Book Expo Report - From the Front Lines
I was at Book Expo America on Thursday in New York City. Many readers, librarians, bookstore employees and bloggers go to Book Expo to score books ("Readers"). But the major publishing houses are there for business.
There were approximately 212 free books given out by publishers on Thursday. On Friday, there are about 178, so there are plenty of books to acquire that are signed.
However several observations:
The main room where the publishers are is organized much more for publisher business. Separate areas (away from the Readers). This made more room for walking and opened up the area.
Unlike in prior years, it looked like Penguin Random House did not have any individual books for signings. In addition, there were fewer unsigned free books around.
The autographing area was set apart from the main room. Again no chairs for the tired or infirm. Cold concrete floor. There were 15 lines there. My recollection is there have been as many as 20 lines in the past. Also several signings were 30 minutes. So while you could get optimally 212 books, based on timing and having the autographing area set far apart from the publishing houses, it was tough to get back and forth within the time period that books were available.
If you intend to go on Friday, make sure you are there early so as to go to MacMillan and get tickets and for certain other authors who need tickets. Bring a rolling suitcase and check it. Best place is under the stage near starbucks.
Plan out your strategy to get the books. Dont get every book. Its impossible. Try to get the ones you want.
Big name authors have big lines. Maybe check out genres first and focus on that.