Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Awesome BEA Blogger Con for 2014 is taking Shape!!!!

     The BEA Blogger Conference Advisory Board  has begun planning for 2014 in earnest.  Just a  quick note, an enormous thank you and shout out to our committee, because it is a big commitment and could not be done without their knowledge and insights.  PS:  I think the best thing about blogging is naming your blog - I love these names.    
     The 2014 BEA Blogger Advisory Board:

Returning Members: 
  •  Mandy Boles- The Well-Read Wife
  • Pam van Hylckama Vlieg- Bookallicious
  • Jane Litte-
  • Danielle Smith- There’s A Book
  •  Marybeth Whalen- She Reads
New Members:
  • Ana Grilo- The Book Smugglers
  • Thea James- The Book Smugglers
  • Ariel Lawhon- She Reads
  • Rachel Rivera- Parajunkee 
Look up the bios and info on the BBC Advisory Board.

r     NOTE - Your chance to contribute:  BEA Bloggers Call For Ideas is now open. Our team encourages anyone to submit session proposals, general topics, speaker and keynote ideas.
o   We will take any suggestions - even personal advice :)
o   Deadline: January 31st

   What else to know for right now??  SAVE THE DATE:     
  MAY 28th 2014  
  • Price: $145 Early Bird ( $175 after May 15th) 
    • Includes Breakfast & Lunch
    • Includes your badge to BEA

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

BEA Translation Market

Considering that a picture is worth a 1,000 words and with the picture below is close to another 1,000 words, there no need add much else.  We are thrilled to bring the spotlight at BEA to a global genre and create a home for books in translation to connect with the whole industry at BEA.

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Brief Essay on the Big Litter Box in the Sky

I avoid posting personal info here in the Bean, but occasionally reference my family or items that are unrelated to BEA. While there will be some newsy items in the next few weeks (stay tuned!) - it is Thanksgiving this week, so I am being indulgent by sharing an essay on something 'emotional' my 10 year old son wrote for his 5th grade English class.  It resonates for me as his Dad, but it also made me laugh, because this is how his brain works and it is a truly emotional piece of writing.  I am hoping you will be as entertained as I was.  

These are his words, unedited with the exception of correcting a couple of typos. 

You the reader are probably expecting this to be that jolly type of story where there is a jolly and happy ending but it is not.

It starts on beautiful joyful happy Saturday morning.  I woke up to get ready for the day and I am saying to myself  “it is going to be a wonderful day.” But then my thought is 100 percent wrong. The first thing I saw was the worst thing I ever saw, my cat Rudy was lying on the floor frozen! I collapsed in disbelief but I had to face Rudy was ready to go up to the big litter box in the sky!

I ran into another room jumped on a couch and sobbed like there was no tomorrow I ran back up stairs and told my family the bad news. We stood there for 10 minutes until I broke the silence by bursting in tears and fell on to the ground almost making a puddle on the floor.

Later I walked outside watching my dad put Rudy’s body in the car and drive off to the spot where we first saw Rudy and make that his final resting place.  And after that we got a Christmas tree decoration in his honor so we could always remember Rudy.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Where in the world is Sharjah?

I pose my question in this post's title because the near universal response from people is bewilderment when I tell them I will be traveling to the Sharjah International Book Fair.  When I say Sharjah, they nod knowingly, then stop themselves and look at me with a blank expression, finally saying: Where?  

This will be my 5th trip to Sharjah, it is in the UAE - very close to Dubai, only about 50-60 miles from Abu Dhabi.   Sharjah International Book Fair is a ten-day international book fair held annually. The Fair started in 1982 and is the largest and most important book fair in the Middle East, getting 20,000+ visitors a day.  My friend Ahmed Al-Amri is the Fair Director and continues to innovate and expand the program and opportunities for publishing professionals, expanding beyond the traditional role a public book fair serves in any modern and literate culture. 

I look forward to attending and have a full schedule.  BEA will post info from Sharjah via the BEA social channels next week share interesting of the happenings from the fair.  Below is a sampling of the professional program.

