DISCUSSION: Dissecting That BEA Article


Hello everyone! So yesterday was a big not-so-great day for bloggers with the announcement that BEA (Book Expo America) would limit a number of bloggers able to go to the convention. Now, before we dissect the article that announced that – and some other things -, two things need to be said:

  1. BEA is a convention for publishers & publicists to interact with booksellers, librarians, bloggers, booktubers and other people in the literary industry. Its main focus is to get their books in people’s hands by way of publicity and marketing tactics. This includes giving away a certain number of ARCs (advance reader’s copies) and other promotional items like tote bags, bookmarks, postcards and more! BookCon is another mini con that runs alongside BEA and it’s focused on mainly bloggers (as I can understand it).
  2. There’s always been reports of people not acting ethically/morally sound during BEA. One such example is, last year, a woman named Jessica Porter who took wayyyyyyyy too many ARCs (and got like 4 of each of them) and then proceeded to sell them. Both parts of that sentence are horrible because now fewer people have the chance to read the ARC, and it’s illegal to sell ARCs. Though she isn’t the first person to do this (I assume), she was the breaking point and the brunt of many people’s anger (including myself) and, if I’m being honest, that was rightfully so.

Okay, I think we’re good on background now so let’s begin by dissecting the article….

Reed Exhibitions is planning an expanded BookCon—its consumer-facing book event, launched in 2014—and a more focused BookExpo America next year. 

Okay so Book Con is expanding – cool cool, I’ve heard it was hectic before – and BEA is getting more focused – okayyyyyy.

For starters, BEA is now being called BookExpo, and Brien McDonald, event director for BookExpo and BookCon, said the name is being changed for a few reasons: “Our brand is evolving and we need a name and logo to take us into the future. Having ‘America’ in our name regionalized the show; we’re a global event anchored in the publishing mecca of New York City and the destination for all book industry professionals.”

Wait what? Having ‘America’ in the name wasn’t a bad thing….a ton of people from outside the US go to BEA so IDK what you’re worried about….Also now you’re messing with the acronym! We can’t just say BE, that’s just weird!

In addition, McDonald said that the new BookExpo name and logo create more symmetry with BookCon and help with Reed’s efforts to have a more cohesive approach to the BookExpo-BookCon brand. Indeed, he sees BookExpo and BookCon as a joint show, with the former offering a premier trade experience and the latter providing publishers with the opportunity to introduce their books and authors to readers.

blah blah blah blah

In presentations made to publishers and other exhibitors, Reed said that it is making the changes to keep BookExpo relevant in a changing market. Speaking specifically about changes to BookExpo, McDonald said that, based on its research, Reed needs to “bring the show back to its core,” which he identified as facilitating interactions between publishers and their customers, as well as showcasing authors to professional book buyers and the media. To achieve that goal, Reed has made two significant changes: reducing the number of days the show floor will be open, from two and a half to two, and capping the number of nonpublisher attendees (the professional trade audience) to 6,000, a number that at some past events has been as high as 10,000.

Um, WHAT?! Okay, let’s just – hm – okay – so a number of days the Con will be open is 2 days now. I’m not sure how they’re going to do that because it feels like things are squished in/hectic already but okay. That’s not that bad I guess. BUT WHY ON THE BLOGGERS?! They’re cutting us out 40%! 40% of the people who usually go, now won’t be able to. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?! I know Jessica Porter screwed us over but you don’t need to cut out 40% of the blogger community who can go. That’s just stupid and unfair. One Jessica Porter-like person is not worth 40% of the community and you cannot tell me otherwise. Plus, you’re taking a HUGE chunk of sales from your Con.

According to McDonald, the focus will be on drawing more book buyers, including booksellers, librarians, and buyers from a range of specialty retailers. Through a more rigorous application process, Reed will limit the numbers of bloggers, independent authors, and consultants.

BEA PEOPLE! BLOGGERS ARE BOOK BUYERS! WE BUY YOUR BOOKS AND WE TALK ABOUT THEM AND WE TELL OTHER PEOPLE TO BUY THEM (if they’re good) SO WHY CUT US OUT THEN?!?!?!?! Not to mention, BEA is also a place where indie authors can get the word out on their book – they don’t have much of anywhere else to (effectively) do that.

