Friday, September 30, 2011

Party Invite for the Frankfurt Book Fair

You are invited to a reception announcing the launch of Read Russia, a worldwide campaign to introduce Russian literature, writers, and publishing houses to the global publishing community. The Read Russia campaign will culminate in New York City at BookExpo America (BEA) in June 2012.
Please join BEA and Russia’s Federal Agency for Press & Mass Communications for an early preview detailing program plans and have a chance to meet the organizers as well as the advisory committee of Read Russia. Next year will feature the largest cultural delegation of Russian authors and publishing professionals ever assembled to visit North America. It will be a pleasure to discuss these plans with you over a cocktail reception at the Russian stand in Frankfurt:

Thursday, October 13 at 4 pm
Russian stand, Hall 5.0 C982

A gift awaits the first 100 guests able to join us. Looking forward to seeing you at Read Russia!


Vladimir Grigoriev
Deputy Director
The Federal Agency For Press
& Mass Communications

Steven Rosato
BookExpo America (BEA)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Your Backlist is Soft Currency

This is brief post, but this something I thought was interesting and something that I had not considered.  For full disclosure I learned this through a conversation with Steve Potash from Overdrive.  He had shared with me that he is doing business with companies that were never on his radar before because of the proliferation of reading devices.  Premium companies were approaching him to deliver mass quanities of e-books as promotional items.  It is a simple concept - find a related product like a cook book, buy a set of cookware and then you get a code to download your 'free' e-book.  There are back list business books, childrens, sports - all sorts of niche titles waiting to be turned into cash.  Simply find the right partner that is looking to drive sales by 'giving away' an e-book as a purchase incentive. 

My take away from this conversation - get premium companies who are looking for incentive products to BEA.  I welcome any thoughts or comments on how we can  highlight this at BEA this year.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Announcing PubMatch - a tool to serve BEA exhibitors & attendees year round

Below is the press release with complete details about PubMatch:

ReedExpo Adds Book Fair Muscle to PubMatch
Book-Publishing Portal and Rights Database Signs On ReedExpo as Partner

New York, NY – September 20, 2011 – Reed Exhibitions, one of the world’s largest event organizers and organizer of BookExpo America and the London Book Fair, has signed on as an affiliate partner to PubMatch, the book-publishing and rights database founded earlier in 2011 by Publishers Weekly and Combined Book Exhibit. The addition of Reed Exhibitions, a division of London-based Reed Elsevier PLC, adds capability for conference attendees and exhibitors to obtain real-time rights information in several different languages.

Alistair Burtenshaw, director of publishing & books for Reed Exhibitions, says, “Reed Exhibitions have worked with both the Combined Book Exhibit and Publishers Weekly for many years and I can think of no better partnership to launch this innovative new venture. The London Book Fair and BookExpo are delighted to be working with PubMatch and look forward to showcasing the service to our customers.”

“Reed Exhibitions brings to PubMatch the expertise and long experience of managing BookExpo America and the London Book Fair, respectively,” says Publishers Weekly president George Slowik, Jr. “These book fairs are valuable tools in the worldwide rights industry, making them invaluable to the PubMatch community.”

Steve Rosato, event director for BEA, says, “BookExpo America is thrilled to be able to have a formal relationship with PubMatch because we see it as a value add for everyone who participates in BEA. It is a tool that enables our attendees and exhibitors to maximize what they get out of BEA when they are there, allowing for them to interact with more people in advance of the show and continue to transact business after BEA. That will make BEA a more valuable event for everyone involved, and delivering more value is core to the BEA mission.”

According to Jon Malinowski, president of Combined Book Exhibit and PubMatch co-founder, “PubMatch is fast becoming the leading Web site for multilingual rights information around the world. The addition of Reed Exhibitions as an affiliate partner is a huge step forward in realizing the potential of PubMatch.”

PubMatch was conceived at the Beijing Book Fair in 2008 when Malinowski met with a panel of U.S., U.K. and Chinese book publishing luminaries whose goal was to establish better communications. Aside from the initial language barriers, communications about literary rights was an even higher hurdle to surmount. He founded PubMatch as a tool to make book fairs a better experience for attendees and exhibitors alike and to facilitate the rights sales process. In 2010 Publishers Weekly came on as an equal partner in and co-owner of PubMatch.

