Thursday, September 18, 2014

Making the Buzz before Buzz Happens

One of the principal values of BEA is the organic ability to create BUZZ for books.  There is no protocol to follow that insures success, there is no secret sauce, it is something, given a confluence of circumstances and a great book that simply happens.  BEA has all the elements in one place that make it possible.  Publishers can buy ads or banners, getting selected for one of the coveted breakfast or buzz panels never hurts, having the author at BEA is almost a MUST - but sometimes it just happens.  The best description I have heard of BEA was that it is planned serendipity.  

Serendipity is just that - happenstance of good fortune, but planning - well even my 12 year old son knows the value of planning.  While everyone readies themselves for the crush of the busy Fall Season.  BEA is buzzy (sic) planning in earnest for BEA 2015 conference and events NOW!  This is when all the ingredients needed to make the BUZZ of BEA are selected.  Publishers big and small need to plan which authors and what topics the industry is going to be buzzing about come the end of May in 2015, ultimately impacting book sales into 2016.  

First, let me explain that BEA has a number of co-located events that blend seamlessly into BEA that include the IDPF Digital Book Conference, the BEA Bloggers Conference, uPubU and the Audio Publishers Association program as well as programming from the ABA, the AAP and BISG.  

BEA's events then are broken out into 2 buckets - Educational or Author.  BEA Educational sessions are world class and explore industry issues, educate industry professionals with data, information or new techniques.  Author events just that - dedicated to authors or genres of books.  The marquee events for BEA are the Book & Author Breakfasts and the various Buzz Panels.   

The power and scale of BEA's are totally unique for trade publishing in he US. The Author Breakfasts in 2014 were arguably the best attended in BEA history; with all three breakfasts being equally well attended with 1000+ at each breakfast!  Considering the scale of events at BookCon this past year, that the BEA events were exclusive for industry professionals   make them genuinely special in the way they serve the industry as unique events for booksellers, reviewers, and media, etc... serving all in equal measure

Something else that is extraordinary is that more 9,000 people attended education sessions at BEA in 2014.  I do not want to mislead because that number is not unique individuals, but that is how many people were scanned just for BEA education sessions.  

Think forward, start the engines of planning for BEA and decide what will be important for your success as a publisher and what the challenges are for the industry.  BEA will be opening our submission process shortly for authors as well as for education sessions/topics and we are looking for:
  • Hot Topics – in an industry that is constantly evolving and transforming – what are the real hot topics or new takes on an existing challenges you need insights on
  • Case Studies: learn how other businesses have approached an opportunity or challenge
  • What is New and Relevant?
  • How To Presentations that highlight how to accomplish or reach a specific goal and not why the goal is important  
  • High Level Strategies – presented by thought leaders in the industry
  • Global Market Forum - China 
  • uPublishU at BEA – indie authors take charge of their publishing        
For author events  
  • Authors from a diverse group of publishers
  • Genres from A to Z
  • Breakfast, stages Buzz and more
  • Autographing
  • BookCon
  • Author Hub

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