Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

The Worst Idea for BEA…

Posted by Caitie F on February 4, 2012

Yesterday I was busy and work and got Pulishers Lunch in my email. I read it daily and usually there is nothing I see as important enough to share. Except yesterday there was a possibility for BEA 2013 that had our entire office talking.

First, they are thinking about making it run Thursday to Saturday. So, first bad idea. Everyone would have to work the weekend. But many people couldn’t.wouldn’t want to which would mean that all the industry types would need to hold all their meetings and do all their work in two days.

They claim it would be easier for booksellers and librarians to make it on a Saturday. What? Really? Last I checked, both bookstore and libraries are not only open on Saturday, but tend to have even more events and traffic on the weekends. So how does this help them?

Which comes to the bigger and worse part of what they are looking at. They are considering making that last day open to the public.

Take time and rad that last sentence again. Open to anyone. Their thought is that the can make it like Comic Con and let everyone see what their favorite authors are up to, hold more events, and see how publishing works!

This is a bad idea for so many reasons.

First, the difference between Thursday/Friday and Saturday would be so colossal that everyone would spend Friday transferring their booths to be public-friendly. The difference between what you want to show people who understand the business (booksellers, librarians, and even bloggers) and how you publicize and push things to the public are not the same at all.

Second, if you think bloggers (and librarians too) can be grabby, how do you think the public will act when offered free books? I got hit with a bag last year over a book…and regular people would be so much work. As bloggers know, ARCs are illegal to sell. From what I have seen, bloggers do not sell them. The public will, especially any medium to large name. That isn’t good.

Also, there is a reason the public doesn’t get to see them. Industry-types understand that it is uncorrected. They don’t review or criticize based on the issues that will be fixed. The public may not get this and that kind of thing will hurt authors.

The more author events may be interesting, but during BEA there are events open to the public all around New York City. The bookstores all have many events, the libraries host things, and authors are everywhere. If they want to hold more events, they can, but events in BEA and outside are also different because there are different audiences.

Finally, BEA is nothing like Comic Con. At all. BEA is for the industry to make it easier to promote books to the people who work with publishers to increase sales. Promoting to the public is completely f=different. If they want to have a convention for that, great. But it needs to be completely separate.

What are your thoughts?

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3 Responses to “The Worst Idea for BEA…”

  1. The first BEA I attended was over a weekend and it’s my understanding that it was changed because during the week is better for booksellers.

  2. Amanda said

    BEA was so crowded when I attended in 2010 that I can’t imagine what it would be like if it was open to the public. On a weekend…

  3. Shonna said

    Totally agree with you. I am always careful to check with publishers about review dates for books and comply. Also, I pass books around but never sell them. What I need to know about a book is generally is phrased differently and in more “industry language” than the public generally would understand.
    Also, the ARCs give us time to make ourselves aware of new books so we can not only promote them, but know about appeal factors to use when marketing the book to the public. If we have the time to read the ARCs before the public, we can do a better job of it.

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