PubMatch affiliates include Taiwan-based Lee’s Literary Agency and Author Marketing Experts, based in San Diego. The PubMatch Web site is offered in English and simplified Chinese, with traditional (or complex) Chinese currently being programmed and the next language to go live. German is to follow later this fall.

“New programming on PubMatch includes a new and improved catalogue-generation feature and search capabilities,” Malinowski says. A section dedicated to service providers is forthcoming, with areas included for translators, illustrators, editors, trade associations, distributors and wholesalers and more.” He expects this section to be live in time for the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Another new section is to include an employment exchange by country; already the site is streaming in Publishers Weekly’s popular job postings.

Currently the membership of PubMatch is nearly 3,000 and Malinowski and Slowik expect that number to climb to 10,000 or more by the end of 2012. The portal site, partially supported by advertising, faces some competition, but the PubMatch partners and affiliates agree that the PubMatch rights database is a muscular new tool in the international rights arena. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Moscow Book Fair to BookExpo America

A friend forwarded this article to me from the Voice of Russia website - I thought this was a great write up for what transipred in Moscow and what we anticipate to be a great event as a key part of BEA in our most ambitious Global Market Forum program ever that will focus on Russia.

One can hardly find a long line anywhere in Moscow these days, but visitors to the International Moscow Book Fair have to queue up for quite a while to get into the huge shiny building. They are eager to enter the International Moscow Book Fair, which is the most notable book event in Russia. It is an annual fair. And this September is no exception. More than 1500 participants from 57 countries are taking part this time. The schedule is very busy: about 500 events in 5 days. But to a delegation of 15 American publishers and translators that came to the Russian capital the fair is very special. It is a rehearsal for an upcoming project ReadRussia that is going to be a central event at BookExpo America in 2012 where Russia is to become a guest of honor. The ultimate goal of their visit is to bridge relations with Russian publishers and to discuss opportunities for Russian contemporary literature in the US. The event is supported by the Russian Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications and organized by foundation Academia Rossica that has been promoting Russian culture abroad for years.

Svetlana Adjoubei, director of Academia Rossica, comments on the importance of the upcoming project:  “Contemporary Russian literature is not known well in the US. We believe Russian writers deserve to be known better in an English speaking world. To realize this objective Russian government is setting up grants for translating Russian literature into English and organizing big promotional campaign which will run at American Universities, American bookshops, professional program will be held in BookExpo America in June 2012”.

Today very few modern Russian writers are known to a broad American audience, only Boris Akunin and Victor Pelevin are successful on the English language book market. But everybody hopes that next year is going to change the situation. A big delegation of 50 Russian writers is to participate in New York based BookExpo America next summer.

One of the American delegation members represents a US book industry that has been affiliated with Russian literature for years. Peter Meyer, former CEO of Penguin Books is the president of the Overlook Press, that has been translating and publishing modern Russian writers as well as the classics. Having come to Moscow this time prior to the beginning of the Book Fair he decided to discover provincial Russia to better know the realities of literature he is publishing. Despite the fact that he broke his arm he is not upset, but happy to deepen his knowledge of Russia. This is what he said to us:

“Because we have an interest in Russian literature, we also publish new names like Olga Slavnikova, Luidmila Ulitskaya and they are new. We even publish science fantasy by Maks Frai. I think we publish more Russian books than anybody else. I think we probably will have a stand at BookExpo, and most Americans don't know anything about it, but probably this organization will help bring some our authors in America and we will promote them”.

Book market analysts claim there is a real hunger for new names, new points of view and new stories in the USA. 35% of all issues in the US come from Europe, and only 13% are American books, according to the BookExpo America survey. People are getting more excited about works in translation.

Steven Rosato the director of BookExpo America says that the main goal for the fair team is to introduce Russian literature and Russian writers in the best and fullest way to American audience. Steven Rosato emphasizes:   “ I think it allows more and more writers to be discovered, because it is easier to come across them, it get samples of writings and that is why it is such a great opportunity for Russia. I firmly believe that culture is a gateway to understanding and appreciation, so the more people expose more understand the gate to appreciation for”.

