word out about authors.

The Casemate Group targets specialized markets. 
Specialized Publishers. Another exhibit that interested me was that of Casemate, which has developed an extensive line of historical nonfiction that they can deliver to academics and training programs for specialized courses.

I spoke with Jennifer Tanz and others at this stop.

Their array of books about Normandy, D-Day and World War II was impressive.