“We are not trying to be exclusionary,” McDonald said. “We are trying to ensure that we have the people in the aisles that our exhibitors want to meet with.”

hahahahahahaha WRONG. Last I checked, cutting out some of the community IS being EXCLUSIONARY! And I’m sure exhibitors want to meet the people who are buying and reading their books and then recc-ing them to people who will buy their books or will have their library buy it!

To encourage more booksellers to attend BookExpo, which is back at New York City’s Javits Center in 2017, Reed is subsidizing rooms at New York’s Row Hotel, so that ABA members will pay only $200 per night. The organizer will also continue past programs that it has offered for librarians and other retailers. The goal, McDonald emphasized, is to create a show floor that provides publishers more opportunities to interact with book buyers and to give publishers more time to arrange for book buyers to meet with authors.

blah blah blah blah

In other efforts to better focus the show, Reed has decided to not hold the conferences that had run in conjunction with BEA, such as the Book Bloggers and IDPF events, and it will not hold UPublishU, BEA’s conference for self-published authors. Reed will still offer the Authors Market for self-published authors as well as some other programs, McDonald said.

um, I thought you said that you saw “BookExpo and BookCon as a joint show” because you definitely did. And I don’t understand why you’d take out UPublishU but at least you’re keeping Authors Market I guess.

The trade floor will be open Thursday, June 1, and Friday, June 2, with a revamped conference program set for Wednesday, May 31. The Wednesday event will include a new Global Market Forum that will feature publishing executives from four or five countries discussing market opportunities in their respective nations. Conversations with business leaders are in the works, and the ABA’s Celebration of Bookselling luncheon will move to May 31. Other events to be held that day are publishing speed dating and publisher pitch sessions, as well as the adult Buzz Panel. “Wednesday will be critical for setting the tone for the rest of the show,” McDonald said.

cool beans bro

BookCon will run Saturday, June 3, and Sunday, June 4, and McDonald expects 25,000 consumers to attend. While the one-day BookCon in Chicago this year drew about 8,000 readers, the two-day BookCon in New York in 2015 had 18,000 consumer attendees. Reed is making some tweaks to BookCon to create more interactions between authors, fans, and the media. To date, BookCon has been dominated by what Reed calls “millennial females,” but the organizer hopes to broaden that audience in 2017.

blah blah blah “millennial females” ExCuSe Me!? What is wrong with “millennial females”!? Because 1, we help your sales honey and 2, MILLENIALS AND FEMALES ARE COOL SO BACK OFF.

One highlight will be a Family Headquarters section on the show floor that will feature interactive events for children and their parents. Reed also plans to bring in more celebrity and bestselling authors to BookCon who will appeal to a range of readers. “We have a solid core with the YA readers and now we want to expand to other genres,” McDonald said.

Okay cool beans dudes

BookCon’s bookselling efforts will also be improved. Reed will sell its own ReedPop merchandise from the ReedPop Supply Store, and it is looking for a bookselling partner to sell books. The BookCon autographing area will be arranged so that consumers can buy books from authors as they wait in line.

IDC about ReedPop merch so cool beans on that but nice on the autographing-buying bit. That’s at least a good idea.

McDonald believes that by reinventing BookExpo and continuing to grow BookCon, Reed is creating a unique combination where publishers can participate in the country’s premier trade event while also directly exposing their books and authors to readers.

Babes, you screwed yourselves over with that last bit by cutting out bloggers.

And that’s it on the dissecting. My main frustrations – as you maybe could tell – are the limiting bloggers bit and the  “millennial females” thing. I’ve always wanted to go to BEA, and I was hoping I could in 2017 but this article says that I may not be allowed to go and my friends may not be allowed to go and that the fact that I’m a millennial and female is something I should be called out on. Of course, I find all of this stupid and hypocritical that they’re doing this when they want to reach out to more readers. Like, BRUH, we ARE your readers! I’m not sure what else to say and that doesn’t usually happen….

Anyways, what do you guys think of this article and what it says? Also, does it affect your guys’ thoughts on BEA and/or whether or not you guys are gonna go in 2017/beyond? Let me know in the comments below (hey that rhymed!)! Thanks, have a great day/night and tata for now!!

8 thoughts on “DISCUSSION: Dissecting That BEA Article

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