Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Live BEA Live

I enjoy word play for my blog post titles, but should avoid ones that need an explanation.  The risk of today's post title is people not knowing the intended semantic of the word 'live' as you are reading it - it should read Live (rhyming with give) BEA Live (rhyming with Jive).  

What I am talking about is that for the first time ever BEA is going to live stream the Book & Author Breakfasts, the Buzz Panels and the majority of the programming from the main Author Stage.  We are finalizing the details with Live Stream, who is the service provider.  I mention them specifically because they have technology that is going to allow BEA to provide access anyone that wants host the live feed from a blog or website.  The really cool feature is that people will be able to live chat as events are happening.  We area also planning to take questions from our virtual attendees for the authors.  I am beyond excited about the possibilities this brings to BEA for engaging consumers directly, giving  a peak behind the curtain of the goings on at BEA.  We already know there is a huge appetite for these programs.  BEA has long offered audio of our conference sessions and the last couple of years captured the breakfasts and some other author events on video that we posted weeks after the fact.  To give a sense of the scale of these viewing numbers - there were 168,000+ unique visitors to our site, 1,000,000+ page views and 400,000+ downloads.  While these are not staggering numbers in terms of web traffic, they are when you consider that the site is very utilitarian (as that is all we have needed) and that there is almost no promotion at all for the site or the content.  Still 168,000 unique people found it on their own and were moved to download 400,000+ events from BEA 2011!!!!

More details will come as we finalize our plans.  It will be much more exciting to be at BEA in person, but if you can't be there then Live BEA Live baby!!!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The BEA Road Show

I am heading out on a trip to meet with a group of German publishers in Munich followed by a stop in Paris to do the same with a group of French publishers.  I am extremely grateful to several organizations for their help in putting this opportunity together.  The biggest thanks go out to the AAP & BISG for allowing me to use data from the recent BookStats report that was completed in November.  It is chock full of market data and intelligence that has not been available before they collaborated on this project.  It is critical in providing real market data in the US that has never been available to this extent - at least in accuracy and in scope.  Without the BookStat data I would not have had compelling information that would have been worth the time to present to these key European publishers.  An equal thanks goes to buchreport, the German trade magazine for helping promote and organize this meeting.  The same for Hebdo Livres, the French trade pub for their enthusiastic support.

While this trip sounds exciting - going to Munich and Paris, I leave on an overnight flight tonight and will spend about 24 hours in each destination.  I wish I had the luxury to extend my stay, but that is not in the cards.

The purpose is to share key market data and trends from the US publishing market.  BEA's goal is to build stronger and more direct relationships with publishers in these 2 key European publishing markets while highlighting the opportunities that are available in the US for international publishers.  The US is years ahead in e-book adoption, transition and integration as part of the publishing ecosystem, especially in comparison to any other developed publishing markets.  There are critical learning to be had from the information BEA will be presenting with the hopes of delivering a genuine value for those taking time to meet with the BEA team.  Thanks also goes out to Dr. Ruediger Wischenbart, BEA's Director of International Affairs.  He had the vision to put this program together that will benefit all the participants in some way and that is the ultimate goal, delivering value for your partners.  I look forward to posting some jet lagged thoughts along the way. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Future is Here and it is in Jet Packs!!!

I was fortunate enough to attend the TOC Executive Roundtable held at Random House today (thank you to Cevin Bryerman of Publishers Weekly and Kat Meyer from TOC).   There were a lot of publishing people you would expect from execs to people on the tech side, but a good mix from the big NYC houses and a variety of publishers, packagers, niche publishers along with a number of related tech companies.  

The featured speaker was Eric Reis, author of the best selling The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business.  Eric got the discussion going by stating that one of the inherent problems, not necessarily with publishing, but businesses today as whole, is we are efficiently building the wrong things.  Instead we need to efficiently figure out what to build in 1st place.   In other words, people are more engaged in the process and not the outcome.  They build a great product without a market for it.   There was a lot of spirited talk about the 'things' that were wrong with publishing or pondering what the 'solution' is for publishing and the dangers of complacency, hanging onto old models, etc....  Needless to say a lot of there was a good amount of debate and opinions being being shared.

Before I get too far, I want to state I normally abide by the advice of Mark Twain that it is better to keep one's mouth shut and let people think you are idiot than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.  Not heeding my normal reservations & acknowledging I am closer to a carny than a publisher as I run an event and I am not in the trenches of publishing - I will risk sticking my foot in my mouth to share my opinion from the conversation today.

