Friday, April 27, 2012

Swimming in the Stream

Below is a communication we sent to the BEA universe.  This offers the chance to carry the player that will broadcast the BEA Channel on Livestream.  Events will either be streamed live or available for play on demand.  Just grab one of the save the date banners for your blog or website and you will then carry the player sharing the happenings at BEA with your own unique audience.  

Thank you for supporting BEA 2012. We're looking forward to a great event and are excited about our new STREAMING initiative that will promote authors and titles at BEA in a dynamic new way to generate more excitement and buzz to a much larger audience beyond the physical event in NYC.

We'll be streaming a number of marquee events via the Web—some will be streamed live and others will be posted shortly after taking place. Live streamed events will include: Author Breakfasts, Buzz Panels, and appearances from the Downtown Author Stage, sponsored by Innodata

We're excited to let you know that if you want to add great content to your Web site and help spread the word, you will be able to carry the BEA Streaming Player totally FREE with live events and events post show on demand. 

If you'd like to offer this to your Web site visitors and help remarket the BEA content—simply copy and embed the code for the BEA Streaming Save the Date Banners, which can be accessed through this link onto your Web site. Then, as we get closer to the show, we will send you the actual video player widget to put on your site!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Book Fairs are more than an Away Game

Having just returned from the London Book Fair - I find it remarkable how book fairs like LBF, Frankfurt and BEA are now the equivalent of an away game in any given sport, picking up your business and bringing it to a venue across town or across the planet for 3+ days of intense business.  I am not writing to go on about the value of trade shows, face to face interaction and the concentration of current or potential business partners in one venue at one time.  All nice and reasons why book fairs continue to be meccas on the calendar for the industry. 

My point is that opportunity is being wasted on 2 fronts.  I am painting all fairs with the same brush here, but the days of big news at book fairs has waned.  Maybe this is not a bad thing as people focus on the task at hand, filling their schedule and taking advantage of who they can meet with at a fair.  Due to social media's evolution, it may not be possible for a headline to emerge as news is spread, consumed and digested with increased frequency.  Barriers to information are gone that existed even just 3 years ago, meaning news will happen with or without the fair.  Still, few companies make announcements at book fairs these days nor do they hold 'big' news to coincide with BEA, LBF or Frankfurt.  Making news is seemingly not on people's agendas for what they need to accomplish at a fair and that is an opportunity that is being missed.  

More alarming to me is the unique education and programs available at book fairs that barely get consideration.  I spoke to a number of industry people at LBF that are far smarter than I with bigger jobs that did not have any idea about the majority of the conference programs.  I understand, their time is extremely precious and they have an agenda set months before walking in the the fair grounds.   However there is content being presented by thought leaders in the industry and can have an invaluable impact on business plans.   My hope for BEA this year is that the right people know to take advantage of the great programming and that will benefit them and their organizations.  A distinct example will be the BEA Select panels, which will focus on critical industry issues.

The first BEA Selects session features a cross section of publishers to provide relevance for almost any publisher.  Perspective from Children's & the independent publishing, internal organization, nuances on team structure and how they work different and how some organizations are implementing new strategies and efforts to bring the author and reader together.

BEA Selects: Reader Centric Publishing – Bringing Authors and Readers Together
These days it’s all about the reader! Publishers are transforming their companies to focus on the reader --- and bringing readers and authors together! Its impact is being felt in strategies not just about what is being published, but also how staffs collaborate and how new workflow systems have been created to develop strategies and tactics to define the reader and map out ways to connect authors and reader. Authors are being educated by their publishers and encouraged to build strong author platforms and engage with readers! New technology is available to publishers to allow them to build new alliances and generate new revenue sources all in an effort to be profitable and connect readers with their many authors. Hear from top executives in the book industry – on ways they are turning the tables and moving to “Reader Centric” publishing!
Carol Fitzgerald, President
Gina Centrello, President and Publisher of the Random House Publishing Group
Bronwen Hruska,  Publisher of Soho Press
Jonathan Karp, Executive Vice President and Publisher of Simon & Schuster
Megan Tingley, Senior Vice President of Hachette Book Group and Publisher of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Planning for BEA Made Easier

We got a lot of feedback last year about the difficulties in navigating the BEA website for events and the conference program.  It was on a separate website, it was challenging to navigate, and could not be bookmarked or saved.  While we had all the content, people had a hard time finding what they wanted and that is not acceptable for a good customer experience.   So - we went back to the drawing board.