Sharjah International Book Fair Events 

  • Education resources: changes and challenges in a digital world
  • Challenge's for publishing after the Arab spring 
  • Maximising your IP in a digital world 
  • Translation obstacles 
  • Challenges for Global Distribution 
  • Creative Ways of tackling Book Piracy in the Arab World: Perspectives from the UAE, US, and UK

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

New York, New York, Chicago, ?????

It is not a secret that BEA will be in Chicago in 2016.  There is a tab with Future Dates in the Show Info drop down where this has been posted for almost 2 years.  It has been interesting as people inquired about the rumor that BEA is moving to Chicago... 

To be fair, this has not been overtly promoted, making it understandable that BEA in Chicago in 2016 is not common knowledge.  It is not a rumor, it is fact.  Still that is 2 1/2 years and 3 show cycles away.   BEA's present focus is on a few core items that insures BEA remains a compelling and critical event for the whole industry.  The biggest two are:  
  1. Creating a unique, unparalleled pop culture event for consumers that is centered around books and authors
  2. Protecting the B2B value prop for BEA exhibitors and attendees.

That is deeper fodder for another time, this post is all about the WHERE for BEA after 2016.  We are asking the question and doing the due diligence on where BEA should be after 2016 so that continues to be the best event possible for the most people.  There is a quick survey at the top of this page. 
Please weigh in with your vote
HOWEVER, before you do vote, I ask that you to sit in my seat for a minute and weigh all the factors to be evaluated to make a decision that serves the most people best.
  • BEA depends heavily on the results from our annual exhibitor and attendee research and NYC continues to perform extremely well - with the worst scores from NYC beating out Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles (well - anything short of prison camp might  beat the scores from LA).
  • Venue size and availability - BEA happens at a prime time of the year in terms of trade show activity - this makes getting some venues more of a challenge and where BEA will fit along with a high need for a big meeting room inventory.
  • Hotel inventory and pricing - while BEA might be smaller than it was 10 years ago, BEA still draws a similar number of attendees as it did in 2004 and BEA has to have a sizable hotel inventory with a variety of price options. I know, that does not sound like NYC, but there are many options around $200 or less and cities like San Fran are tough because they would actually be harder than NYC.
  • Press/Media - BEA draws an enviable amount of media both in numbers and in coverage and that remains one of the most valuable pieces of BEA and BEA has to weigh this in any location, which heavily favors NYC.
  • Access:  It is critical that most of BEA's constituents can get travel to BEA with easy options for direct flights domestically or internationally.
  • Is a city a destination for BEA??  San Fran, Boston, Seattle all offer attractive cultural scenes with rich literary histories but go back up the list of items and the dings come in.  Suffice to say - BEA Orlando, BEA Dallas, BEA Atlanta - well I will start looking at prison camps first.  All great cities in their own right, but not cities that BEA exhibitors or attendees would seek as a destination.
We are here because people are increasingly voicing the sentiment that BEA needs to move from New York for a variety of reasons - one being needing variety away from NYC and the big one being the cost of NYC. Make your voice heard, but also think of all the voices and the needs each constituency has vested for participating in BEA.

BEA Future Dates
2015 Thursday May 28 - Saturday May 30th - Javits Center, NYC
2016 Thursday May 12 - Saturday May 14th - McCormick Place, Chicago

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Following Frankfurt

The fall publishing season always falls into pre-Frankfurt or post-Frankfurt on many calendars in terms of availability for people in the publishing business.  I am happily in the post Frankfurt mode, getting home this past Saturday in time to take in NY ComicCon with the family (not sure which of the two was more might be a tie).  Still, following Frankfurt, which I had 25+ planned meetings and innumerable chance meetings and my team had more than 120 scheduled meetings,  BEA now has a ton of great things to follow up on that are going to be part of BEA's success in 2014.  By any measure - it was a fantastic show.  

My point here today is reacting to the headlines in the trades today:
PW:  Frankfurt Book Fair 2013: A Busy Fair Despite Lower Attendance  

Publishers Lunch: Attendance Slides At the Still-Giant Frankfurt Book Fair

I have complained here before about the headline hysteria that goes with BEA's attendance going up or down.  I understand that is the metric in which people judge a book fair (or almost any trade event) and that it is not an unfair measure.  

