10 March 09 | Chad W. Post

Over at MediumAtLarge, Lance Fensterman has started a short series of posts entitled “Who Is BEA?” on what BookExpo America is and how it should evolve.

Ultimately I believe the event’s success is measured by the demand and buzz publishers create for their book(s) and how meaningfully they impact the people that impact book sales in our market. Did the publisher put themselves in a position to create more buzz for it’s books by participating in BEA than if they’d stayed home watched 30 Rock and ate potato chips?

If that is indeed the ultimate test of BEA’s value to publishers – “making” books – then how will the show continue to hone it’s offerings and identity to foster that? I offer a few broad themes that BEA needs to continue to evolve to, embrace and execute:

  • Touch the books and meet the authors
  • All the shows a stage
  • Think outside the light box
  • Create new media buzz (but where?)
  • Influence the influencers (From Part I)

In the second post, he looks more specifically at the first three points, which all focus (more or less) on the presence of authors at the fair and the interaction between these authors and booksellers, librarians, members of the media, etc. For example:

Think Outside The Light Box – Stages built by BEA to highlight authors is more a stop along the way than a final destination towards a more engaging and media friendly event. Ultimately, the big booths themselves need to be questioned and reexamined. BEA is working with a few key exhibitors to fundamentally alter the way they approach exhibiting at BEA. I give the example of the Marvel booth at New York Comic Con or San Diego Comic-Con. The booth is a wide open space surrounded by large hanging banners (for promotion and a clear delineation of where the “booth” is), signing stations along the edge for creators to interact with fans, a PA system, some flat screens running promos and the days schedule and a stage where interviews and creator talks take place. The booth is jammed. Always. Marvel understands that they, their sales catalog or the staffers are not what people are there to see. They are there to meet the writers, the artists and to see what is new and hot – how better to do that in real life instead of in a flyer or a catalog. They put there most important assets forward – the creators and there products. We need to work with BEA exhibitors to think out side the light box (the author book jacket blown up and put inside a lighted box hanging from the booth) and put the authors up front whenever relevant.

Overall, it seems like Lance is pushing for BEA to be more “interactive” (for lack of a better term). Less passive (“Hi, would you like a catalog?”) and more active in terms of creating buzz via actual interactions between actual people.

Part III should be available online on Wednesday. And if you’re interested, here’s my take on BEA and its evolution.


Comments are disabled for this article.
....
Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World
Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders
Reviewed by Kaija Straumanis

Hello and greetings in the 2017 holiday season!

For those of you still looking for something to gift a friend or family member this winter season, or if you’re on the lookout for something to gift in the. . .

Read More >

The Size of the World
The Size of the World by Branko Anđić
Reviewed by Jaimie Lau

Three generations of men—a storyteller, his father and his son—encompass this book’s world. . . . it is a world of historical confusion, illusion, and hope of three generations of Belgraders.

The first and last sentences of the first. . .

Read More >

Island of Point Nemo
Island of Point Nemo by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès
Reviewed by Katherine Rucker

The Island of Point Nemo is a novel tour by plane, train, automobile, blimp, horse, and submarine through a world that I can only hope is what Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès’s psyche looks like, giant squids and all.

What. . .

Read More >

The Truce
The Truce by Mario Benedetti
Reviewed by Adrianne Aron

Mario Benedetti (1920-2009), Uruguay’s most beloved writer, was a man who loved to bend the rules. He gave his haikus as many syllables as fit his mood, and wrote a play divided into sections instead of acts. In his country,. . .

Read More >

I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World
I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World by Kim Kyung Ju
Reviewed by Jacob Rogers

Kim Kyung Ju’s I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World, translated from the Korean by Jake Levine, is a wonderful absurdist poetry collection. It’s a mix of verse and prose poems, or even poems in the. . .

Read More >

Kingdom Cons
Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera
Reviewed by Sarah Booker

Yuri Herrera is overwhelming in the way that he sucks readers into his worlds, transporting them to a borderland that is at once mythical in its construction and powerfully recognizable as a reflection of its modern-day counterpart. Kingdom Cons, originally. . .

Read More >

The Invented Part
The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Imagine reading a work that suddenly and very accurately calls out you, the reader, for not providing your full attention to the act of reading. Imagine how embarrassing it is when you, the reader, believe that you are engrossed in. . .

Read More >

A Simple Story: The Last Malambo
A Simple Story: The Last Malambo by Leila Guerriero
Reviewed by Emilee Brecht

Leila Guerriero’s A Simple Story: The Last Malambo chronicles the unique ferocity of a national dance competition in Argentina. The dance, called the malambo, pushes the physical and mental limits of male competitors striving to become champions of not only. . .

Read More >

The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof
The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof by Cesar Aira
Reviewed by Will Eells

Aira continues to surprise and delight in his latest release from New Directions, which collects two novellas: the first, The Little Buddhist Monk, a fairly recent work from 2005, and The Proof, an earlier work from 1989. There are a. . .

Read More >

Agnes
Agnes by Peter Stamm
Reviewed by Dorian Stuber

The narrator of Peter Stamm’s first novel, Agnes, originally published in 1998 and now available in the U.S. in an able translation by Michael Hofmann, is a young Swiss writer who has come to Chicago to research a book on. . .

Read More >

The next few events from our Translation Events Calendar: See More Events >