This post comes from the floor of the Javits Center, where BEA is in full swing, and where—in flagrant contravention of my own plan to travel light–I have acquired an armload of galleys, posters, postcards, business cards, blads, and countless pieces of candy. I now have an extra tote bag to lug my swag, deep red welts in my shoulders for my efforts, and a profound sense of contentment (numb arms nothwithstanding).
As ever, I have far too much reading to do to even consider cracking open one of these new ARCs, but it’s always possible that on the train home this evening, one might slip from my bag, accidentally fall open in my lap, and keep me captive for the duration of the ride.
Book Expo is a terrific opportunity to meet with out of town publishers, say hello to New York colleagues whom I see all too rarely, and survey the coming season of books. Also to learn a few things (and not just the location of the “secret” ladies’ room with no line). On Tuesday I attended a thought provoking conference on book marketing, hosted by the online magazine Publishing Perspectives. I was curious to note that Harper Collins has hired a VP of “Consumer Insight” to better understand—and ideally grow—its audience, while Jo Henry of the global market research company Bowker brought me up short by predicting the demise of bookstores and traditional review outlets inside five years. Gulp. I don’t actually agree, but in the event she’s correct, I’d better hurry to my next meeting.