Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Confluence Counts

I don't if people realize it yet - but guess what? BEA happens to overlap with Internet Week for 2012.  The confluence of activity that week will be highly interesting and create unforeseen opportunities through one of BEA's key raw ingredients: planned serendipity.  

Aside from BEA and all the events that are part of Internet Week, under the auspices of BEA the week's activity will include:

  • The ABA's Education Program
  • The IDPF Digital Book 2012 Event
  • Publishers Launch
  • BlogWord & New Media Expo
  • The Audio Publishers Association Conference
  • The Book Bloggers Convention
  • New York Book & Media Week
  • BEA's Global Market Forum (GMF) program featuring Russia.
There will be a lot happening at BEA plus all over New York City and I do mean the whole city.  Russia's GMF program is the most ambitious ever done at BEA and will be bringing over 50 authors + librarians, booksellers and dozens of publishers on top of a whole host of cultural programs.  The New York Book & Media Week will see events in libraries, independent bookstores, Barnes & Noble and the Apple stores + more.  Blog World is going to more than double in size from 2011.  The IDPF Digital Book 2012 will likely get close to 1,000 people in their 3rd year of being co-located at BEA.  This is the second year of Publishers Launch which will run an outstanding in-depth program. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What do you want from BEA???

We are in the midst of shaping our plans to make more of the BEA experience available via video, starting with the 2012 show.   Our initial plan is to stream our marquee events live along with some action from the show floor.   The marquee events are the Book & Author Breakfasts along with the various Buzz Panels - which is Adult Trade, Middle Grade & YA each have their own Buzz Panels.  

What we want to know is: 
If you that have been to BEA, what are the most compelling events?
For those that never have been to BEA, but wished to from a far - what do you want to see?  
Would you like to see what is happening in the exhibitor booths?
Is autographing more exciting? 
We do audio podcasts for almost all of the conference sessions - is there a need to offer video?  

We have to make decisions as to what we can include on video because covering it all is not a viable option, at least for 2012.  Please let me know what you want to see or who - should we interview people from the show floor - do you want to hear from publishers or booksellers?  Would you like to have pre-show video promoting authors so you can plan your time better at BEA?

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving - truly my favorite Holiday on the calendar.  Special thanks to anyone that takes the time to offer their opinions - they  will be most appreciated.

Monday, November 21, 2011

At what temperature do e-books burn?

Is there irony in Fahrenheit 451 being released as an e-book?  I think it is exciting that such an iconic piece of literature can be given new life as it is delivered in a new format.  But the essence of the format goes against spirit  of the book.  I cribbed this passage from Wikipedia (I know - not the land of true facts), because it brings me back the lectures from high school about the meaning of the book and what I thought about when I saw the news today.

Bradbury has stated that the novel is not about censorship, but a story about how television destroys interest in reading literature, which leads to a perception of knowledge as being composed of factoids, partial information devoid of context. 

I strikes me that e-reading devices are exactly what Bradbury portended is being destroyed, what was television in the 1950's are now iPads, smart phones and every other device that competes for our attention and eyeballs.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book stats confuse me

Reading Shelf Awareness yesterday - the lead from Mr. Mutter:

September bookstore sales jumped 7%, to $1.55 billion, compared to September 2010, according to preliminary estimates from the Census Bureau. For the year to date, bookstore sales have risen 2.8%, to $12.024 billion.

So far this year, bookstore sales have been erratic, falling in January, but then rising from February through May, and falling in June and July before rebounding in August and September.  
Note: under Census Bureau definitions, bookstore sales are of new books and do not include "electronic home shopping, mail-order, or direct sale" or used book sales.

It is a given that book sales statistics are notoriously unreliable and often misleading.  Still - considering the continued explosion of digital book sales are not included in these figures nor does it seem to include sales from the likes of Amazon or B&N on-line, it is encouraging.  I have had the pleasure of getting to know ABA President and owner of the well know Austin, TX store - Book People over this past fall.  Seeing him while he was in NYC last Monday he shared a copy of their new catalogue - My Favorite Book 2011, which is really terrific (you have to check it out - I challenge you not to find something you want to buy) - he shared that his store has done extremely well over the last 2 years.  How many retail businesses are thriving these days??  That explains the optimism I see heading into BEA for 2012.  I don't have a real point in here other than the book sales numbers aside from digital are consistently inconsistent.  I have come to the conclusion that there is one fact to hang onto - digital or paper - there are more people reading these days. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Back at my desk with random thoughts.

It has been a busy, busy fall season going to the Moscow Book Fair, Frankfurt, a trip to Beijing and then hitting BlogWorld and New Media Expo in Los Angeles having been on the road for 28 of the last 70 days.  This is my excuse why I have not been posting regularly.  I also managed to figure out why my posts where not getting posted from my Blackberry - they needed to be sent as SMS messages.  I used to be able to send a regular e-mail from my old Blackberry.  I am sure it is my lack of technical expertise - plus having a new phone is why none of my road posts made here. 

Sharing some random thoughts BEA related and otherwise:
  • I was just noticing Amazon's foray into Groupon territory with Amazon Local - nothing for Connecticut (which is local for moi).  I guess it was just a matter of time.  Interesting....
  • While at BlogWorld last week, there were loads of awesome panels - the one I took the most interest in was Guy Kawasaki and Chris Brogan talking about Google+.  I wished it was a bit more of a 'how to' - but the bottom line is they LOVE Google+, saying it is now what Twitter was 4 yrs ago.  Guy used a better analogy: Google+ is to Facebook as Apple is to Microsoft (talking operating systems).  They also said Facebook is for the people you already know and Google+ is for who you want to know.
  • I mentioned my new phone - the Blackberry Torch - it is called a Torch because you want to set on fire - it sucks.  The screen is glitchy and super sensitive, it gets 'stuck' thinking constantly and the 4G is slow as can be because of the operating system - my wife runs circles around me on her iPhone.
  •  BEA is plugging away at increasing the New York Book and Media Week scope and number of events - this includes looking at a Business to Consumer element at BEA - B2C as we like to say.  Nothing is likely to happen for 2012 - but once we have all the author submissions we are looking to see if we can program something at Javits that opens the event (and not the show floor) to consumers.
  • BlogWorld in LA was an awesome event - it is such a perfect fit to have co-located at BEA, we expect that it will double in size for NYC compared to 2011.
  • It is another busy week as we go head on into the Holiday Season, but I will be forcing myself to post, as long as I can share info that is useful.  Is it me or is the creeping window of the Holidays pushing the envelope?  I was in Washington, DC with the family this weekend and heard Xmas music all over the place.