I could go on endlessly (and some people did) about  the context of the challenges publishing is facing, but that is better left to real publishers.  What was so confounding was all the talk about revenue models, literacy challenges, platform delivery etc...trying to identify what is the 'real' issue publishing is facing.  To me it seemed as plain as could be - everything that was discussed today was a sales and marketing issue - nothing more and nothing less.   It is not as fundamental and complicated as people are making the challenges out to be.  People are trying to guess if the future is jet packs or if we are going to be teleporting things so everyone can place the right bet on which technology is THE one.  People are still going to go from point A to point B - it can be cars, trains, jet packs or a transporter just like people are going to read, it just so happens that it will be on a variety of devices, delivered by multiple methods as well as through good old fashioned paper books.  Technology is not the problem.  Good books have a market, they just have to be built efficiently, everything else is white noise. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Invoking Crazy Eddie for BEA Bloggers - A Crazy Deal for Blog World

This will not be the last post about the BEA Bloggers Conference as we will have more cool news to share in the next 2 weeks with session titles, naming speakers and a couple of format tweaks that I think people are going to love. 

This post is about a truly insane deal for BEA Blogger Conference registrants that want to upgrade to get the full BlogWord Conference pass - see the full explanation below from the great Rick Calvert, BlogWorld CEO.  Right now (until February 21st) - you can upgrade into a full BlogWorld conference pass for $12.00 - that is crazy!!  The only thing you will need to do is complete you BEA registration 1st and then provide BlogWorld with your BEA Confirmation Number.  This is a manual process, so bear with us as we work this out - it should go smooth, but that is what we thought when we got the BEA Bloggers reg running and that was awkward to say the least.   Rick's note is below.

Hi guys,

I thought I should weigh in here and further clarify Steve's post.  The pricing for BlogWorld and book expo is a bit different.  If you are attending as a blogger you want the Blogger and Podcaster pass at BlogWorld.

Our Blogger and Podcaster pass includes three full days of conference sessions with 200 speakers, the exhibits and entry to all of our parties. Here are the prices:

Before Feb 22 $147

Between Feb 23 and March 15 $197
Between Feb 16 and May 22 $297
After May 22 $397

If you have already registered for the BEA Bloggers Conference you just pay the difference between the BEA pass and the BlogWorld pass.

So if you register by Feb 22, it will cost you $12 bucks to upgrade to the Blogger and Podcaster Pass.
  • Between Feb 23 and March 15 $62.
  • Between March 16 and May 22 $162.
  • After May 22 then it is $262.

Yes we use a different registration vendor than Book Expo and as Steve says we are working out the details on how to accomplish your pass upgrade but Steve's team is available to answer your questions and get you registered.

I will be monitoring this thread and will answer any other questions that you have.

We hope to see you all in New York!

Rick Calvert
CEO & Co-founder
BlogWorld & New Media Expo

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Clearing up the BEA Bloggers Conference Issues (I hope)

Dear BEA Book Bloggers:

It has been a wild week on a number of fronts, but I want to make sure we clear up the confusion on how to register for the Book Blogger Convention (now re-branded BEA Bloggers Conference) and what the pricing is.

  • If you are a book blogger you can register for BEA Bloggers as a blogger or under media. The fee for this pass is $135 (Early Bird) and that includes a full pass to BEA which as well as the exhibits at BlogWorld (BW).  You can upgrade for a full BW conference pass for the difference in the appropriate price point.  I have to be candid on this, they have a different registration vendor and we still have to iron out those details, but it will be posted soon and it will be a great deal considering the full BlogWorld Conference pass costs close to $1,000.00.    Register using this link:
  • If you do not qualify as media or a blogger but still want to attend, register as a regular BEA attendee in the category of non editorial media for $159 (Early Bird) and then you may ADD on the BEA Bloggers pass for an additional $72 (Early Bird). When you do this, you will also be able to walk the exhibits at BlogWorld. Register using this link:

If you believe you have registered incorrectly, please email our BEA customer service team at and they will assist you.

I thank you for your support of the BEA Bloggers Conference and BEA.  The whole team appreciates your candid comments. Please know we are here to work with you the book blogging community to ensure this is YOUR event and delivers the VALUE you need and want.

Now for some good and exciting news, author Jennifer Weiner is going to be the Key Note for the BEA Bloggers Conference - Link for Jennifer Weiner bio

As promise here is the shiny new BEA Bloggers logo...