Tuesday, September 25, 2012

BEA Bloggers Conference News

I am jumping the gun a little as we are still waiting on a couple of confirmations from a few book bloggers that have been invited to be on the BEA Book Bloggers Advisory Committee.  However, I had promised we would announce by mid-September so I thought it would be better to announce the bulk of those that committed than wait too long.  I am also pleased to announce that Maggie Donovan, who had been the conference coordinator on BEA and another Reed event (Global Gaming Expo or G2E) was promoted to Conference Manager.  Makenzie Lynch joined the BEA team filling Maggie's previous role as the Conference Coordinator.  There are a lot of helping hands at BEA, but I am particularly happy as Maggie worked a lot on the BEA Bloggers Conference (BBC) last year.  Maggie got to meet and talk with many bloggers this past June and genuinely understands the interests of the blogging community at BEA.    

Below are the book bloggers that have accepted our invitation to participate on the BBC Conference Advisory Board.  Their primary responsibility will be to develop the conference program that we produce for the 2013 event as well as to advise BEA on issues related to the BBC with a perspective that advocates for book bloggers and their needs. The expectation is they will know the most important issues to present at the BBC and the best people in the community and publishing industry that can represent a given topic or program.  

Our G2E event is in 2 weeks, so Maggie and Makenzie are swamped until then, after that it is full steam ahead for BEA and the BBC.  You can send  conference  suggestions to Maggie at mdonovan@reedexpo.com.   Starting in November, there be a 'call for papers' to solicit conference submissions on the BBC page on the BEA site as well as a list of the complete advisory committee after we can confirm everyone's participation. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Race to the bottom.....

The news of the DoJ settlements being approved for HarperCollins, Simon and Schuster and Hachette is several days old but ebook prices are falling sharply and quickly.  I have included a couple of links below from Galley Cat and PW providing details on specifics for those that are curious.  

I gravitated to this topic because I am putting the finishing touches on the BEA strategy plan for 2013 and beyond, pouring over all kinds of industry info and data.  One of the stats that jumped out to me was from the BISG/AAP Bookstats 2011report which details that publishing revenue was down -2.5% in 2011 (from 2010) which = $500,000,000.00 - that is a lot of zeros to get to a half a billion dollars.  So while revenue was going down, units sold (books) went up by 100,000,000. Going from 2.7 billion to almost 2.8 billion units sold or a 3.4% increase.  Based on the immediate results from the DoJ the trend of less revenue for more books will persist.  The silver lining is more people are reading in more formats and optimistically that will benefit everyone.  The formula of less revenue for more volume might work on widgets and hamburgers, but I know that it is not a successful business formula, at least in the halls of Reed Exhibitions.  While increased volume can bring efficiencies and supply discounts, it is understandable that prices will fall.  However, that does not yet exist in producing books.  If anything, because books now need to be produced in a greater number of formats the opposite is true.  While an ebook does not have the same cost of print and paper, books are still being printed regardless - only now the cost of that book to be formatted into an ebook has been added to the process.  One other example of the challenges for the industry, also from the 2011 Bookstats report were the stats for Wholesalers, who remained flat in terms of their total revenue from 2010 to 2011, yet their volume was up 17%.  Maybe flat is the the new up in 2009 parlance, but  increasing your level of output by 17% for the same money sounds like a loss to me.  Where does that leave the authors?  There might be more pies, but their slice will dwindle with the revenue.  

I don't have any answers, just concerns that this is a race to the bottom when all the dust settles in the next couple of years.

Publishers Weekly HarperCollins-reaches-new-e-book-agreements.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The BEAN is back!

I never left but I feel compelled to explain my lack of posting since BEA 2012 ended.  Being honest, the summer of 2012 was mildly overwhelming both on the BEA front and maintaining a semblance of a family life.  I will spare details from my family vacation (although happy to share with interested parties).  Traveling to Taipei for the International Book Fair Directors meeting in July and then Beijing International Book Fair at the end of August kept me busy in preparing for both trips and adjusting back and forth from the time change, well, I am not quite as nimble in flipping that switch as I once was with a 12 or 13 hour time difference.  BEA was quite busy on a lot of fronts.  

I will recap a few of the things that have transpired, and some I did manage to blog about, but still want to summarize some of the plans for BEA going forward as 2013 is only 36 weeks away!  Hey - it takes 40 weeks give or take for a baby to arrive in this world, BEA needs all 52 weeks come to term (speaking of which: Congrats to Brien McDonald who had his second baby girl on August 29th).  
  • BEA CHANGED the Show Dates  for 2013 to May 30, 31 & June 1, 2013 - Thursday, Friday Saturday.  This was done in order to help reduce BEA hotel prices and will save between 10% and 20% if not more at some properties across the board at BEA.  This will be a big difference in holding travel costs down.  Also this will allow BEA to have a much strong consumer day on Saturday June 1st.
  • BEA opened up to consumers for the 1st time in 2012 and it went exceedingly well, in particular because we limited the number of consumers and kept he expectations to minimum .  The consumers that attended had an unbelievably positive and fun experience.  BEA is eager to open the doors wider for 2013.  We will still have limits so we can insure having consumers at BEA is good for publishers and great experience for the fans coming to BEA.
  • The BEA Bloggers Conference was not without hiccups in its first year under BEA's care, but still exceeded expectations and grew significantly.  We look forward to announcing our advisory board of Book Bloggers that will oversee the content for 2013 and will be a sounding board for BEA to insure this is an event for bloggers by bloggers.  We will announce in the next 2 weeks who is on that advisory board.
  • BEA launched BookBliss - this is the podcast and video home for BEA content and book fans.  Sticking with the baby analogies - this is in its infancy and we look forward to watching this grow and expand, creating place and a community for people who are passionate about books and want to interact year round.  
  • A few more tidbits: 
    • We are working with the ABA to secure an ABA headquarters hotel for 2013 (this is much harder that is sounds).
    • The Javits renovation is nearing completion so BEA 2013 will have all the exhibitor meeting rooms on the periphery of the exhibits, making BEA more efficient and easy for all
    • Moving the ABA Lounge will be moving to the show floor too - more bookseller on the show floor and more exclusive programs for ABA members.
    • BEA received our 3rd party analysis and it turns our BEA's verified attendance was up 11% - this great because it validates all the positive reviews from BEA 2012.
I typically avoid any sort of editorial here in this space - wanting to just share info that is useful and relevant.  However there is so much going on in publishing right now from the personnel changes at the highest levels, to the DoJ case, the Kobo deal with the ABA, the Bookstats report had a ton interesting data and more on a daily basis, it might be hard to not offer some comments.