Sunday, May 31, 2009

3 Lessons From BEA

1 Social media dominated nearly a third of all speeches at the event. Everyone was talking about the power of it, yet it became apparent the industry isn’t yet schooled on what to do with the tools they’ve been told they have to use.

2 With the gaggles of people shuffling the aisles of exhibitors like drunk sheep in a dark warehouse, it was clear that to stand out you must, well, stand out. The two most crowd drawing non-celebrity driven booths were the bikini clad folks from COOL-ER ebook reader. Even though the reader seemed far less capable than the Kindle, the fact two chick stood their holding prototypes basically nude helped draw larger crowds, it didn’t hurt that they were also serving margaritas. The other winner was a Yiddish publisher giving away free bagels and cream cheese, for whatever reason people were stuck to the booth like hundred dollar bills were stuffed in those bagels. Forget T&A, at book industry events like this it’s T&F.

3 The temperament of the book industry is in flux. My distributor seemed like they had plenty of time on their hands, at least when I perused by their large exhibit. Thumb twiddling they’d tell me things were going great, in their eyes a different story was told, one that doesn’t play well for most authors. While at the same time massive amounts of people lined up to get their book signed by the likes of Nicholas Sparks. Books aren’t dying, but I believe readership will continue to decline until the industry truly embraces the migration to digital everything by nearly everyone in America that spends money on entertainment.

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