Friday, May 31, 2013

BEA Day 2 Highlights - Hackathon winners and more

Below is a photo of Publishing Hackathon winners Team Evoke. They won $10k for developing a discovery platform based on story characters. Great job by Perseus and Librify that brought excitement, technology and new opportunity to BEA.

Other highlights include the biggest author breakfast ever with 1,400 people.

The live streaming has had 2,000+ people watching events live.

Not sure who stole the show more today, Grumpy Cat or Jim Carey - both rocked!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Day One From BEA

WOW it was a terrific day. My mantra has been it is only as good as the last exhibitor or attendee I spoke with and based on that, It was a stellar day. Mostly, the WiFi worked, the AC was good and the aisles were jammed. One of the best breakfasts in memory. The author stages were filled all day and people did not want to leave at 5:00. I will have more substance to post tomorrow, and not just some fluffy anecdotes. But suffice to say, BEA has been moving in a positive direction for the last few years and it is great to see that positive energy take root and looks like it much brighter days are coming for the industry.

Steven Rosato, Event Director
BookExpo America
Sent from my mobile phone

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Culture? There is more to Italian culture than the Sistine Chapel

To celebrate The Year of Italian Culture, the Italian Trade Commission (Chicago Office)has organized several special events during BEA and NYBW.

From The Crocodile to a very special mouse/ publisher/editor-in-chief/chief journalist andwinged mythical creatures, here’s the scoop on the happenings at BEA and around town.

Italian illustrator Lorenzo Mattotti, winner of the 2003 Eisner Award for Best U.S. Edition of Foreign Material, will sign and create a unique drawing for each fan, limited to first 100 people in line.
Thursday, May 30 11:00 am  
Italian Trade Commission Booth 802

Geronimo Stiltonbest-selling author, and publisher/editor-in-chief/chief journalist the fictional newspaper The Rodent's Gazette and the president/owner of its publication "The Stilton Publishing" will meet and greet visitors at BEA.
Friday, May 31 11:00 am
Italian Trade Commission Booth 802

Crime fiction fans won’t want to miss Italian writer Maurizio de Giovanni, shortlisted for the 2012 CWA International Dagger award, who will sign copies of his latest book The Crocodile (Europa Editions).
Friday, May 31 3:30 pm  
Italian Trade Commission Booth 802

Mattotti will also discuss his latest work, Oltremai (Beyond Never), in a presentation at the Society of Illustrators on May 30 at 6:30 pm.

Thursday, May 30 6:30-8:30 pm
Society of Illustrators
128 East 63rd Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues)
Presented in collaboration with the Society of Illustrators
To purchase tickets, visit

2013 has been declared The Year of Italian Culture in the United States by the Italian government/Italian Embassy. In cities across the United States, events and exhibitions will showcase Italian culture in areas including art, music, theater, landscaping and architecture, cinema, literature, science, design, fashion, and food.

The Italian Trade Commission is the government agency entrusted with promoting trade, industrial and technological cooperation, and disseminating economic information regarding Italy abroad. The Chicago Office is responsible, among others, for the publishing sector, as well as maintaining and regularly updating its publishing website:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Russia at BEA: Read this post and be an expert on the Russian Publishing Industry

Well, you might become an expert, but you will be privy to some useful news on the Russian publishing market that will give you great insight to state of the industry in Russia.  Up top are details the 2 panels the Read Russia team is presenting at BEA next week and that is followed by an article from the UK Bookseller detailing the investment that Russia is making in supporting its publishing industry.

THURSDAY, MAY 30, 2013  10:30 - 11:00 AM                Midtown Stage

The Read Russia English Translation Prize & New Translation Grant Opportunities
The Russian federal government and associated institutions and philanthropies are launching major new grants, gifts, and publishing support opportunities for U.S. and other English-language publishers and translators of classic and contemporary Russian literature.  Join the Institute of Translation, Read Russia, the Yeltsin Center, and other eleemosynary personalities for a discussion of these new opportunities at BEA!
Moderator: Peter B. Kaufman, President and Executive Director, Read Russia
Contact person: Peter B. Kaufman, Cell: 917 969-7756

FRIDAY, MAY 31, 2013 2:00 - 2:30 PM                Midtown Stage
READ RUSSIA PRESENTS:  New Trends in Russian Literature & Russian Publishing

Join Olga Slavnikova, Andrei Gelasimov, Irina Muravyova, and other leading lights from the Russian literary world for an overview of  the newest bestselling Russian fiction and nonfiction plus opportunities for English-language translation and publication support.  
Moderator: Peter B. Kaufman, President and Executive Director, Read Russia
Contact person: Peter B. Kaufman, Cell: 917 969-7756

From the UK Bookseller:

The Russian government will help its ailing book industry by investing up to RUB 3bn (£63m) to support domestic publishing this year, taking the money from a federal “Culture of Russia” arts funding programme.