HOWEVER, the content of the meetings and quality people along with the business results are all that matter.  Conversely the glowing headlines that come with SXSW - where attendance is through the roof, I found I struggled to get into sessions I planned for because of there were too many people and missed people who could not get around because of the crowding.  That could be simply fixing logistics, but the fact is it impacted the value I got for participating in SXSW, diminishing it greatly.  Even so, there was a greater diversity of people at SXSW and it took a lot of time for me to figure out that many of them were people that had no value for me (nor was BEA of any value to them).  The point is - if a little is good, is a lot always better?  I am not disparaging SXSW, but it is not worth it for BEA and we are not going to go back at this point, just no ROI.  If I was in marketing or tech, I would feel differently, but just because they had great growth does not mean it is a great event for everyone.

The BEA team had a terrific fair in Frankfurt, we saw the people we needed to see, we had great meetings, we generated a ton of interest from new people that have not attended or exhibited at BEA.  It was reported that Frankfurt is down by nearly 10,000 trade people since 2009.  To provide some context - BEA's press number was down by more than 300 people this past year.  For BEA it was a concerted effort to improve the quality of the press attending and the feedback BEA received was that this made BEA more effective with the quality of the press noticeably improved.  People should consider that the erosion of 10,000 trade people from Frankfurt are people they probably never met nor did they ever need to meet with and that was 10,000 less people in their way of getting to a meeting in Hall 6 or standing in line for a bratwurst.  Sometimes, less is more.  Despite the headlines, the BEA team will be following up for the next 2-3 months with meetings from a very productive fair and will no doubt be in Frankfurt again 2014.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


BEA Team Heads Off to the Frankfurt Book Fair:
A good portion of the BEA team will be at Frankfurt next week, please stop by our stand in Hall 8, Stand J37.  We have beer, water and apple wine for any visitors + plus a joke or 2 to lighten your mood.

NY ComicCon is next week (Oct 10-13) and they are completely sold out of 120,000 tickets - that is CRAZY!  BEA is a busy show and we 'only' have 25,000 in the building.  Jack that up by almost 5x and that is BUSY. 

This photo was from my presentation at the Exhbitioniste program, which was organized by:, I want to thank everyone for a great program.  I do look angry, but I assure you - I was anything but.

Follow Up on Dave Holton:
Friends and Family are invited to a Celebration of Life for Dave Holton on October 20, 2013 from 4 PM to 6 PM at Jennette's Pier in Nags Head, NC. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to "Beyond Pink", attn: Jarie Ebert, Outer Banks Hospital, 4800 S. Croatan Hwy, Nags Head, NC 27959 or to a charity of your choice. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Remembering Dave Holton

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that Dave Holton passed away on September 18th after a courageous battle with cancer.  There are many who knew and loved Dave, who was a fixture at BEA for more than 20 years.  Dave left the world better than he found it and for those that did have the privilege to know him, why they are saddened and will miss him terribly.

I knew Dave for a long time, but I did not know him as well as he knew me.  But that was Dave, always asking about my family, knowing about where I went on vacation, offering tips on where to go or what see.  Dave always cared a little more about making sure everyone else was taken care of or had a smile on their face because that is what put a smile on his.  

Dave did a lot to make BEA a special event, but that was only a small part of his life because he was active in his community and spent his free time raising tens of thousands of dollars for many charitable causes every year. There are so many stories I'd like to share to paint the picture of what great human being Dave was, but that would take a book itself.   I will share one story that was typical of Dave.  He sent me an email and learned from my out of office reply I was in Washington, DC exhibiting at an ALA  event and this was before BEA was to be in DC, so Dave got in his car and drove to Washington so he could see the new convention center so he would be better prepared for BEA.  All on his own time and his own dime.   I found out about Dave's plan as he walked up to my booth.  I was dumb founded and happily surprised to see him.  I asked why he didn't call or email to let me know he was coming, his response:  "Well I saw your out of office, so I knew you'd be here and I didn't want to bother you."

There is a link below to the funeral home that will be handling his arrangements (details are not yet final, but will be available through this link).  There is also a link to post condolences that will be delivered to Dave's family.  I encourage people that knew Dave to pass along a note as I am sure his family will take comfort in knowing how many lives Dave touched.