BookExpo America is a global international event in which 35 countries and 25000 industry professionals - including around 800 authors from all over the world take part. In June 2012 American audience will get to know as many as 50 talented writers from Russia.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Setting the Course For BEA 2012 and beyond

BEA has for a long time been many things to many people.   That will continue to be part of the the essence of BEA.  However, BEA's approach has become more refined to insure that it is a high value to the individual constituencies that call BEA home.  Having the Book Bloggers Convention, the IDPF Digital Book program, Publishers Launch and the Audio Publishers Association events integrated into BEA insures those constituents' priorities are served and still allow for the huge 'commercial' benefits of bringing all the various interests of those collective groups together.  That is a mouthful but I want to reassure people that BEA will always invest in these core values and continue the to do things we do well while we chart a course that moves forward in a positive yet new direction.

The future of BEA will be delivering extraordinary value in content - that includes in the depth of what is seen on the show floor and in programming.  Throwing the word digital around is like IPO back in 2000 - everyone wants in and everyone knows it is the future, but place your bets carefully.  Saying BEA will be digitally focused or the destination for all publishing issues that are digital - is not asking you to place a bet.  BEA will be the place to see and learn the latest trends, technology and applications for what is going on digitally - that includes social media - how to leverage it and what is proving successful.

The other path that BEA barrels down is engaging consumers and influencers of books to promote and discover what interests them.  This is for consumers and booksellers, librarians and book club leaders, bloggers and reviewers.  BEA will very quickly be the main venue for people who are buying or selling books in any format to discover what is in the market.  New York Book & Media Week is going to take an exponential leap in 2012, BEA is going to capture our best programs and deliver them through podcasting and video. 

Details will emerge through the fall but I wanted to share at least very generally the main themes for BEA going forward.  If you are placing bets on BEA's future, they are:
  • Being the #1 market place and education destination for all issues related to digital publishing.
  • Become a Direct to Market conduit for promoting books that serves booksellers and consumers alike.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fair Faring in Moscow

I honestly could not count the number of book fairs I have been to in the last 15+ years of working in this business. Book fairs sound like wonderful and exotic adventures, traveling off to distant places and meeting with interesting thinkers and people from all over the world, which is partially true. However, the reality is that book fairs are marathons of work, cramming months of planning into scores of meetings that will exponentially multiply with the inevitable follow up and effort to bear fruit from the meetings that originate at these various fairs. That is the wonder of any book fair - the ability to efficiently meet with the key players from all over the planet in one place at one time.

Now that I have prattled on about the fantastic but grueling world of book fairs, I wanted to selfishly share the fun I had last night attending a reception hosted by the Mayor of Moscow at the Pushkin Museum. What a stunning venue! I was lucky enough to be included to attend an event hosted at by the Ambassador from Italy at the Italian Embassy in Moscow - reportedly one of the finest homes in Moscow. It was here where Trotsky assassinated the German Ambassador - the rug has been removed in case any one was curious.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Not Your Average Book Awards

MOSCOW - Last night I attended Book of the Year Awards which is presented by the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications. It was part literary event and part Vegas floor show. How many book awards have you been to that end with confetti canons? Let me not forget the show girls with Faberge egg head pieces and as well as several elaborate musical numbers staged between the book awards. This was of course a nationally televised event. Don't mistake my delight for sarcasm. It was a highly entertaining event. The juxtaposition of books on Stalin and 10 volume art books being celebrated in between song and dance numbers was a bit of a revelation. I say that recognizing from a cultural perspective, books and literature are prized and valued more highly by Russians in comparison to than I see in the US. Celebrating serious books in this way makes them more accessible to wider audience Which is never a bad thing.

I digress - I have been really impressed with the effort by organizers of the Russian participation that will be the focus of BEA's 2012 Global Market Forum program. The have brought over a serious contingent representing different parts of the US book industry to begin building relationships now that will make their participation in BEA the culmination of their efforts that will bear fruit opposed to pushing out wall of information and hoping that parts will stick. Some of the people here in Moscow that will be integral in the planning and programs that will take place at BEA include Peter Mayer of Overlook Press, John Silberstack - Trident Media, Steve Bercu of BookPeople representing the ABA and Peter Blackstock from Grove/Atlantic. These are just a few of the people here, but indicative of the effort being made that will produce a great program that will benefit Russian publishing as well as the partnerships they will form with US publishers.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Monday Means Moscow