According to the Federal Press and Mass Communications State Agency (FPMC)—the government body responsible for developing Russia’s publishing industry, which is co-ordinating the Culture of Russia scheme until 2018—the funds will enable the publication of at least 550 new titles, mostly by Russian authors.

A FPMC spokesperson said preference would be given to scientific, technical and encyclopedic literature, as well titles on culture and art. Within the subsidy, about RUB 300m (£6.3m) will be invested in publishing books of “social importance”, books targeted at disabled people and literary translations.

At the same time, around RUB 100m (£2.1m) will be spent promoting Russian books abroad, notably helping publishers and booksellers participate in trade events such as BookExpo America, London Book Fair and the Frankfurt Book Fair. Vladimir Grigoriev, FPMC’s deputy head, said this could boost the translation of Russian books into foreign languages. He added that Russian publishers had been struggling with foreign sales since the mid-2000s: “The majority of domestic publishers have been unable to secure their positions in the global book publishing market.”

The government will increase funding of domestic book fairs, exhibitions and contests, with a particular emphasis on competitions for children’s and teenage titles. Money will also be made available to small independent publishers, many of which have found it hard to survive following the economic downturn.

Last year was a brutal one for Russian booksellers and publishers, with sales falling 10.5% year on year to around RUB 67.9bn (£1.43bn). The Russian market has declined from RUB 94bn, or 27%, since 2008. There has also been a steady decline in book production, which in 2012 amounted to 3.5 books per person—almost 18% less than in 2011, and 35% less than in 2008.

Meanwhile, the Russian government is also considering reducing or abolishing VAT charged on books—currently 18% for most trade books and 10% for educational titles—and providing other tax benefits to the sector, while taking a tougher stance against piracy by amending existing anti-counterfeiting legislation.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

What the Frick is a Publishing Hackathon?!?!

Maybe my post title is over the top, but that was the question I have been asked time and again, along with why would BEA care or be involved something like a 'Hackathon'.  The real question is why haven't we done this before?  Below are all the details on what happened at the Hackathon this past weekend and how the results will be rolled out at BEA next week.   But before sharing those details, here is why I am so excited to make this part of BEA - it highlights the vast opportunity that exists in publishing today and how technology is the key to the future for this grand old dame of an industry that we all live in and love so much so let's embrace it! 
Last weekend 200 developers, designers, and entrepreneurs flocked to The Alley NYC for a 36 hour marathon of experimentation, all to help the world discover great books. Organized by the Perseus Books Group and Librify, and with partners like BEA, New York Public Library, and William Morris Endeavor the first-ever Publishing Hackathon  was unlike any other publishing event I’ve been to yet.
After a kickoff panel  to brief the hackers on the challenges surrounding book discovery, the hackers quickly pitched their ideas and formed teams. The space buzzed all night as the teams took over every corner of The Alley and coded.  Tech, publishing, and startup mentors helped the teams improve their ideas and bypass roadblocks.   Barely more than 24 hours after they got started, 30 teams presented their projects to a panel of judges with backgrounds in tech, venture capital, and publishing. Each team had two minutes to pitch their idea followed by a minute to answer judges’ questions
After half an hour of deliberation, the judges selected 6 teams to advance to the finals at BEA and compete for the grand prize. Along with a ticket to BEA, the finalists took home a uniquely awesome handmade Publishing Hackathon Lego trophy. Several prizes for APIs and smaller challenges were also awarded. The energy was great, and in the words of Rick Joyce, CMO of Perseus “Not only were fascinating solutions developed, but there was a lot for a publishing person to learn about the ways content is connected and discovered digitally from these talented designers and coders.”  The excitement will continue at BEA.  

On Friday, May 31 the 6 finalist teams will compete for $10,000 and the opportunity to pitch their idea at a breakfast meeting with Ari Emanuel, Co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor.   The Grand Finale will take place at the Downtown stage of BookExpo America starting at 3PM.  Only one team will emerge victorious.  A panel of superstar judges  including venture capitalists, publishing executives, renowned authors, and titans of the tech world, are tasked with selecting which project best addresses the challenge of discoverability.

Don’t miss out on the chance to watch the Grand Finale of the First-Ever Book Publishing Hackathon.  As only fitting, drinks will follow the event, sponsored by yours truly.

