Monday, May 16, 2011

2011 BEA Preview

The 2011 BookExpo America kicks off next Tuesday, with thousands of publishers, editors, and authors -- along with booksellers, librarians, bloggers, and a few Gotham Ghosts -- descending on New York City's Javits Center for the largest publishing conference in North America. For those of you will be attending, or just keeping score at home, here's an early look at what to expect for this year's word nerd Woodstock.

In addition to the countless exhibitor booths, author presentations, and book-signings, the 2011 BEA
features three days of "Big Ideas" conference sessions. The topics range from the acutely practical  ("How to Shoot Video that Doesn't Suck! And 10 Things Book People Need to Know") to the trend-watching ("Back to Basics: Why Home Economics Books are the New Retro Chic") to the globally-minded ("Translating Italy"). Not surprisingly, a significant number of the fair's events center on the evolving digital landscape -- e-books, Twitter, and multi-platform publishing are all on the docket for discussion, as are more general sessions on "The Future of Books" and "New and Evolving Publishing Models."

Even with what Publisher's Weekly calls the "digital revolution" at "the epicenter of this year's Expo -- big time," though, BEA show manager Steve Rosato tells the industry mag that "the value of personal interaction still trumps all." At The Girl from the Ghetto, one book blogger offers tips on how to capitalize on those face-to-face connections and other ways to make the most of the show. From annotating the business cards you collect with the details of your meeting to making the most of the time you spend in line, her common-sense guide is a welcome pep-talk for BEA newcomers.

Not up for the convention but still hankering for a literary fix? Echoes of the BEA resound throughout the City next week, with a diverse menu of author-focused events set to take place around the Big Apples as part of New York Book Week. The free events run the literary gamut: check out star journalist and author Susan Orlean at the Soho Apple store and run across town in time for Granta's panel on the Spanish writers in translation -- that is, unless you've got plans to check out celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain's talk and book signing or the author-studded (and open-bar) Lower East Side book party. Remember, though, to make time for the free workshop on how to break into ghostwriting that we will be co-hosting on May 24 with ASJA.

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