It is fitting to share some memories from others who knew Dave and what he meant to BEA:

Oren Teicher from the ABA shared these kinds words:
From the very first time I met Dave - way back to when ABA still operated the convention through his many years of working with the folks at BEA - Dave was always the perfect gentleman. He was dedicated to always making the autographing section of the show better and better......and, each year, he somehow managed to achieve that goal. It was an pleasure to have had the privilege of working with him....he was a very special person.

Tina Jordan, who is now with the AAP, knew Dave as well as anyone in the industry and had the privilege of working directly with him in her time on BEA offered:
No one loved BEA more than Dave Holton.   Dave is THAT guy. You know the guy. The "behind the scenes" BEA guy. Literally.  The guy who took care of your authors with a smile every year for over 20 years behind BEAs autographing curtains. The guy who made sure booksellers got any autographed book and author greeting they wanted. The only guy who could find your lost boxes of books in those cavernous convention centers.  He had that special touch with the unions, he recruited eager college grads wanting that big break in publishing and even took on being an industry cop, scouring E Bay post BEA for culprits trying to sell galleys. A true story.

Publicists loved him. Authors loved him. Booksellers loved him. I loved him.   Thank you Dave for being my partner in BEA events crime for so so many years. I grew up with you.  My heart breaks.  Rest well my dear friend.  I will miss you dearly.

Link to Condolences Registry  Your condolences and expressions of support to the bereaved are private. All messages will be printed and personally presented to the family or forwarded directly to the family's e-mail.  Please feel free to share your thoughts, they are tremendously comforting for the families coping with a loss.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Taking the Long View

Taking the Long View to think about the effects that something will have in the future

BookExpo is knee deep in taking the long view, balancing today vs. tomorrow.  Making certain that exhibitors and attendees get value for the show now, while making changes that will keep BEA relevant many years down the road.  

You can say all you want about publishing being an industry in transition, the digital transformation, the relevance of physical books or bookstores - all items up for debate.  What can't be argued is the fact that in 5 years - 10 years and 100 years - people will still be reading and no matter what the format or delivery, there will still be books.  That make's BEA's focus simple - continue to be an event creates audiences for books.  

I am excited by BEA's recent Conference Advisory Board Meeting.  There was a great energy and enthusiasm for publishing and BEA from this group of industry leaders.  One of the items we shared in that meeting are the top-line objectives for BEA and I think it is worth sharing those plans here.  Please note, while these initiatives will require new energy, thinking and resources, that does not take ANYTHING away from the things BEA does everyday to bring in librarians or independent booksellers or VIPs.  Those programs have been highly successful for BEA and will continue to be important.  The items listed below are being called out because they are going to see a stronger focus for 2014. 
  • Increase Exhibitor Volume thru custom participation options & increased value: BEA in NYC and Javits simply costs more - that is a fact.  NYC also has delivered a higher value for BEA participants.  However, the point of entry is becoming a challenge for some important players.  BEA will come up with turn-key options that will allow anyone to fully engage in BEA for $2,500.00 or lessThis would be less expensive than BEA was for the average exhibitor 10 years ago.  There are too many booksellers, retailers, press, suppliers and industry players that can do business with a publisher at BEA that at that price point, they couldn't afford NOT to exhibit at BEA
  • Manage D2C transition (Direct to Consumer):  From the BEA perspective, the events and Power Readers in 2013 were very successful (85% of Power Readers were Very or Extremely Satisfied and scored their experience off the charts in positive way), however, there needs to be more information for both the attending consumers on what is available and for publishers on what to expect, how to engage consumers and to deliver more value.
  • Improve Saturday B2B Experience:   BEA will make a number of changes to insure that Saturday at BEA is a busy, productive and valuable day.  The last day of any trade show will be slower and we know from the vast majority of attendees: they need MORE than 2 days to get through BEA.  This includes added stipends to insure key buyers are at the show on Saturday, VIP buyer tours on the show floor, strong Saturday programming to make your time there worthwhile and more
  • Deliver Superior Exhibitor Experience: We made massive improvements for attendees in 2013 with aisle congestion, improved autographing and expanded stage programming.  We are going to bring similar focus to making sure exhibitors have a superior experience at BEA.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Summer Slips Into Fall

I will be leaving for the Beijing International Book Fair on Sunday, so my summer is dwindling down faster than most by a week.  I do get home with with just enough time to enjoy a Labor Day burger or two and then we get into the maw of the busy fall season when publishing wakes up from the the summer slumber with sprint that finishes with the Holiday Season.

