E-book world reacts to BookExpo and BookCon retirement
BookExpo will not take place in 2021, ReedPop announced Tuesday. Instead, the largest press conference in the US, established in 1947 as the American Booksellers Assn. The Convention and Trade show, will never be the same again today.
The trade show was changed from May to July this year due to the COVID-19 epidemic and was eventually replaced by a six-day event. With the uncertainty still going on in the face, ReedPop has stated in a statement that it “rests in the current context of finding new ways to address the needs of the community through integration and interaction between them.” Retirement along with its show with BookCon, an instant-looking consumer show following the Expo launched in 2014, and a parallel show for Unbound.
After the news broke, publishers, booksellers and former members of the community struggled with the news, but in some ways it could not be avoided.
Markus Dohle, head of Penguin Random House, told the Associated Press in a statement that he hoped the incident would not be eliminated forever.
“We look forward to working with our partners to explore a new event where we can all come together to celebrate books and their important role in our community and culture,” he said.
For many publishers, the show represents a visual, consistent way of doing business that was declining even before COVID-19.
“I always like to walk around the halls and see young independent publishers, educators, gift publishers and bookkeepers,” said Knopf publisher Reagan Arthur, who attended the conference for nearly 25 years. printing that is very close probably reaches any type of glitz. Yes, it was old-fashioned in many ways, but it was fun to play. ”
For Arthur, it constantly reminded him that publishing is “just a video project,” a work run by interlocutors who have the opportunity to interact with them. “We spend a lot of time together reading manuscripts, and discussing media,” Arthur said. “But once a year, having the opportunity to see people who appreciate them again for those who use the library and sell them at bookstores, is tangible, but I think that’s what makes this business the same.”
For booksellers, many of them outside of New York, the conference was an easy opportunity to get to know others in the market – a place to hang out, meet publishers and writers face-to-face and plan to buy books. It was also fair in that, to all the well-known authors and CEOs in attendance, indie booksellers were seen as distinguished guests.
Bert H. Deixler, owner of the Chevalier bookshop in Larchmont Village, said that retiring from the convention “was a loss for booksellers. We have all benefited from being able to see the ‘upcoming influences’ and socialize with our friends. It’s getting worse for booksellers. ”
Rick Simonson, a book buyer at the Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, said that for more than 40 years, the meetings taught him a lot about his business acumen. But in recent years, as it has begun to decline, it has become apparent to many retailers that it needs to “reconsider.”
For John Evans, who owns a Diesel bookstore in Brentwood and Del Mar, the announcement came as no surprise. “There’s something big to be lost,” he said. “We are all facing losses this year.”
However, Evans believes the show was to cater to the needs of successful retailers while indie American Booksellers Assn. he ran. (Reed exhibits bought the ABA Conference in the mid-90s and named it the Book Expo America.)
In our region, our North American book fair may look different going forward, but our commitment to providing a place to grow your business remains to the north in everything we do. Please read the message below from the Director of Ceremonies, Jenny Martin. pic.twitter.com/XBS4nkQe No
– BookExpo (@BookExpoAmerica) December 1, 2020
“ABA was paid to do so and the money was sent to private stores at some level,” Evans said. But over the years, under ReedPop, it was felt that publishers gradually lost interest in advertising their books at the conference.
“Even without COVID, it starts to make sense as a thing,” he said. “I think COVID was the last stroke, but he was already suffering and just moving in the opposite direction.”
Several righteous warriors have seen their loss. Paul Yamazaki, a buying assistant at City Lights Books in San Francisco, has been to BookExpo almost every year since 1985. “It didn’t help any other people,” he said at recent meetings, “whether they were publishers, booksellers, writers, in a clear way. And I think that in the last few years, there have been some real attempts to reintroduce it, but it was very, very late. ”
Many impartial visitors were not worried. Maureen Palacios, owner of the Once Once a Time bookstore in Glendale, always felt that the long trip to New York City was not worth paying for; went to the show only once.
“It was good because you met a lot of people, but it was very advanced and very commercial, and for us at the time, we didn’t get any benefit from education.”
He made a significant contribution to ABA’s Winter Institute, another major international conference. As BookExpo weakened, the agency, the justice that is most closely monitored by the ABA in 2005, has grown exponentially. It will take place around February 2021.
The event was “extremely important to our needs,” Palacios said, “so unfortunately, I don’t see it as a big deal for us.”
Vroman’s and Book Soup executive director Julia Cowlishaw, complained about the matter but also quoted Palacio’s comments in an email. “The increase in the number of tours and hotels has meant less for each of us,” he said. “Time is good for us to think about BookExpo and I’m looking forward to next time.”
For Allison K. Hill, CEO of ABA, the message signaled the end of a long title.
“BookExpo’s retirement sounds like the end of time,” he told AP. “In the meantime, we’ll just bring in almost everyone.”
The problem that exists now, especially for those who run the full-time printing operation, is dealing with new realities.
“Most of us will miss these meetings,” said Simon & Schuster Chief Executive and President Jonathan Karp in an email. “But we are confident that we will continue to find new ways to work with booksellers, librarians, and book enthusiasts to be aware of the upcoming books.”
Yamazaki City Lights puts a dynamic change. “While we regret the loss of BookExpo, this discussion will continue. This is one of the things that has not changed in 50 years with the sale of books, and that their face-to-face discussions are the most important part of this book.”
On social media, other writers and longtime members of BookExpo debated the issue and shared their interests on BookExpo. Some of their actions are listed below.
I make the same jokes almost every year when I go into the #BookExpo & yeah, it’s boring & wrong & you have to sort the stalks & but I love it too and it’s the only time I meet other people in my company & I’m sorry it might end forever. https://t.co/iRM6s80dMh
– Marlena Bittner (@lenabitts) December 1, 2020
I used to hate Javits, but 20 years ago, when I was a college senior, the editor I was crediting with gave me a BEA loan & by the end of the day I thought I wasn’t going to be a teacher; I wanted to work as a printer, then for all that, Book Expo. #RIPBookExpo
– Molly O’Neill (@molly_oneill) December 1, 2020
I’m a nerd who loves #bookexpo and I miss it. Even moving to Javits!
– Rebecca Lang (@itsrebeccalang) December 1, 2020
I’m sorry with the BookExpo articles, because I love seeing all the book people I just chat with online. It was like a summer camp for me every year.
Summer camp, in a very deep house, with $ 8 water bottles.
– Ufulu @M (@MissLiberty) December 1, 2020