BookExpo America 2017- A First Time Experience

BookExpo America is where Publishing Professionals gather to exchange valued information on new titles, breakout authors, and many, many ARCs. As a first-timer to this trade show event, it is very overwhelming at first glance. Left and right, ARCs are being signed and distributed. Major publishing houses like Macmillan and HarperCollins are represented in whole sections decorated with large rugs and smaller companies are housed within booths throughout the show floor.

As someone who is experiencing BookExpo for the first time, I thought it best to take a second to look around and get a good feel of what is going on around me. It is easy to get lost in the shuffle and it is important to soak it all in. If you have a short window to visit BookExpo, as I did, then you should not take too much time soaking it in. After I walked around for a bit, I made sure to network with publishers such as Soho Press, Penguin Random House, and Arcadia Publishing. I saw this as a learning opportunity, a chance to network, and a fun event all wrapped into one.

I made sure to heed Professor Richter’s advice and checked out what events were happening on each day of BookExpo and also brought in my own bag to carry all the free stuff in, though I was given a free tote as soon as I stepped into the building. I ended up going home with 17 new books and a sore shoulder. Nevertheless, it was exciting to meet publishing professionals and authors who all gave me advice and encouragement on my future publishing endeavors.

The Adult Book Editors’ Buzz Panel

There are a wide range of people to meet, events to participate in, and books to obtain. Everywhere you look, there are people mingling, trading business cards, and sharing stories and information that will benefit their publishing careers. I can only imagine how attending BookExpo as a publishing professional will differ from my experience as a student.

Of course, this is just my experience. Articles from the Tampa Bay Times, and the Star tribune offer more insight what is was like at this year’s BookExpo.

Book Expo America – How to Get the Most Out of the BEA

BookExpo America, the largest annual book trade fair in the United States will take place at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City this year from May 31 to June 2. Major publishing houses will congregate to showcase emerging authors, new titles, and meet with other publishing professionals and colleagues. For students and incoming publishing professionals, BookExpo is an exciting event and provides an opportunity to learn from some of the world’s most influential publishers and to gain significant insight into the publishing industry.

Along with faculty, Pace MS in Publishing students will be attending the BookExpo again this year, trading off passes, supplied by the program, throughout the three-day event.

Program Director, Sherman Raskin says:

“I am delighted that Pace University publishing students will have the opportunity to visit the Book Expo this Spring. They will meet publishing professionals, authors and have opportunities to network. The BEA is in NYC this year and New York is the heart of the publishing industry.”

Prof. Michelle Richter  also shares her experience and provides some tips and advice on how to achieve the most rewarding BookExpo experience:

The first time I went to BookExpo, I was exactly where you find yourselves now: a grad student in the publishing program, wildly enthusiastic about books and the industry and the city. And broke. But somehow I managed to scrounge up enough for a ticket.

The Benefits of Going to BookExpo

Of course the first thing that comes to mind is free loot: ARCs, finished books, tote bags, swag. But there’s much more than that. I can’t stress enough the value of the panels. You can learn so much about the industry. Go to the keynote speech if you can. Try to attend at least one of the Buzz panels.

BookExpo in 2015 at the Javits Center

There’s one for adult, one for young adult, and one for middle grade. 5 or 6 editors talk about books they’ve acquired that are getting a lot of buzz, and everyone who attends the panel can get the ARCs afterward. But there are also panels with the authors of the Buzz books. And breakfasts and teas or lunches (the meals require separate tickets) where you can listen to major authors. And panels that talk about industry trends, technological innovations, promotion, social media, and so much more.

Author signings  are everywhere, some in publisher booths, some in an autograph area in the back. Some are ticketed, some are first come, first serve. Some will have huge lines. Some will have lonely authors waiting. If an author offers to sign their book for you, say “yes, thank you”. If you discard it later, do it out of their sight. You don’t have to have it personalized. If there’s a book you’re dying to get and have signed, line up early. Not all books in a booth are free for the taking. Some publishers only have display copies or books for sale.

