From the perspective of the Book Expo America 2014 exhibit floor yesterday, all is going very well indeed in book land. I did my best to catch a few shots from my mobile, but what with the crowds and the juggling of bags and books, my efforts were undermined.
I attended with two Glenmere Press authors, and it was a grand coincidence that the first person we bumped into was the owner of our small town’s indie bookstore – Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe – a gorgeous and recently expanded store that supports local authors as it does joyous readers who come to our town for the pleasure. On the floor at BEA, he, and we, thoroughly approved the apparent confirmation that the well-being of print books, and bookstores in general, is stabilizing.
The so called eBook threat may still bob around at ceiling level, but you wouldn’t know it down on the floor, among the folks in healthy sized lineups waiting for free print copies and author signings.
Our friends over at MWA and RWA were enjoying mobs of readers, and they’re true pros at scheduling signings and keeping the crowds both happy and orderly.
Yet it’s true the show is experiencing undercurrents, this year as in many others, at meetings off-floor and behind the booth tables. Murmurs about Saturday’s fan-based BookCon with a childrens’ author list largely white and male. Grumblings about the deadlock between Amazon and Hachette Book Group that has incited protest from The Authors Guild and from authors hit in the crossfire.
As a small publisher, I attended with a slightly different perspective. I met with my wonderful reps and marketing mentors at INscribe Digital, the fabulous eBook distributor that gives small publishers the means to achieve status at retailer sites. I checked out three of our authors’ books on the shelves of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) booth, where I got helpful guidance from the personable and knowledgeable Terry Nathan. I also talked to the folks at NetGalley, where our books are available as e-ARCs for reviewers, booksellers, and librarians.
If you weren’t out on the floor yesterday, I encourage you to go today, or on Saturday when fan-based BookCon debuts. Be sure to pick up a copy of Publishers Weekly Show Daily, a good way to get your bearings on the day’s signings and events.
There yesterday? Going soon? Went last year? Got better pictures? Do tell!