To BEA, or Not to BEA

Defy Gravity by Rebel Brown

I spent the last two days at the Book Expo America at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC.  For my part I enjoyed it. Talking to old-timers, I ran into someone who helped organizing the show in the 90’s, I’ll never know what the expo was like in its full glory. The industry is not the same, books have moved onto the screens of iPads, and Kindles. As a book geek I think that is sad. I don’t dismiss the new technology I just wish it went hand in hand with the industry and not against it.

Of course I am prejudiced in this regard. I spent my childhood summers curled up reading all kinds of books. When I went through my required reading list for the summer I then tackled my sister’s. She is five years older so it did shock my seventh grade English teacher when he discovered me reading Catch-22.  I would sneak and read my mothers collection, clearly the “adult” edition of reading list.

I spoke to my friend who has over 16 published books who was less then excited about the expo, for her it was all business. For me, the 2nd year was still a discovery process.  I visited the mega publishers, Simon & Shuster, Harper Collins, then the smaller ones, GreenLeaf, Sterling and then the micro publishers. Then all the way in the back were the self-publishers. The interesting thing about it all the micro and self-published people were the nicest and most accessible. It was them and their books. I met nice people at thebigger houses but it did require a bit more work.

This year I go to the publishers with a list of their authors I had interviewed. That made a big difference in my interactions. I also picked up over 17 books. One man gave me his book and CD on how to get a soul mate through astrology and the woman next to me gave me her book on how not to date pigs (the man type). I met Sharon Lechter, who was on my show, and she signed a hard copy of her book.  I get lots of galleys of books. I also took some photos of books of the people I follow on Twitter.

There is a lot to digest and following up to do. In the meantime read a book there are people out there who have put a lot of work into them.

@briansolis & @chrisbrogan at BEA