Thursday, March 27, 2014

And then BookCon was born....

First the world beget the American Booksellers Association (ABA) in 1900.  Then in 1901 the ABA beget their annual trade convention, now known as BookExpo America.  Then in 1902 the ABA delivered Mark Twain to booksellers of America as the keynote of the ABA annual convention.  Mr. Twain - a literary lion and American icon was the first in a very long line of authors, celebrities, politicians and luminaries with a story to tell or message to deliver that took stage at THE annual event for the publishing industry.  

Many things have happened to many people since Mark Twain came forth. The list of names is thousands long over 114 years, of those that have appeared selectively and exclusively for the trade professionals of the publishing industry.  They have always been the privileged guardians of literature, who were then excited, titillated, piqued, surprised and inspired by these authors.  By default they became the arbiters of the books and stories that made it into the market because of what they saw and heard at BookExpo America.  

Booksellers, librarians and retailers possess a passion and knowledge for the world of books that continues and remains a vital cog in the machine that curates, validates and selects what entertains, inspires, informs and educates our world through words.  BookExpo remains whole and vibrant as the the gathering place for the industry.  BEA is where books are launched and the business of publishing takes place.  Publishers and authors celebrate their latest and greatest efforts, promoting to the press, selling in to all the channels that bring books to consumer, securing distribution and selling the rights or licensing into international markets. 

But now, there is something new, something exciting and wholly unique that takes what is new and exciting from a timeless industry and opens it up to genuine fans who share a deep passion and knowledge for the written word and that is  BookCon 

BEA's experiment with Power Readers in the last few years allowed BEA to open the door that demonstrated there is a valuable connection between publishers and readers.  Showing that fans who support independent bookstores, who are avid readers and are passionate about books would also be passionate about an event dedicated to books and the books' place in pop culture.  By partnering with ReedPOP, a group that knows how to run, organize and promote consumer fan events better than any organization on the planet, BookCon will make the jump to become a major event, that is something unto itself while at the same time being a compliment to all that happens at BEA.  My comments on ReedPOP being the best on the planet are not hyperbole, it is fact.  Between NY ComicCon, C2E2, the PAX events, the Star Wars Fan Celebrations, UFC and more - they have delivered nearly a million fans in the last year unique experiences with slices of pop culture they are passionate about and cannot get anywhere else.

So with that BookCon is born. There is already a packed schedule, which we will be announcing new events twice a week from now and leading right up to BookCon.  We have already announced some of the great events that include Amy Poehler, Martin Short, Stan Lee and John Grisham.  This is only the tip of the iceberg.  There will be fantistic kid's programming, we have some great movie tie-ins that originated from books to announce, there will be tons of authors appearing in booths & at autographing and soooo much more.

Thanks to all the publishers that recognize the opportunity to create something special for book lovers.  Thanks to the BEA Exhibitors that were patient the last 2 years to allow us to conduct this experiment that do not have products or service for consumers, but recognize this will make BEA stronger and the biggest thanks goes out to the Power Readers who were the originals.  BookCon was created with you in mind so we could make an event that put the fan experience first, so we can deliver an experience that you would love and feed your passion for the written word, in any format.  


Answering BookCon questions.  

Thursday, March 20, 2014

BEA's Global Market Forum: Books in Translation take Center Stage

BEA's 2014 Global Market Forum (GMF) explores the world instead of focusing on a single country or region as we take on the genre of Books in Translation.  The GMF tagline  Wanderlust for the Written Word fits nicely because the definition of Wanderlust the strong desire for or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world.  That is so wonderfully descriptive of what books in translation provide for readers, it is indeed perfect.