I know everyone is busier than we remember summers being and down time is a figment of the 1980's.   Still I want to share some of the planning and things that have transpired over the summer that people can anticipate will be part of BEA in 2014:
  • Larger Buzz Committees and a clearer process so we can give more titles an opportunity to shine in the BEA Buzz limelight.
  • More opportunities for authors to participate at BEA.  Not those with manuscripts, but authors that are engaged in the publishing process, looking to interact with readers.
  • A bigger investment from BEA to bring in ABA members that have not been to BEA and other retailers that sell books.  Investment = travel stipends, cheaper hotel options, more value for coming to NYC - like exclusive author events, more sideline vendors with great products they would not find elsewhere and more....
  • A busy B2B Saturday - there are no easy answers here, but I know that people that are not interested in Power Readers need a BUSY AND FULL day of real meetings with potential or existing customers.  This is a top priority.
  • Speaking of Power Readers - there will be more, we will double the number from this year, more events for them and genre based programming like romance, children's,  comic and graphic novels.
  • The Global Market Forum program, as previously announced, will be tacking the ambitious area of books in translation.  WOW - who knew the potential here, we have a host of incredible partners that are going to create a program for both the industry person and the fans of world literature that will be world class.
  • BEA is working on  turn-key options for cost conscience exhibitors that need a total solution to participation in BEA, not just a cheap table & chair. For a flat fee they will be able to really be engaged in the show and connect with booksellers, librarians, retailers and readers
That is only a few of the top line things we are working on for BEA 2014.  If the Fall goes as fast as this Summer, I will be breaking out eggnog in no time.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Books in Translation: Wanderlust for the Written Word


BookExpo America has announced a new development for its 2014 Global Market Forum (GMF) program that is uniquely exciting by bringing a dedicated focus to books in translation.    Leading US and international professionals that specialize in bringing the written word across languages will gather for a world summit on translation on Wednesday May 28th  2014, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City, and in the following days at and around the book industry’s largest gathering in North America which will take place Wednesday, May 28th – Saturday, May 31st 2014.  

BEA welcomes a host of prestigious partners that will develop the professional and cultural programs that make up the 2014 Global Market Forum: Books in Translation presented at BEA as well as various venues and institutions in the New York City area during BEA.  These include the Literary Translation at Columbia Writing Program, PEN World Voices, Open Letter Press at the University of Rochester, the Association of Author Representatives (AAR), American Literary Translators Association, Art of Translation in San Francisco as well as representatives of international markets promoting their countries’ literature in the US.

Books throughout history have been the vehicle for ideas and stories that transcend geography and cultures, reaching audiences far beyond a native land or language. Globalization and digitization bring new forces that are re-inventing the book trade and extending the possibilities for translations.
BEA is leading a collaborative effort from a variety of innovative organizations and experts in the sector to explore how these new opportunities can be turned into new business for authors, agents, publishers and translators.

Topics will include lessons learned from the recent success stories of translated authors, like the Swedish writer Stieg Larsson; explore how translated works can transcend from niche audiences to a large readership; debate best practices for making translations work – from English, as well as into English, and the help proposed from attractive funding programs. Marketing translations can now benefit from self-publishing to social media, by effectively managing interested target audiences, thereby facilitating the way to market for translated books.

“This is a logical evolution for BEA as international participation has outpaced every other segment at BEA aside from digital” says show organizer Steven Rosato.  “While this is different for the GMF program, which typically focuses on a single country or region, providing a platform for books in translation is part of the long term future of BEA and will support future GMF programs and create more business opportunities for all BEA participants.”

BEA will also provide a dedicated page for submitting ideas and suggestions for programs and partnerships for the 2014 Global Market Forum: Books in Translation in the near future.  

Press Contact: Roger Bilheimer,

Program Coordinator: Ruediger Wischenbart,