Book Expo America 2009 – Review Part 1



Entering the events hall at the Javits Center, one could immediately fill a different vibe in the air.  Not necessarily bad, just different than last year’s Los Angeles celebrity stocked buzz fest.  Last year I was delighted to meet Slash, William Shatner, Rick Pitino, Arianna Huffington and many other huge stars.  This year the headlining book signers were Doctor Ruth and Captain “Sully” Sullenberger.  For me the highlight was Dr. Cornel West & Tavis Smiley who were just as great in person as he is on tv.  Actually my very favorite author, Peter David, was there signing but I missed him because the book was just so thick I didn’t see his name.

There were basically no after-parties but that was ok because New York has so much to do we were really tired from all the running around.  We did enjoy Steven Tyler’s opening keynote.  He was very very funny and Clarence Clemmons playing the sax was classic.  Neither took time out for a formal signing which seemed like a missed opportunity. 

In the exhibit hall the aisles were noticeably less full than last year.  However we got plenty of traffic to our booth set up in the University Press section.  Many book buyers and bookstore employees were not at all eager to talk which I found odd since it was sort of the whole reasons they were there.  Several of them read our sign and said  “I already have my dream job so I don’t need your book” to which we responded “Aren’t you here to find books to stock in your store? ”  That seemed to totally puzzle them which was even more weird, making me wonder why they thought they were there. 

Everyone associated with the show was extremely nice and gracious.  That included the Freeman staff setting the show up.  We really appreciated this because it seemed like everyone was really grateful to each exhibitor even us small guys.  All the booths around me were great and I’m going to get links up on our website to all of their books.

All in all it was fun and we’ll definitely be back next year.  Tomorrow I’ll post my reviews of the breakout sessions with notes.

book expo booth

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