The results are huge leap forward for this year.  Take a test drive - create your own agenda - just go through this link: BEA Show Planner - Create a free account

We are not done.  We will continue to improve and refine the functions going forward BUT it is a ginormous improvement from last year
  • Ready Now:
    • ALL content is currently live on My BEA Show Planner, along with all of the exhibitor content. There is no separate website and search interface.
    • All events, authors and books can now be added to the same My BEA agenda along with exhibitors our attendees plan to visit
    • The personal agenda is saved in your account and printable; much of it will synch with BEA Mobile (we are still testing how much will actually synch this year)
    • Multiple options to view and sort data:
      • Keyword Search
      • By Event Type
      • By Author/Participant
      • By BEA Education Track
      • View All Events
      • View All by Day
      • View All Authors/Participants
      • View All Books
    • All of the data links together as well: Events are linked to the Authors participating, Authors are linked to their Events and Books, Books are linked to their Authors and Publishers (Exhibitors); We have the foundation to link Events to Books as well and should have that in place next year at the latest.
  • To Come:
    • Grid View of Events by Day and by Type (to come for this event)
We are open to input on ways to further improve!  Surf, schedule and enjoy!!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

BEA 2012 - Defining Consumer Participation - Prepare for Power Readers

I want to share details as logistics are falling into place for opening BEA in a LIMITED way to consumers this year.  Before I jump into specifics, some context will be helpful.  The indicators for BEA pointed to this being the right idea at the right time to engage consumers on a more direct basis.  This is an opportunity to spread the buzz and excitement of BEA to people that are reading evangelists and would deliver more value for our exhibitors as a whole. Still - we were prepared for opposition and expected to have to defend our decision.  The silence has been has been heard loud and clear.  To be blunt, I am shocked at how this is being embraced by publishers.   I also want to emphasize the consumers attending on Thursday will not impact with the B2B portion of BEA.  In fact, they might be hard to notice as they will only be a small portion of the people in attendance on Thursday, there will still be THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of booksellers, librarians, retailers, museum stores and industry people at BEA conducting business.  We developed the plan below to allow BEA to substantively engage consumers without risking what has always been valuable at BEA
  • This will be limited to 1,000 consumers who will pay admission.  We want people who value this unique opportunity and are passionate readers.  Their badge will show them as POWER READERS
  • BEA is partnering with a number of local booksellers, NYPL and publishers to make this allotment of tickets available.  
  • We will communicate pre-show,  on-site when they get their badge and using editorial in the PW Show Daily on day 3 to explain to our 'new' attendees: what to expect, what to look for and how to enjoy BEA.
  • We will prohibit consumers from peddling manuscripts, stating that constitutes soliciting and will result in the loss of their badge.  
  • There will be some specific programming for consumers, like a Best of the Buzz panel and other events on the Author Stages, but we will mostly encourage them to visit publishers in their booths as well as autographing.
  • We will highlight which publishers will offer give aways for the Power Readers.  
  • Selling directly to consumers is not permitted for 2012 as we do not have time to set up retail partners or to enforce tax collection laws.  This will be addressed for 2013.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Follow up from yesterday's post

Thank you to everyone who reached out to us regarding their individual situations with the press pass issue.   We appreciate your patience and will respond to everyone individually that has contacted the BEA team either here, on the BEAN, e-mail or Twitter as quickly as we can. The Easter & Passover holidays makes it tough to accomplish anything over the weekend.  

One thing I need to address now is a piece of misinformation that has been widely circulated.  Please note, anyone planning for the BEA Bloggers Conference (BBC) expecting to attend BEA - - the issue of qualifying for a free press pass has no impact on your plans whatsoever.  The BBC badge ALWAYS included a full access pass to BEA - period.   BEA Special Events like the Author Breakfast are an additional fee - that also has always been the case.  

The only debate is for anyone (blogger or traditional media) seeking a free press pass.  We recognize the error in the delay in notifying people - we were wrong, we are very sorry about this and will rectify.  We are also happy to revisit anyone's credentials that feel they should qualify.  This is how the process has always worked, there have been no changes to the procedure of who qualifies for a press pass.

