Saturday, April 11, 2009

Book Expo is Coming. Plan for This Year or Plan for Next!


I am not crazy about them because the urge to do it all abides in my genetic code. For instance, it wasn’t really much of a choice but I had to decide in favor of the National Stationery Show over Book Expo America. I am signing a new book on marketing for retailers at NSS and it is two weeks before BEA; I couldn’t stay for an extra (almost) two weeks. I am staying a few extra days to meet my granddaughters in New York, though. We are going to a tea room for children, I kid you not! I guess that was another choice, but a really easy one to make.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think about going to BEA, though. It isn’t too late. It's May 18-31 with some good seminars and stuff occurring a couple days before that. Don’t wait until it comes to a town closer to you. The Expo people have decided that it will remain in New York for the next three years due to economic conditions so, if you aren't a New Yorker, it could be a long wait.

I remember so vividly my first BEA. I wasn’t a stranger to tradeshows because of my retail background but even at that there was just so much. So much to see. So much to do. So many networking possibilities. So much learning available. Really, you have not been fully published until you have been there and experienced it first hand.

If you are waiting until you can sign, wait no more. Contact Irwin Zucker at Ask him if you can join his Book Publicists of Southern California group (about $35) and also be part of his booth there. You do not have to live in Southern California to support this group. Tell him I sent you and that you know how to promote a booth! Sell yourself! Bet he’ll let you do it, even last minute.

Another way to sign at BEA is to submit your book to Jeff Keen at USA Book News. He has a booth in which he features his winners. I did that last year in Los Angeles and it was really fun.

Of course, you can always take a booth of your own. I don’t advise it. It’s way too expensive but you might work out a share situation for 2010.

For newbies, you should know that BEA isn't a book fair. It really a trade show and it is a different on quite a few levels but the biggest is that books are given away to attendees. They are booksellers, librarians, publishers, distributors, etc. In other words, publishing industry professionals. Book fairs, on the other hand, mostly reach out to readers. Having said that, the tips in The Frugal Book Promoter that help with book fair booths will help with whatever you decide to do at BEA, too. Also, use the index in the left column of this newsletter to find at least one great article by guest bloggers on utilizing BEA to its utmost.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of This Is the Place; Harkening: A Collection of Stories Remembered; Tracings, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books for writers, The Frugal Book Promoter: How To Do What Your Publisher Won't and The Frugal Editor: Put Your Best Book Forward to Avoid Humiliation and Ensure Success. Her FRUGAL book for retailers is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques. She is also the author of the Amazon Short, "The Great First Impression Book Proposal". Some of her other blogs are, a blog where authors can recycle their favorite reviews. She also blogs at all things editing, grammar, formatting and more at The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor blog.

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