  • Tip 1: Check the schedule of signings and panels ahead of time, and have a tentative schedule so you don’t miss the things that are really important to you.
  • Tip 2: Though the lure of free books may intoxicate you, remember you have to carry all of them so be discerning. But if you go hog wild, there’s a post office between the Javits and the A train–you can mail books to yourself.
  • Tip 3: Bring your own tote bag, one that won’t dig into your shoulder. Just in case free ones are hard to find or subpar.

Prof. Jane Denning says:

“I love the BEA! It is such a wonderful opportunity to really get a sense of the size and power of the publishing industry and, it is a great place to network. I also really love getting to meet authors and have them sign their books. My advice is to go with an open mind and soak it all in. Learn about publishers you have not heard about before, talk to people about their work and bring a few copies of your resume to give to people who might help you get a job.” 

Networking

Be pleasant to anyone working in a booth. Don’t be too grabby getting free stuff. Check out people’s badges to see where they work or who they are but keep in mind that some people share a badge and may be incognito.

These people may someday be your colleagues. They’re often from the marketing department, but could also be sales, sub rights, publicists, editors, even authors. They may be taking meetings with foreign publishers or booksellers or librarians or agents. Most people are dressed professionally, as they would in the office.

Every time I go to BookExpo, it’s like a giant reunion. I see editors, publicists, marketing managers I used to work with, agents I know, authors, foreign publishers, and people I’ve only met on Twitter until I run into them on the floor at BookExpo. “Wait, have we ever met in person before?”

  • Tip 4: Wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers. It’s often freezing in the Javits center and the floors are cement. I think you can’t go wrong with a dress and a cardigan if that’s your style, ladies. Gentlemen, I would suggest you dress business casual (not in jeans).
  • Tip 5: Bring a water bottle so you don’t have to buy overpriced drinks. You may want to bring snacks.

The Overall Experience

It’s overwhelming, exhausting, exhilarating. I love it still. Some people get jaded by it, but I hope I never do. Try to walk the entire expo. Visit the remainder houses’ booths, the foreign publishers, the packagers, the Big 5s and all the indies. This is your best opportunity to see the wide range of people who participate in the industry, to randomly encounter a rock star author (I once walked by Margaret Atwood and managed not to lose it), to see something like a book being printed in an Espresso Book Machine, to meet awesome librarians and booksellers, and to listen to some terrific speakers.

2015 BEA Experiences

BEAThanks to the generous support of Dean Nira Herrmann and a number of Pace Publishing Professors, the Pace MS in Publishing students were able to attend the 2015 Book Expo America that took place at the Javitz Center in New York in May.  This was a great opportunity for networking, meeting authors, viewing publishers’ booths and seeing what books are slated to be published in the upcoming seasons. It is always a spectacular site to see so many publishers gathered and to attend some of the cutting edge panels and events.

This year we thought we would share a few of our thoughts about the experience, and if you would like to share some of your own experiences, feel free to email us at puboffice@pace.edu

Professor Sherman Raskin
Director, Pace MS in Publishing
Director, Pace University Press

“It is always nice to attend BEA in May. I was able to connect with old friends and spent two busy days consulting with our colleagues from China Publishing Group and Phoenix Publishing Media Group at the shermanraskincropped(1)show. PPMG ran a big screen ad in Times Square from May 26th through June 4th celebrating their company and the BEA Expo. Just before the show, executives from China Publishing Group participated in two weeks of training at Pace. They graced the Midtown site from May 11th through May 22nd before participating in the Book Expo. They only had good things to say about the training and the show. Most important, they loved NYC. The sessions at Pace stressed digital publishing and copyright law.

The last day of the show, Professor Lian and I had the opportunity to speak at a seminar held by Longzhiji Book Publishing located in Beijing.  Because of the influence of a Pace training seminar five years ago, they moved from being a traditional company to a digital company. The time spent at Pace changed their entire way of thinking about publishing. Mr. Su, the President of the company realized that he had to restructure if he were to succeed in the industry today. His training with the Pace professionals made all the difference and ensured his success as a major publisher in China. Pace and Logzhiji are very proud of this success story.

The BEA is always an exciting experience, but the Expo was even more meaningful with China as the focus of BEA this year.