Thank you again for your patience, I hope you able to enjoy a safe and pleasant Holiday weekend. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Defining Issues – The BEA Press Pass (+ bonus travel tip)

I want to take this opportunity to clarify our press registration policy.  We welcome all members of the press to BEA, which includes bloggers who provide an invaluable contribution to continuing dialogue about books and authors.  That said, we turned down a number of press applications yesterday and unfortunately we notified some individuals of their status well past the 2 week benchmark for evaluation that we stated in our original communication.  For that we are very sorry and we apologize to those individuals (and are working with those individuals to resolve amicably in a way that will make sure they are able to still attend BEA). 
Meanwhile, I wanted to take this opportunity to outline our press guidelines which have always been in place and which we will post to the website for anyone and everyone to see.  Our goal is simple:  to maintain the highest standard of excellence for both our exhibitors and our attendees in everything that we do.  It is with this in mind that we established the following criteria:  
  • No one under 18 years of age is allowed at BEA unless they are accompanied by a member of the publishing industry. (This pertains to anyone registering to attend BEA.)
  • Professional editorial coverage of BEA in trade magazines, electronic media (TV, Radio, etc.), blogs, periodicals, etc.
  • Subject Matter & Focus
  • Content Update Frequency
  • Community & Traffic (total impressions, circulation for magazines/newspapers, demographics, etc.)
All returning independent and freelance journalists must supply links to stories written AND published in mainstream media outlets as proof of their journalistic qualifications; independent and freelance journalists attending BEA for the first time must provide letter of assignment from mainstream media outlet.  We hope this clears up any confusion and sincerely apologize for the delay in conveying notice.   
On a separate travel note - someone forwarded me a tip for cheap hotels.  I have not used this, but very much trust the person who sent this along:
On online auction for travel, I have purchased numerous things.  It is a legitimate site and there are some good bargains there from time to time.  

One of the things that I have purchased are nights at the Wyndham Garden Hotel at the Newark Airport.... as shown below.  Simply put...the price is right.  A room only cost me $11 + $32 = $43 total.....which isn't bad at all.  Now, I have 'won' two separate auctions for rooms at the Wyndham Newark Airport... that it can be for up to 12 nights....and anytime until Dec. 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

E-Reading reseach as reported by Shelf Awareness today

Nothing surprising here, although it is encouraging that the stats indicate that digital continues to prove to be a format option and not a replacement for the printed book.  Books still work great. 

Pew Research Center Study: Americans Are E-Reading

One-fifth of American adults (21%) say they have read an e-book during the past year, according to the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project study, which also noted a marked increase in e-readership following the holiday season. In mid-December 2011, 17% of American adults had reported they read an e-book in the previous year.

The study, which was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, found that about 43% of Americans age 16 and older read long-form digital text (e-books and magazines) and many said they are reading more because the material is in a digital format. Among respondents, the average e-book consumer read 24 books (the mean number) in the past 12 months, compared with an average of 15 books by a non-e-book consumer.

The study also noted that 88% of those who read an e-book during the past year also read a printed book. Overall, 72% of adults read a print book, compared to the 21% who read an e-book and 11% who listened to an audiobook.

Among the 14% of Americans age 16 and up who read both print books and e-books, readers preferred e-books when they wanted to get a book quickly (83%), when they were traveling or commuting (69%) and when they were looking for a wide selection (53%). However, print editions were strongly preferred when it came to reading to children (81%) and sharing books with others (69%).

Other significant findings from the Pew Internet Project survey:
  • Owners of e-reading devices are more likely than all Americans 16 and older to get book recommendations from people they know (81% vs. 64%) and bookstore staff (31% vs. 23%). In addition, compared with the general public, owners of e-reading devices who use the Internet are also more likely to get recommendations from online bookstores or other websites (56% vs. 34%).
  • Amazon's Kindle Fire grew in market share from 5% in mid-December to 14% of the tablet market by mid-January. Apple's iPad dominates the market, with a 61% share, as of this past February.
  • Among those who do not own tablet computers or e-book reading devices, the main reasons people said they do not own the devices are: 1) they don't need or want one, 2) they can't afford one, 3) they have enough digital devices already or 4) they prefer printed books.