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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What the what?!?!

If What the what?! is not a familiar phrase, for brevity sake, I lifted that from Tina Fey's character on 30 Rock (the fantastic Liz Lemon).  Considering that Tina Fey was a BookCon last year, I figured that was a good start.  I love that phrase and led me to share What the What is going on these days with BEA.

Traveling some covered ground, but worth refreshing:  BEA is fully reinventing itself from the ground up.  Starting with the launch of BookCon last year, which sold out 10,000 tickets and is expanding to 2 days and expecting 15,000 to 20,000 consumers for 2015 and already has 40 guests in its line up (ranging from Sherman Alexie to Nndedi Okorafor).   The reinvention of BEA is holding BookCon close, creating a totally unique B2C event, but also leaving BEA intact exclusively as a trade only B2B event.  BEA will now run Wednesday - Thursday - Friday while BookCon runs on Saturday & Sunday.

Digging in more on BEA had our first official event announcementNational Book Award winner and #1 bestselling author Jonathan Franzen will appear at BookExpo America (BEA) on Wednesday, May 27th at 12pm at the Jacob Javits Center. Mr. Franzen will be interviewed by Laura Miller, the noted book critic and columnist who co-founded Salon.com.

We will be announcing the breakfast line-ups in the coming weeks as well, pending confirmations and knowing the alternates, no one will be disappointed as the BEA Book & Author Breakfasts will boast the usual star-literary-luminary power that makes these such incredible events for the trade.

Noting preparations with China continue ramp up as the featured guest of honor for the 2015 Global Market Forum (GMF) program.  There will be a number of panels under the GMF banner that will offer insights and networking to different areas in the Chinese market. There will be 1-2 GMF programs a day that will look at topics ranging from investing in China, the Education and Digital Markets as well as Children's publishing.  There will be a host of cultural events and more than anything there will be more than 500 publishing professionals from China at BEA looking for opportunity.

The new format of BEA being 3 compact weekdays will be a dynamic and jammed event, cutting the chance for downtime but eliminating wasted time.  Every minute of BEA will be as precious as it is productive, the biggest winners will be those that plan their time well. Lot's more to come and looking forward to what will be the most interesting and dynamic BEA in many years. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

BEA Submission Time - Make your voice heard!

BEA is now taking submissions for EVERYTHING (well, we are not taking anything that belongs on eBay).  The submission process is accepting panel ideas and speaker suggestions for all the BEA education programs as listed below.  I have included some of the notes from the BEA Conference Advisory Board (CAB) meeting earlier this week in case that is useful or provides additional context.  

I am widely encouraging people to think about the issues that would be compelling and given a spotlight in the BEA programming - here is the opportunity to tackle the challenges that publishing needs to address.   Please voice your insights, forward the issues that are critical and suggest people that you want to hear from that can start the wheels of change.


BEA 2015 Conferences
BEA Conference Program—May 27 – May 29, 2015
Global Market Forum: China—May 27, 2015
uPublishU at BEA Conference—May 30, 2015
BEA Bloggers Conference—May 27, 2015

Guidelines for all Submissions:
BEA has a dedicated link for submitting suggested panels and speakers for all four of the BEA 2015 conferences. The link will be open to accept submissions beginning on November 11, 2014 and close of submissions are as indicated below. 

Simply click on or copy the link below into browser. 
DEADLINES TO SUBMIT
BEA Conference Program – January 16, 2015
Global Market Forum - China – January 16, 2015
uPublishU at BEA Conference - January 12, 2015
BEA Bloggers Conference – January 12, 2015

 
BEA Conference Advisory Board Meeting – November 11, 2014

Benefits of Being a BEA Conference Advisory Board (CAB) Member
• Steve Rosato – reviewed the importance and opportunity – focus on connectivity and networking for all attendees

Role and Responsibility of (CAB) Members
• Sally Dedecker – focus on identifying the critical issues confronting the industry – and finding ways to promote programming and participation

Insights from BEA 2014
• Steve Rosato – provided information on the BEA audience and the BookCon audience – unique to each and with important value propositions. In addition, he presented areas that are important for BEA 2015, including building network opportunities, delivering value for small and medium size publishers and increase the volume and visibility of the most valuable attendees.

• BEA 2015 Tactics
• Steve Rosato – presented the new BEA for 2015 – compact, compelling and all business – mid week with 3 days of education for serious business and 2.5 days of exhibits. Emphasize International, strengthen the tie between Author Marketplace and uPublishU at BEA – and curate more connectivity – networking and discovery

Review of Current Tracks
-          Agreement that Digital must remain in the Digital & Technology track –
-          Add a retailing track – separate from Bookselling Today & ABA Education
-          Suggestion – since sessions can interest multiple audiences – consider ways to identify in information to attendees
-          Diversity Track was suggested
-          Suggestion – identify audience for sessions – aids in selection of programming that will enhance experience at BEA
-          Need better way to identify sessions that are of high level interest to targeted attendees
• Next Steps
-          Survey to CAB members – PPT from today, list of CAB members with contact information and meeting notes
-          Outreach to CAB members on working groups for development of programming
-          CAB members to send ideas and suggest keynote speakers and keynote topics to BEA Education Director


 



Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sharjah Intenational Book Fair Shines Brightly

I am wrapping my last day at the Sharjah International Book Fair in what has been an incredibly quick 5 days.  It is hard not to inject some personal positive bias for the job Ahmed Al-Almiri has done in elevating the stature and importance of SIBF as THE major book fair in the Middle East and indeed a player among all the global book fairs.  My bias is from the partnership and friendship of working with Mr. Al-Amiri to introduce SIBF to US publishing industry people from  sales to agents to editors that could benefit by doing business in the region.  The primary function of BEA is to deliver value to our participants, whether they are an attendee or exhibitor and that is not limited to what happens at BEA. By leveraging the relationships we build through BEA, we were able to connect and extend the opportunity that Sharjah offers in bringing more and the latest English language titles to the Arab market.  For the publishers that has meant selling more English language books into the market and for agents, it is creating opportunities that they did not have before.

I have been coming to Sharjah since 2006 and barely recognize it from the first few times I attended.  The simplest and most powerful testimony is to share a few of the facts: 

  • More than 400 industry professionals from around the globe, participating in a 2 day professional program
  • There was curated matching making with more than 200 publishers - setting meetings between Arabic region publishers with publishers, agents and editors from all over - Canada, France, Poland, Switzerland, anchored by UK and US publishers like Wiley and Macmillan.   More than 50 countries were represented
  • John Ingram has been very visible at events and giving the day 2 keynote, being interviewed by Simon Littlewood, formerly of Random House UK
  • Over 100 applications are under review for what will be $350,000.00 in grants issued for translating books to and from Arabic as well as translating from any origin language to any other language
  • Next week 500 librarians from the UAE, including many from all parts of Africa and the US will participate in an ALA run Professional Development program
  • Dan Brown has been one of the featured guests, participating in panels, autographing books and touring the region discovering the local history
It is truly a special fair that is nurtured and supported Sheik Sultan Al Qasimi's passion for books, literature and understanding through culture that is equally shared by his daughter Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi and is easy to see by the 20,000 school kids that came through this morning buying books.