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.  


  1. ReedPOP's BookCon will elevate the author-fan experience when BEA meets in NYC.

  2. I when to BEA readers day the last two years and it was great. I must say that I am dreading Book Con because it will be nothing but a mass of people trying to get books signed and it I really think that BEA will loose something with this idea. It's going to be a madhouse and become something that will not be worth my time and money. You should have left the power readers day for what it was those that wanted to connect with our favorite authors not be part of some new convention.
    Jenn NYC

  3. Hi Jenn: Thanks for writing. Sorry for the delay, I was away last week and not checking too diligently. One of the primary reasons for changing was to create a unique experience for fans, built around what they like and for them. We expect that we are going to deliver something that is much better from the fan perspective than what we had done for Power Readers. Hindsight being 20/20, we looked in the mirror and felt we created something that would not upset BEA exhibitors first and then would be appealing to fans. We hope and expect this is going to be a far better experience for all. If we are wrong, we will listen as the intent is to put the attendee first with BookCon.

  4. I have actually decided that I am not attending BookCon. Once I saw the list of authors that were there it really was of no interest to me. I am a romance reader and blogger. I was super excited for BEA because I was able to interact with publisher/authors from the genre that I read. It was so wonderful to be at each of the booths. It gave me a really unique perspective as a reader/blogger. At bookcon only three romance authors are there that I would see. I have already met Sylvia Day and have had dinner with her. Because I purchase a bookcon ticket it excludes me from the BEA trade floor which was really the unique aspect of the reader pass. It seems like this is a push to get us readers away from the publishers in a more "circus" environment. While the ticket price is nice, it's really not worth my time and effort to go to the Javits Center for three authors. Last year alone, I met over a dozen romance authors and most were at the publisher booths. I have several friends that went with me last year from my book club and they aren't going either because the whole vibe of the reader pass at BEA was changed. I hope that in the future if you continue with BookCon you maybe include an option to be able to visit the BEA trade floor.
    Jenn NYC