Every spring my boss sends the children’s buyer, Jennifer, and I on an adventure to New York City for Book Expo. Here are some highlights from the 2018 iteration!
Reasons for Attending Book Expo
The reasons for wanting to attend Book Expo are wide ranged and varied, for booksellers, like myself and the two colleagues who joined me, they are as follows:
- Meet authors! This one is pretty much a given, for my fangirling over Leigh Bardugo last year, see my meeting authors post here.
- Get exclusive ARCs/Galleys – this one is less important for booksellers and more of a highlight for librarians and bloggers who primarily attend BookCon held immediately after Book Expo. As booksellers, we just email our reps afterwards and ask them to send us the ones we saw/heard about at Book Expo.
- Sidelines – while Book Expo isn’t nearly as big as the Gift Show, it does give us bookstore buyers some neat opportunities to look into different sideline items to bring into the store.
- Meeting other booksellers – the ABA (American Booksellers Association) is a pretty tight group and most of us get to know each other within just a few years of entering the world of Indie Bookstores.
Highlights from This Year
Within 10 minutes of walking into the Javits Center in NYC, we were standing in front of Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman trying not to completely freak out. Nick called my coworker Mary a Book Expo virgin when she mentioned it was her first time at Book Expo and then he exclaimed he was happy to take her Book Expo virginity – what a fun pair of authors! We thanked them for coming out to NYC to visit with us and he thanked us for selling his books and recommending them to readers!
Bumping into Laini Taylor, author of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy while she was chilling in the Hachette booth – she was spectacularly delightful and took time to talk with us about her books and bookseller life!
The sheer scope and size of Book Expo was remarkable less overwhelming this year for what I perceived to be one very marked difference. The vast majority of attendees were educators and booksellers – not book bloggers and members of the general public (booksellers who are also bloggers, like me, fall into the first category for these purposes) – meaning tomorrow and Sunday will surely by crazy for BookCon. I attended BookCon only once, back in 2015, and I will never do so again. Book Expo, on the other hand, was far more organized and enjoyable this year than it was last year.