Corinne Tousey, second year Publishing student:

My first time going to BEA was great.  It’s a great opportunity to meet new authors and find your favorite publishers and learn what new projects are being released.  I walked away with tons of free books, I even won a Kindle Fire and ten books from author, Julie Gilbert.”

Loot

Ana Ban, May 2015 Publishing graduate:

“I have been working as a translator in my country, Brazil, since 2001, and so far I have done more than 150 titles. It is so rare that I get in contact with the authors I translate, much less have the opportunity to meet them. But Ana Ban (1)thanks to Pace, last year I met two of them at BEA: Lincoln Peirce (Big Nate), and Carolyn Mackler (The Future of Us), who was taking part in a panel sponsored by the Women’s National Book Association and mediated by Professor Manuela Soares about digital marketing for children’s authors.

This year I had the immense pleasure of meeting Wendy Mass, who wrote one of my favorite books that I have worked with, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life. I picked my slot on Wednesday because I wanted to meet her, and I got in line for the autographing of Space Taxi – Archie Takes Flight, a cute chapter book about a boy who helps his father drive an interstellar cab.

When my turn came and I told her that I had translated Jeremy Fink in Brazil, she jumped from behind the table to talk to me and asked her husband Michael Brawer (co-author of the book they Ana Ban (2)were signing) to take pictures of us. She wrote on my copy: “It was SO wonderful to meet you – it’s like we wrote Jeremy Fink together!” And she said: “I wish I had more books to give you.”

It was one of the best experiences I have had in my career as a translator, to have my work recognized and appreciated by the author. I really appreciate the fact that Pace makes an effort so the students can attend BEA, it’s a great opportunity for us.”

Luverta Reames, second year Publishing student:

My first time at BEA I was excited.  I was disappointed when I realized I chose a time slot where nothing was going on. I was only able to view the exhibition for less than 20 minutes before I Otraded my badge and headed back to work. I knew that Charisma Media from Florida would be present, and they are the publisher that handles my pastor’s and aunt’s books. I HAD to meet the editor. I met Jevon on Friday night and we grabbed dinner and a live jazz show. Before the night ended she had already figured out how I could gain an internship and a freelance position with the company.

 Charisma was searching for a marketing intern for the summer. I will have a chance to work with Christian ministries and do custom book projects for them. What’s more exciting about moving to Florida for the summer—everything is falling into place. I have my living situation squared away. I’m using someone’s buddy pass for my travels and it’s a paid internship.  Although, I was sad I chose the wrong time. There was definitely a reason I needed to be at BEA and things are working out wonderfully for me.

I was so grateful for the opportunity to attend. I am looking forward to BEA in my hometown of Chicago next year.”

Sarah Poppe, May 2015 Publishing graduate:

“I just graduated from the Pace Publishing Program in May and started what I imagined would be a long and arduous application process for a full-time, entry-level editorial position. In all honesty, this wasn’t my first foray into the full-time job search; I had been sending applications “into the void” for about a year by this point. I say “into the void” because sending resumes and cover letters through online portals always felt like sending them off into the depths of outer space, desperately hoping to make contact with another life form. I competed with Sarah Poppehundreds of other applicants for one open position after another, and I never got the call for an interview. When a close friend of mine put me directly in contact with a hiring manager at Penguin and wrote a lengthy letter of recommendation on my behalf…and I still didn’t get the interview…I had all but given up hope on finding a job in book publishing and was about to turn my attention towards online content writing (something in which I had a bit of experience but didn’t really want to turn into a career).

 I decided that BEA would be my Hail Mary; I would network with as many people as possible, and if I still couldn’t find a job, I would set my sights elsewhere. I went to BEA on Friday, the last day of the Expo, by myself with nothing but a big swag bag and a stack of custom-made business cards. I nervously meandered around the exhibition hall, trying to strike up a conversation with everyone I encountered. I started with the Big 5 booths, but they were swarmed with attendees congregating around the author signings and free ARCs. Eventually, I succeeded in engaging with workers at some of the smaller booths, like Open Road—only to discover that I had been talking to interns who were after the same full-time jobs. At this point, my feet ached and my bag was almost too heavy to drag around.

