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BEA Opening its Doors to the Public?

Even though I don’t approve of the 14-year-olds at Frankfurt who dress up in very skimpy clothes to look like their favorite manga characters and be photographer by old dudes, nor do I approve of the general lack of understanding among the great public on how to walk down hallways and up escalators, it was nice to see so many people flood the Frankfurt Book Fair clamoring for new books. So, I hope this comes true:

But while some publishers want more targeted audiences, others (and in some cases the same ones) would like to see BEA, in the words of Jacobs “broaden the show’s constituency.” If that means opening the show to the public, “I think it would be worth a try,” Jacobs says, noting the phenomenal public turnout for New York Comic-Con. Opening the show to the public, however, “is a very polarizing issue,” Muller says. “It would be a disaster,” Sabia says. “There already is enough chaos in New York.” Nevertheless, Fensterman says there will likely be a consumer component in New York next year: it will be separate from the actual convention, but held at the same time, offering publishers the chance to promote authors both to the trade and the public. Applebaum says Random has an “open mind” about the public attending. Such a move could change the complexion of the show, but that is all right with Jacobs. “I’m up for trying something new,” Jacobs says. “Any sort of radical idea should be considered,” agrees Jensen. (PW)



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