When BEA looked at translation as the subject of the GMF, we realized as a theme, it went beyond being timely or compelling but that is was critical for BEA to support bringing literature from around the world and across languages to American readers.  While the US market is by far the largest book market in the world, equal to the next 2 combined (China + Germany), totaling around $27 billion, the share of translations sold in the US is a meager 3 percent of all newly released titles.  Globalization is as much a factor in the world as is digitization.  That is not a challenge that is exclusive to the publishing industry and is indeed a challenge for almost every functioning industry.  Still, the figure of 3% is a woefully low and inadequate share of what Americans read and consume.  This not only impacts our culture but how the US understands and disseminates what is happening in the world around us.  Hence the importance of BEA shining a spotlight and raising the stakes for books in translation.

BEA’s Global Market Forum 2014 will explore ideas and issues from this genre that will generate new opportunities for authors, agents, publishers and translators.  We need thank and acknowledge the international group of minds that helped BEA shape the program as well as the speakers and authors that are indeed global luminaries in the publishing world.  Ruediger Wischenbart, who oversees the GMF deserves much credit as well.  Allow me to acknowledge as many people as I can here, knowing that I will unintentionally miss someone that is very deserving of BEA's thanks and praise.

Below are some of the brilliant publishing professionals that were key contributors, I have also included some some of the topics each will speak on in the GMF program.

Susie Nicklin, The Marsh Agency, UK: How will digital change the sales of translation rights
Susan Harris, Words Without Borders: Building an audience for translation in the US
Maria Campbell, Maria B. Campbell Associates, Inc.: How to find books for translation?
Susan Bernofsky, Director, Literary Translation, Columbia University School of the Arts: Preparing the ground for translations 
Riky Stock, German Book Office, New York: Bridging the gap between foreign authors and American editors 
Tina Weiner, Yale Publishing Course
Chris Kenneally, Director, Author Relations, Copyright Clearance Center
Chad Post, Publisher/Editor at University of Rochester

Notable speakers and panels you can look forward to:

Carol Brown Janeway, Senior Vice President, Senior Editor, International Rights Director, The Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group: Why – and how – translation matters for a publishing house. 
Ross Ufberg, co-founder, New Vessel Press: How to found a publishing house specialized in translated literature meant for a wide audience  
John Siciliano, editor, Penguin: Editing and building a program around works in translation. Mariusz Szczygiel (Poland , author of “Gottland”, published in translation by Melville House 2014) with Antonia Lloyd-Jones (translator) and Sal Robinson (editor, Melville House Publishing)
Marco Malvaldi, author (“Three Card Monte”, “Game for Five”), with Michael Reynolds, publisher, Europe Editions
Joel Dicker, author (“The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair”, Penguin`)
Marcos Giralt Torrente, author (“The End of Love” et al.), speaking on the new translation of his books in three US publishing houses, Farrar Strauss and Giroux, McSweeney's, and Hispabooks)
Vladimir Grigoriev, deputy head, Federal Agency for Media and Mass Communication, Russia: Building a global campaign for Russian literature
Javier Celaya, CEO, How to reach the Spanish language market and its 500 inhabitants with translations through ebooks. A strategic perspective.

Friday, March 14, 2014

And the Hits Just Keep on Comin'

In the last couple of weeks we have announced the Buzz Panel line up and all the BEA Author Breakfasts.  Next week I will post full details on the 2014 Global Market Forum program: Books in Translation: Wanderlust for the Written Word.  It is both ambitious and awesome. I am genuinely excited to write that post.  Shortly after that, around March 31st we will have the official BookCon announcement and launch.  I anticipate that will generate a lot of buzz and attention from well outside of the world of trade publishing, but I am getting ahead of myself. I am only sharing the inspiration for post title as there is so much great stuff to announce week after week, the hits keep on coming!  That is also an homage to Michael Nesmith's post Monkey's solo career, being it is the title to one of his early '70's efforts.  If you you like alt-country, it is a treat!