 By chance, I stumbled across the Crooked Lane booth and was ushered into an author signing line by the words “free” and “New York Times bestselling author.” While in line, the person manning the booth greeted me and made a puzzling look at my badge, which listed my school name instead of my job title. “So what is it that you do?” he asked. This led to a conversation about the PPP and my quest for employment. He asked about my career interests, offered his business card, and told me to email him my resume when I got home. I sent him my resume with a short cover letter, and he set me up with an interview for the following Tuesday. I couldn’t believe it had worked that immediately.

Crooked Lane Books

After two rounds of interviews (and a wonderful recommendation from a Pace professor, to whom I am tremendously grateful), I just got the call that I got the job as an editorial assistant at Crooked Lane, a relatively new crime and mystery fiction imprint. Since they have an incredibly small staff (just four people!), I will get to experience not only the editorial side of publishing, but also production, marketing, and sales. One of the big conversation points in my interview was how the PPP gave me a more rounded understanding of the industry outside of editorial—a fact that I never knew would be so invaluable in giving me an edge over the other applicants.

 My biggest takeaway from BEA is this: networking really is everything! Any opportunity you get to shake someone’s hand, ask for advice, or offer your services is time well spent. I’m an introvert, I tend to have terrible social anxiety, and nothing terrifies me more than walking up to someone I don’t know with a confident smile and a business card. I circled that show floor three times before I worked up enough nerve, and even then, my most successful conversation only happened by chance. The best advice I have is to put yourself in professional situations where you have the opportunity to network (like BEA), be prepared when opportunity presents itself (with either a resume or business card), and know your pitch (Why are you there, and what is it that you are looking for?). It only took one conversation—the right conversation—to land the interview, something I never got from the hundreds of online applications I must have sent in the past year. As Pace Publishing students, we are given free access into the exclusive professional arena of BEA, something that most graduates from other schools competing for the same jobs won’t have access to (with the exception of BookCon, which I still find chaotic and somewhat limited). Take that opportunity and run with it!”

 Professor Jane Kinney-Denning, Executive Director of Internships and Corporate Outreach

jane kinney denningThe BEA is always an exciting, interesting, and exhausting experience!  This year I saw so many friends, former students, and former colleagues and professional acquaintances that I hardly had time to stop and get an ARC or two (but of course I did!).  I love the BEA and the energy that comes with so many book people gathered to showcase their work and upcoming titles.  Seeing so many publishers from the US and around the world gathered in one place is awe inspiring and a reminder why we all love our chosen professions.

Gloria SteinhamI must say that one of my highlights this year was getting to meet Gloria Steinem and have her sign her soon-to-be-published memoir, My Life on the Road. I have always admired her for her activism, commitment to women’s rights and human rights and of course for starting MS Magazine. Although the publicists were expertly moving the very long line of people along quickly, I did get a chance to thank her for her remarkable work.  

Thinking back on this and many previous BEA Conferences, the one thing that always stands out for me is the people; all of the good, passionate book people who make this industry so great. It is wonderful to be a part of it.

Link of the Week: Publisher’s Weekly BEA Show Daily

link1

 

The big day has arrived! Book Expo America has rolled into New York City and has opened its doors for book enthusiasts starting Wednesday, May 27 through Friday, May 29th. Big publishers, small houses, and publishing professionals, students, and book lovers alike have gathered at the Javits Center for author signings, ARC copies, and many opportunities to learn about what’s going on in the book world. Click for a full list of events and vendors.

Publisher’s Weekly has put together a “daily show” of what’s happening at the BEA, with coverage that includes author interviews, articles on news, highlights, author bios, and more. It’s a handy read that prepares any attendee for what they might encounter. The BEA is a huge event; planning is the best way to take advantage of all the opportunities an individual or group might be interested in.

 

Click the image to visit PW's Show Daily!
Click the image to visit PW’s Show Daily!

