The Lytherus staff are in the Big Apple for this year’s Book Expo America convention, the largest book industry event in North America. Thousands of authors, publishers, and consumers flock to NYC to hear the latest and greatest in the publishing industry. We are on hand to cover every aspect of the event’s fantasy, scifi, and horror buzz. Here’s our summary from day one:
(Lauren Zurchin) I have been giddy with excitement for the past few months at the thought of heading to BEA, and it’s finally here! Today we hit the convention center for the first time, and basically we spent from ten until three just walking up and down rows, talking to publishers who interested us, getting free books, and generally having a fun time. We only covered about a third of the convention center, to give you an idea of the scope of this event.
I had a few fun highlights of the day. I saw a woman with Brandon Mull’s newest book cover on it, asked her where she got it, and she just so happened to be his editor. That was pretty incredible, raving about him and how much I love him. She’s sending me a bag too. Michael Scott was doing a signing of Necromancer, which was released today, so it was amazing to chat with him and get a beautiful autographed hard copy.
Harlequin, which has a ton of imprints that relate to Lytherus, had various signings throughout the day, often with multiple authors at a time. We got a ton of free autographed books, and set up some amazing interviews (details to follow later).
During the afternoon we went to a panel with five YA editors talking about their big books for the fall. To hear their passion for the stories they have invested so much time and heart in was great, and they gave out ARCs of the books afterwards, so we’ll get the chance to read them.
All in all an amazing first day. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds!
(Mike Macauley) Book Expo America. Overwhelming, but a ton of fun!
I’ve done Book Expo America twice now – this was my third trip – but I’ve never truly experienced Book Expo America. In years past I have attended with Christopher Paolini to cover his promotions immediately before his big summer book releases. This year was some of what I’ve experienced in the past but with a whole lot more. Christopher is here to promote Inheritance and covering these events for Shur’tugal readers was priority. On top of our work for Shur’tugal, we ensured that covering and experiencing the whole of BEA was the core priority this year.
Our first entrance into the convention hall was a true literary smack in the face – the sheer amount of books, publishers, authors, and marketing gurus manning the hundreds of booths across the convention center was an incredible sight. We decided our best course of action was to start at row 5000 (the last row of the convention hall) and work our way up and down rows, checking out every booth along the way, until eventually ending at row 0100.
We were fortunate enough to network with some extraordinarily epic publishers and authors, many of whom we have lined up for exclusive interviews over the next few months. (Fantasy/scifi readers are in for a treat!) We also attended a plethora of book signings and acquired a total of nearly sixty fantasy and scifi books, all of which we intend to review on Lytherus.
My most exciting author moment was once again meeting Michael Scott, author of The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series, who is in town from Ireland to promote his latest book, The Warlock. He signed free copies of his latest book at the Random House booth while happily chatting up fellow authors and fans.
Author moments aside, today’s “takes the cake” event was the Random House Children’s Books BEA after-party. The party’s location was truly unique – the Intrepid, a retired aircraft carrier docked in the NYC harbor, housed this year’s event. The carrier itself is home to dozens of retired and restored aircraft, which the party was thrown around. The party was air force themed and had some incredible Random House YA authors in attendance, including Christopher Paolini, Tyra Banks, James Dashner, Lauren Kate, Michael Scott, N.D. Wilson, and more!
(Jackie Krah) I can’t say that I was overwhelmed upon walking into the convention center. In the capacity of my (way more boring) day job I have gone to my fair share of conferences around the country. From far away they all basically look the same. Giant convention centers filled from one end to the other with booths of all shapes and sizes. Within these booths are vendors from various types of companies ready to give you’re their two second, grab your attention, schpeal.
But once I broke through the barrier and began my decent through the long isles of the exhibition hall, I realized that this is so much better than any convention I’ve EVER been to before. Perhaps it was just because I was surrounded by authors, publishers, editors, publicists … basically everyone involved in the awesomeness of the book-making process. Perhaps it was because I was collecting advanced reading copy books like the best Easter egg hunt of my life.
I got to put faces to names of some of my favorite and up-and-coming authors. Of the authors that I was able to stalk (completely legally – which is a plus) I think I was most stoked for Sophie Littlefield. Remember Sophie? A few months ago I reviewed her book Aftertime and I loved it. Ms. Littlefield was at BEA still promoting Aftertime, which really didn’t some out that long ago, as well as her new sequel book Rebirth, which will be released July 19. She happily signed my worn copy, coming across as the nicest lady ever. In fact all the authors were so nice (expect lots of upcoming interviews!)
The second most amazing thing? That happened right when I walked in and started down my first isle. Before I had even embarked upon the mass quantity of things to see I somehow found comic-row. I met some great publicist folks from Image, IDW, Diamond distributers, Dark Horse, and much much more. I got some great recommendations hook-ups for upcoming reviews for you guys. I’m really looking forward to sharing these golden finds!
Food for thoughts: Is realistic fiction on its way back? Has fantasy reached its peak? Guy readers — do you feel that the industry is publishing too much female lit, or is there a sufficient amount of male-driven books in the market? Do you feel it’s true that girls will read boy books, but boys won’t read girl books?
We’ll be in New York City covering Book Expo America all week, bringing back exclusive information, reviews, and perspectives from the show floor and various events. Keep checking back!