This time of year I begin to feel like a racehorse approaching Kentucky Derby time. BookExpo America has certainly changed over the years and many say it's changed too much. But I'm a cockeyed optimist when it comes to the book business and the BookExpo still holds so much hope and excitement for me. Who will I meet? Will I find new business? Will I sell one of our projects? Will my feet hold out for the three-day marathon in Javits Center?
BEA has come up with the coolest tool ever this year. It's an online listing of all exhibitors and their booth spaces which enables you to track them down and plan your convention meetings accordingly. Thank you BookExpo! This is really making pre-show planning so much easier.
We will be visiting as many out-of-the-city publishers as possible, along with old friends and new contacts in New York houses. Jon will be pitching several of his projects including Breeder's Choice, a cozy mystery featuring a traveling veterinarian and his ebullient sidekick, a raven named Mrs. Pine. I'm hoping to interest some new editors in Below Par, a humorous novel about a slacker who rises to a unique challenge. At the heart of it lurks the very thought that keeps amateur golfers buying new clubs every year: "If only I didn't have a job and family, I could practice all the time and be as good as those pros I see on TV."
We both have several other projects we'll be pitching when appropriate, but much of our work will be to simply identify and introduce ourselves to editors we'd like to know better. My situation is unusual in that part of my time will be devoted to the publicity side of our business, so my work is truly cut out for me.
In general, BookExpo is the time to greet old friends, develop new business, enhance relationships with ongoing clients, check out the competition, recharge your batteries and recommit yourself to another year of books and authors. Facebook, Twitter, and blogging have revolutionized our business, but the old "meet and greet" still has a huge impact on everyone.