Book Expo America

BEAThis year’s Book Expo America is taking place Wednesday, May 27th through Friday May 29th at the Javits Center.
We have 10 tickets to the BEA for all three days available, and those tickets are to be shared and divvied up between morning/afternoon shifts. Current students, please email puboffice@pace.edu  and let us know if you would like to attend, along with your preferred time slot so we can make a schedule.

 

BEA 2

A Conversation on Digital Strategies for Tapping the YA Market – BEA Panel Sponsored by the WNBA-NYC

At Book Expo America on Friday, May 30 from 3:30 – 4:20 p.m., the NYC Chapter of the Women’s National Book Association will be sponsoring the panel “A Conversation on Digital Strategies for Tapping the YA Market.” The panel will take place in 1E07. Professor Soares will be moderating the discussion.

This panel will engage children’s book authors, and a librarian, as well as a children’s book editors and a director of digital marketing in a conversation on digital strategies for tapping the YA market—including readers as well as those responsible for selling and recommending books to those readers. The panel will evaluate how effective these strategies are. Successful online campaigns will be a highlight of the panel’s discussion, especially as they compare to traditional methods. The critical nature of online communities in reaching young adults and where they can be found or developed will also be discussed. Although the focus is online communities, other digital methods —such as developing an overall digital strategy—will be explored. The influence of online communities on publishers’ acquisitions is also important and relevant in an age where self-publishing has become so popular. How this trend influences readers as well as editors and others involved in the publishing process will also be addressed.

Those present at the panel will be:

Manuela Soares, Lecturer and Director of the Graduate Seminar
Moderator
Pace University

Alaya Dawn Johnson, Author
Speaker

Arthur A. Levine, Vice President and Publisher
Speaker
Arthur A. Levine Books, an Imprint of Scholastic Inc. 

Carolyn Mackler, Author
Speaker

Cheryl B. Klein, Executive Editor
Speaker
Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. 

Jeffrey Yamaguchi, Director of Digital Marketing
Speaker
Abrams Books

Jennifer Hubert Swan, Middle School Librarian & Library Department Chair
Speaker
L.R.E.I., Little Red School House & Elizabeth Irwin High School

Don’t miss this great panel if you are planning to attend BEA!

Attend BookExpo America!

It’s that time of year again!

BookExpo America (BEA) is one of the premier publishing conferences in the world and the largest gathering of book trade professionals in the United States. Pace continues its tradition of providing a limited number of BEA admission tickets for MS in Publishing students! This is an amazing opportunity to visit one of the most important publishing conferences of the year, for free!  

 

The 2013 BEA will take place Thursday, May 30th–Saturday, June 1st 2013.  The Publishing department will have nine tickets for students to the event.  Anyone interested can sign up by emailing the Publishing Office at puboffice@pace.edu.  Remember- Ticket distribution is on a first come, first serve basis!

 

Click here to check out BEA’s website for further information.

Report from the Trenches: My First BEA

By Hannah Bennett

The after effects of BEA rest squarely in my shoulders and upper arms this morning.  It’s that lovely kind of sore that you get from carrying around three tote bags full of free books for eight hours.  For those of you who have been to BEA before, this lovely soreness is nothing new!  You’ve probably learned already to be picky about the free galleys that you haul around all day.  But since this was my first BEA experience, I ran around like the poor, eager publishing student that I am, fighting the crowd for every free book in sight.  I grabbed young adult fantasy novels, historical fiction, and espionage thrillers without discrimination.  Today, as I massage my sore shoulders, I think of my bookshelf at home with a happy anticipation. It was more than worth it.

Getting to the Javits Center by 7:30 AM was also well worth the early morning subway ride. I got to start the morning off right – with a cup of coffee, a muffin, and Stephen Colbert making erotica jokes.  Stephen Colbert was the Master of Ceremonies at Tuesday’s Author Breakfast, and he wasted no time in publicizing his ‘upcoming #1 bestseller,’ America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t.  He also took great delight in celebrating the success of 50 Shades of Grey and the apparent public acceptance of erotica novels (I’ll let your imagination fill in the rest).  The speakers at the breakfast were the inspiring Junot Diaz (This is How You Lose Her), the charming Barbara Kingsolver (Flight Behavior), and the hilarious Jo Nesbo (Phantom).  Their thoughtful and often hysterical talks were without a doubt the highlight of my BEA day.

