Thursday, June 4, 2009

Book Expo America (BEA) a low point!

I put on Facebook a few minutes ago that BEA was a low point of my trip to New York. I wanted to post this tomorrow because I wanted to talk about it in detail, but I will post a shorter version now and after the questions come in I will do a follow up.

Last May I went to my first BEA in Los Angelas. Being my first time I really didn't know what to expect. I knew there would be a lot of authors there and a lot of book companies pushing their new titles. It was overwhelming how many books were given away last year. I talked with some that were there last year and again this year, and that was the biggest complaint. The book compaines were not giving out many books. That is fine, with me, because I didn't want to have to ship home a lot of books. I sent home $57 worth and filled another suitcase. Ok, I brought home maybe 40 books. I know that I could have brought home a couple of hundred but I don't read a lot of what was being given away. Last year I could have easily brought home 800.

I know that the economy is not in the best shape right now. I know that a few of the big publishers didn't even show up, and I know that a lot of the big named authors didn't come this year. Yes, there were a few big names, and that was great, but it was a lot less than last year.

Next, last year, I met with maybe 20 agents. And I could have met with more. This year, I talked with one for about 15 seconds. Did I just not see them. I thought maybe I was blind this year. So I asked others that were there, and they all argreed that they were missing. One of the people I asked said he saw zero, and another said he saw two.

Editors. Last year I talked with maybe ten editors. This year, didn't find any. I started scratching my head. Was I at the same show.

Last year, I think I saw three rows of very small publishers, this year, maybe a half of one. And they were scattered.

Ok, so last year, I spent a day and a half at the show and didn't see the whole show. This year after the first day on the top floor I was done. I didn't know that until I showed up the second day to see all of the bottom floor and found out that is was the childrens section. Yes, there was the autorgraph booths down there and I talked with some great people, but after being there for two hours on the second day, I decided that I had to go upstairs and start over.

Did I see great authors, yes. Did I bring home great books, most likely. Will I go next year, I have asked myself that a lot in the last couple of days. A maybe will be all I can say for now.

Did I meet some great people, yes. And did I see some great Public Relations gimmicks, yes. I will post some photos and stories about these soon.

And a highlight, I saw James Dashner. Wait, I always see him. No, he was a great signer and had a lot of fans there. He was signing so fast that the photo is blurry! Shadow Mountain had a great setup with their authors.

If you went, tell me what you think. If you didn't ask any questions. I will answer them.


Aubrey said...

Sorry to hear it wasn't as great this year. Maybe it's a good thing I didn't have the funds to go! :)

abel said...

So why do you think it was so bad? The Economy? It seems like with less competition now's a good time to be there and grab market share, promote books, or make some deals.