 One team working away

Let the judging begin! I see you Rick Joyce - up front and looking judgmental.

One group of FINALISTS!!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Guest Post: Seth Dellon shares the genesis of PubMatch & a free trial membership

Buying and selling rights is a critical element in the publishing industry, driving revenue and exposing authors to new markets.  It also provides access to books we would not otherwise discover and positions the publishing industry as an arbiter of culture and creativity, creating global access to literature, customs, knowledge and more.

The digital age has made communication constant and simple, but not necessarily focused.  Recalling a meeting in 2008 at the Beijing International Book Fair which placed publishers from the US and publishers from China in a room to discuss potential partnerships.  Alas, with little pre-planning, not much was achieved in terms of connecting.  However, that awkward silence did serve as motivation because it was that silent room that inspired the PubMatch—an online arena where publishers, agents and authors from anywhere in the world could have focused discussions dedicated to foreign rights.

Since then PubMatch has grown in to a worldwide community with thousands of members that connect by creating a custom professional profile, listing books they represent and having searchable access to the global rights community.  This enables, a rights buyer from France to find a book from the US with available French rights or an agent with a science fiction title that has available Dutch rights can search for a publisher in Holland that publishes science fiction books, and an author here in the US can find a publisher anywhere in the world.  Soon, through a partnership with the Copyright Clearance Center, people be able to sign the contracts and send the advance within the digital confines of the PubMatch network.

Most importantly, the PubMatch network enables members to plan ahead for fairs like BookExpo America by tagging users that are attending the fair, giving them resources to connect, and providing them with tools to make their onsite experience better. The PubMatch community is growing every day, and adding tools all the time. Take advantage of a free Premium Level trial membership ($79.99 value) for 30 days which gives you full access to all the features Pubmatch has to offer.  Click here PubMatch Trial

Friday, May 17, 2013

Advice Stephen King gave to Neil Gaimen

Someone shared this with me today, I saw myself where Neil Gaiman saw himself 15 years ago and I have decided I am going to save myself those 15 years and just start to enjoy things now....

Neil Gaimen: On advice he got from Stephen King

"What I said in the speech, and what I say in the book, is the most important piece of advice I was ever given that I didn't pay attention to and I wished that I had, came in 1992 from Stephen King at a signing I did in Boston for a Sandman book called Season of Mists. And he came down. He saw the lines stretching around the block. He wanted to take me out for dinner, but the signing wasn't done until 10:30 at night. And I wound up in his hotel room with Steve and his family, and he said, you know, 'This is really wonderful, this is special. You should enjoy this. Just make a point of enjoying it.'

"And I didn't. I worried about it. I worried it was going to go away. I worried about the next story. I worried about getting things done. And there was a point, a good 15 years after that, where I finally started to relax. And I look back and I thought, you know, I could have enjoyed it. It all went just fine; my worrying about anything didn't change anything. ... I should have enjoyed it."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

BEA's Global Market Forum Country of Honor: MEXICO

Mexico has a thriving scene of publishers, represented by the small and big, the new and those of long standing tradition – it is an expanding book market, reflecting Mexico’s robust emerging economy, producers of world class literature whose authors are and have always been a fixture in New York’s cultural hotspots. The United States in return has a huge Spanish readership, and a strong tradition of hosting Mexican (and Latin American) writers.
But when it comes to the book business, the talk is more about hurdles than the flow of books and success stories. This mission of BEA 's GMF is to bring positive change that remove those hurdles and initiating this conversation with a terrific line up of top speakers from both the Mexican and the US book industry in a day of exchanges, insights and connections.

The speakers include the Mexican cultural sponsor, Conaculta – BEA’s partner for the event, the Mexican Publishers and Booksellers Association Caniem, and the Association of American Publishers (who will highlight the mutual benefit of the joint Mexican US effort), houses like Random House Mondadori, Planeta, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, Overdrive (highlighting the importance of the library segment for any substantial cultural exchange), new independent publishers from both countries, like Sexto Piso and Almadía (Mexico) or Deep Vellum and Gray Wolf (US), wholesalers like Ingram to share insights in how to technically engineer such trades across borders, Kobo as well as Copyright Clearance Centre for the digital dimension of crafting out strategies for the future, or translation specialists like Three Percent’s Chad Post.

This is a hands on approach on how to get across the Rio Grande, from both sides, for the benefit of what books can achieve: A mutual exchange of ideas and knowledge,  entertaining through reading about a wonderful, yet not always familiar neighbor’s life and inspirations.