Photo Credit: Susannah Greenberg Public Relations

Another highlight was walking through the crowded exhibit hall and, on more than one occasion, running into people I knew in the publishing industry!  Between running into fellow Women’s National Book Association members, members of the Book Industry Guild, professionals I met in my internship, writers I met at events, and other Pace students and faculty, I experienced the very real benefits of networking.  BEA’s panels were excellent, the exhibit hall was overstimulating, and the accidental discovery of free Italian cookies and glasses of champagne was the icing on the cake.  But what meant the most to me yesterday was the feeling, which built throughout the day, that I’m a part of something important – a community of publishers and authors, of men and women, of like-minded readers and professionals.  A book community.

Not bad for my first BEA.  Next time I’ll bring a rolling suitcase.

Link of the Week: Melissa Marr

Book Expo America 2012 was rich with the literary masterpieces of emerging and veteran authors. Many of these respected authors spoke during panels in order to share their experiences with fellow writers and admiring book lovers. During the YA Buzz Panel early Tuesday afternoon, six authors discussed current YA trends and their own personal writing stories. Young Adult is an ever-changing genre, and people are eager to understand it. We want to know what sells and why, what is and will never be compromised and why, and how it feels to embrace a youthful imagination. One member of the panel, author Melissa Marr, shared stories of her journey to international acclaim, especially in Europe and Latin America. Along the way, she made many interesting points about her habits as an author, including the fact that she deliberately avoids indicating a character’s ethnicity so as not to influence a reader’s experience. Marr does not limit herself to the YA field; she simply sees herself as an author – not one tied to a specific genre. She, like the other authors on the panel, is committed to expressing her imaginative brilliance and sharing it with her readers.

http://www.melissa-marr.com/

Take Advantage of BookExpo America!

By Melanie Mitzman

It seems to sneak up on the publishing industry every year, but it is indeed that time again: BookExpo America.

By now you have received an email from the Publishing Department inviting you to sign up for an attendance badge. As a current student, I can say I probably delete those emails as quickly as the next person.

But you shouldn’t do that.

The primary reason those emails go unread in my Inbox is that I already attend as an employee of Vanguard Press, an imprint of The Perseus Books Group. I am assigned to a booth in which I must stay for a majority of my time, occasionally excusing myself for a quick $20 sandwich in the Javits cafeteria. Because of this, I miss most of what goes on at BEA, which I know from word of mouth is extraordinary.

This is exactly why you shouldn’t miss it. Take advantage of the fact that you get to attend as a student who can experience the full extent of what BEA has to offer.

In addition to the beauty of being surrounded by people who work every day in publishing and thereby share your immense passion for books, you have an opportunity for an inside peek at some of your favorite companies and imprints, as well as some of which you’ve never heard. I would encourage you to spend some time in the booths that fall into both categories. You may discover that the employees at the imprint you love are putting off weird vibes or that you don’t much like their interactions, which is important to know before you start stalking their offices after graduation. Alternately, you may find that at the lesser-known imprints there are cool people or that you’ve actually read some of their books without realizing it.

There are also so many events going on that you could easily fill your schedule for a few weeks if BEA lasted that long. There are author signings, author breakfasts, author stages, as well as panels about industry topics, which are always important to stay up-to-date for interviews with potential employers. There is so much going on for those three days I can’t even list them here, but instead would encourage you to peruse the BEA website, which is constantly updated as new events are confirmed: http://bookexpoamerica.com/Home/.

The bottom line is that Pace is providing you with a unique opportunity that not everyone has. It may seem overwhelming at first to hike out to the Javits and be surrounded by thousands of people. But now is the time to experience it.

So if I couldn’t convince you with the aforementioned reasons, you should know that, at the very least, you’ll come away with a lot of free books, which is something no true book lover can turn down.

If you are a publishing student and interested in using one of the department-provided free BEA passes, please contact Hannah Bennett at puboffice@pace.edu.