BEA‘s back and Blackberrys are buzzing as everyone gears up for yet another three-day extravaganza chock full of authors, agents, air kisses and an international invasion. To help you get quadruple booked in all the right ways, Publishing Trends checked in with a number of show veterans and got the low down on this year’s book fair behemoth.
The new BEA show manager Chris McCabe reports that there are “no major changes” to this year’s event, (except for him, of course), but he’s very excited. “Not brand-spanking new, we’re building on things that have been successful in the past,” he said, noting a focus on librarians and increased international activity.
The Rights Center will be back on the show floor this year after its successful debut in Chicago in 2004 – with over 200 tables up from last year’s 140. “It speaks to increased international activity,” McCabe said. “We’re seeing more selling in both directions.”
Jürgen Boos, the new director of the Frankfurt Book Fair will be hanging out at booth #2225 – the German collective stand – with 31 other exhibitors. “I am really looking forward to my first BEA in my new role. I am very excited to meet our clients and to get their feedback so that we can further improve our services at the Frankfurt Book Fair.” The annual reception of the Frankfurt Book Fair in cooperation with Le Bureau International de l’Édition Française will take place on Friday, June 3rd at 5 p.m. Boos will be there.
Ornella Robbiati, Editor-In-Chief of Sonzogno said, “BEA is not a rights fair, it has been more and more taken over by LBF.” (But PT notes she couldn’t stay away!)
In another exciting staying-the-same-only-better development, McCabe also notes that the successful editorial Buzz Forum will be back again this year. There will also be a panel, designed to highlight two or three hot-button contractual issues – libel, decency (could be smut, homosexuality, gay marriage), payout schedules, and the like – lawyers Ellis Levine and J. Stephen Sheppard, of the firm of Cowan DeBaets Abrahams and Sheppard, will join with literary agent Michael Carlisle of InkWell Management and S&S Publisher David Rosenthal in inventing a non-fiction book and conducting a mock-negotiation.
As usual a 1000 plus authors will be in attendance, with 700 signing copies of their latest works.
In addition, “We have another BC as our opening night act,” says McCabe, “last year it was Bill Clinton, of course, and this year it’s Billy Crystal.” And the Saturday night benefit adds yet another Bill to the mix with Bill Maher hosting Real Time at the Town Hall.
The one addition that is “spanking new” this year is The New Title Showcase which will allow everyone from existing exhibitors to small independent publishers the chance to buy shelf space to display their newest releases at the entrance. Space is limited, but McCabe adds that they can always squeeze in more, so if you haven’t signed up yet, do so immediately.
But enough about Javits happenings, where are the parties? On Thursday, S&S is throwing a party for Gigi Levangie Grazer, author of The Starter Wife at Soho House, but Friday, June 3 seems to be party day, with Broadway throwing a party for Mark Bittmar, Houghton’s children’s paperback imprint Graphia is hosting a party at Amuse to celebrate its books, and a 1745 Broadway shindig for Random authors is in the works. Henry Holt will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of Metropolitan Books sometime during the weekend, and Harcourt is hosting a luncheon for Umberto Eco.
Only in New York, kids. Only in New York.