I am waiting to board my flight to Moscow, in route to the Moscow International Book Fair. I will be joining a delegation that has been put together by the Dept. of Press and Mass Communications, over seen by Deputy Director Vladimir Grigoriev and also notably by Peter Kaufman and Svetlana Svetlana Adjoubiei of Academia Rossica. The well rounded
Delegation Includes ABA VP Steve Bercu from Bookpeople, Peter Mayer from Overlook Press, George Slowick, President of PW among many of the notable guests that are being hosted from the US. There is an ambitious program that it being presented at Moscow International Book Fair that is the first stage in planning leading up to BEA's Global Market Forum program in 2012 that will proudly feature Russia in our most ambitious program yet. I will look forward to posting details from events, sharing what I hear from Russian publishers and booksellers. I am as excited for what I will learn on this trip as I am for the plans that will start to form for BEA 2012.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Unbroken is breaking new numbers

I borrowed the info below from today's PW Daily.  It caught my attention because I loved this book - Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand - one of my favorite reads this year.  It is staggering to think that this book can sell 1,000,000 copies in hard cover PLUS 650,000 e-book copies.  This is proof that digital is bringing in new readers, getting people to buy books they might not have otherwise purchased a title which is not at the expense of print.  I am sure there are people that downloaded the e-book instead buying the hardcover, but I am guessing they might have told a few friends how much they loved this book - influencing them to go out and buy the hardcover (or e-book).  A great story is a great story, no matter what format it comes in. 

In comments about its strong six-month results Wednesday, Random House chairman Markus Dohle cited the number of bestsellers it had in the period as a key reason for the jump in earnings. One of its strongest performances was by Laura Hillenbrand’s Unbroken, and today the  Random House Publishing Group announced that the title has passed the one-million-copy milestone in hardcover copies sold.  T

he story of Louis Zamperini, a World War II bombadier who crashed in the Pacific, was marooned on a raft for 47 days and survived being tortured in a Japanese POW camp, was published by the Random House imprint in November 2010, and has also sold about 650,000 e-book copies. Random Group publisher and president Gina Centrello noted, "In this time of explosive growth in e-book sales, the mega-success of Unbroken in hardcover clearly underscores that the demand for print editions of great reads is still enormous."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Information on the Memorial tribute to Zev Birger

Please see the details below on the memorial tribute that is being heldfor Zev Birger, former Fair Director of the Jerusalem International Book Fair.  He passed in a tragic accident earlier this year.  I did not know Zev very well, only meeting him a handful of times.  However, in those brief encounters, he left a big impression.  He had a true zeal for life and a generous spirit - he will be sorely missed.

The American Advisory Committee of the Jerusalem International Book Fair will hold a memorial tribute to our beloved Zev Birger on Thursday, September 22, at 6 p.m. at the Random House Building, 1745 Broadway (between W. 55-W. 56 Sts.), 2nd Floor, New York, with a reception following hosted by Random House, Inc.

As Chairman and Managing Director of the biennial book fair for more than 25
years, Zev influenced many thousands of book people from all over the world,
including nearly 450 editors and agents awarded JIBF Fellowships in the
landmark program launched under his leadership in 1985.

RSVP by Wednesday, September 14th to (for RH Lobby
Security List)

NOTE: A special program in Zev's name will be established to launch at the
next book fair in 2013. Donations to its creation and endowment would be
appreciated and may be made to the Ariel Municipal Company Ltd, Bank Leumi,
Agudat Sport Hapoel Yerushlayim 1, Jerusalem, Branch no. 901, Account no.

Please visit our website if you'd like to leave remembrances or comments on
Zev's Tributes page, or for further information:


Julie Barer, Julie Barer Literary; Tim Bartlett, Basic Books; Flip Brophy,
Sterling Lord Literistic; Cevin Bryerman, Publishers Weekly; Judy Clain,
Little Brown; Jane Friedman, Open Road Media; Lynn Goldberg,
Goldberg-McDuffie; Julie Grau, Spiegel & Grau; Ivan Held, G.P. Putnam's
Sons; Michael Kazan, Verso Advertising; Scott Manning, Scott Manning &
Assoc.; Esther Margolis, Newmarket Press; Daisy Maryles; Maya Mavjee, Crown
Publishing; Amber Qureshi, Viking Penguin; Philip Rappaport, McClelland &
Stewart; Ira Silverberg, Sterling Lord Literistic.