Sunday, June 08, 2008

A Quick BEA Report: My Take on A Changing Industry

Things in publishing are changing so these are the top NEW changes I saw this year, including one (the last one) that probably isn't new but that I hadn't noticed before.

1. BEA generally is not a good place to try to sell a book. Research publishers, yes. But most publishers have stopped sending their editors (at least when the event is on the West coast!). I was told that is because of the cutbacks in publishing, because of the recession and because of the slowdown in the publishing industry. Now one finds in the booths mostly publicity and marketing people. I have a theory that you'll see more editors when this tradeshow is in New York next year because a cross town trip on the subway will fit into strapped publishers' budgets.

2. Publishers -- even the big ones -- are starting to catch up to self- and subsidy-publishers. They're finally understanding the applications of Print-On-Demand.

3. The Net is more and more important in promoting a book. Especially videos. And social networking. And yes, some (not all) big publishers are starting to understand this, too!

4. Authors who attend tend not to know enough about what this show is for and what it does and often once they start to get it, they don't understand the importance of knowing everything we can about the entire publishing industry. Those of us who write and don't want our book sitting in a drawer need to know more than craft. We need to know the entire market. That's what a tradeshow like BEA does for us.

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Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author THIS IS THE PLACE; HARKENING: A COLLECTION OF STORIES REMEMBERED; TRACINGS, a chapbook of poetry; and two how to books, 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 other blogs include TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com and AuthorsCoalition.blogspot.com, a blog that helps writers and publishers turn a ho-hum book fair booth into a sizzler.

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