BEA has two major initiatives for 2014 - one is the BookCon event.  The second is focusing on the quality of the B2B activity and in particular, insuring that Saturday will be a busy, compelling and productive professional day. Here are just a few of the details to make sure we deliver on our plans: 
  • BEA increased our investment in our VIP program by 20% to $114k.  These funds are used to subsidize travel and provide amenities to VIP attendees, which includes all ABA members ($25k supports the ABA HQ Hotel at the Grand Hyatt).  Travel subsidies require participating on Saturday at BEA
  • VIP registrations Link to Top Buyers already registered 2014 continue to pace well.  VIP attendance has grown in each of the last 3 years, anticipating more than 2,150 in 2014 = 7% increase
  • Expanding VIP Tours for Saturday – these were highly successful guided tours of the BEA show floor in ‘13, bringing key attendees to specific areas of interest. 
  • The ABA is organizing exclusive one on one publisher meetings on Saturday morning with their members.
  • Saturday networking events in the Digital Zone
  • Compelling Trade Programming and Author events planned for the whole day Saturday
There will be more event news to share as we get closer about what is happening on Saturday.  If you are making your BEA plans and miss Saturday, you will be cutting off a full day of busy, buzzy BEA activity!

Monday, March 3, 2014

BEA BUZZ Books Announced

I am excited and especially grateful to the 3 committees that put in so much time and work to cull the submissions and select the books for each of the 2014 BEA's Editor Buzz panels.   There have been a number of the changes over the last few years that have made the process better and also made the books more accessible.  The biggest change has been going to 3 separate committees, 1 for each Buzz Panel.  No one is probably more grateful than the prior committee members who were tireless in their efforts and always did a remarkable job.  Just knowing the work that 3 committees put in to review the hundreds of submissions for this year, it made me wonder if we should have be testing for steroids on the previous committees because it was indeed a super human effort they put in.  Also we have been doing something else that is different that we never properly called out over the last couple of years by having the authors of all the chosen Buzz books appear together after the Editors Buzz on the Author Stages.  This gives booksellers, librarians, retailers, bloggers, reviewers and press so much more depth and perspective on each of these great books by also hearing from the authors themselves and better understanding why the Editors were Buzzing about these upcoming titles.  

The 2014 BEA Editors Buzz Forums and book selections are as follows:


BEA Adult Editors Buzz
Wednesday, May 28
4:15pm – 5:30pm
Room 1E12/1E13/1E14

BEA Editors Buzz Adult Books – Author Stage
Thursday, May 29
10:00am – 11:00am
Downtown Stage

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Publisher: Alfred A. Kopf
Publication Date: 9/9/14

We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel by Matthew Thomas
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 9/2/14

The Miniaturist: A Novel by Jessie Burton
Publisher: Ecco
Publication Date: 8/26/14

On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss
Publisher: Graywolf Press
Publication Date: 9/30/14

My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh
Publisher:  Amy Einhorn Books / Putnam
Publication Date: 1/15/15

Neverhome by Laird Hunt
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: 9/9/14

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League But Did Not Survive by Jeff Hobbs
Publisher: Scribner
Publication Date:   9/23/14


BEA YA Editors Buzz
Thursday, May 29
10:00am – 10:50am
Room 1E10/1E11

BEA Editors Buzz YA Books – Author Stage
Friday, May 30
10:00am – 10:30am
Uptown Stage

The Jewel by Amy Ewing
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: 9/2/14

Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: 9/30/14

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 11/4/14

I’m Glad I Did by Cynthia Weil
Publisher: Soho Teen
Publication Date: 1/27/15

King Dork Approximately by Frank Portman
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: 9/9/14


BEA Middle Grade Editors Buzz
Friday, May 30
11:00am – 11:50am
Room 1E12/1E13

BEA Editors Buzz Middle Grade Books – Author Stage
Friday, May 30
1:00pm – 1:30pm
Uptown Stage

Zoo at the Edge of the World by Eric Kahn Gale
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 8/26/14

Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson
Publisher: Putnam Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 10/7/14

The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill
Publisher: Algonquin Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 9/16/14

The Truth About Twinkle Pie by Kat Yeh
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 1/27/15

Life of Zarf by Rob Harrell
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 8/28/14