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OTHER ITA SITES:
Book Expo America for the Author or Aspiring Author
Book Expo America is the book industry’s largest annual U. S. event where publishers exhibit their next season books to retail book buyers. The event rotates around Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C, and Los Angeles, and occasionally to other major cities. It is held in late May or early June, and attendance is usually more than 30,000 with over 2,000 exhibitors.
If you are already an author, Book Expo America represents an opportunity for you to sign books at the publisher’s exhibit booth, have a booth of your own so you can take orders for your books from booksellers and libraries, meet a potential distributor, and forge essential media connections. If you are becoming an author, it represents the chance to introduce your book to potential publishers.
Typical attendees include:
* Authors and Author Representatives shopping for literary agents, publishers and media connections;
* Publishers looking for distributors, reviewers or foreign publishers;
* Literary Agents looking for publishers;
* Media people looking for hot stories, authors to interview and books to review;
* Bookstore owners and librarians looking for great books to stock, etc. If there is a book connection to be made, this is the place to make it!
Self-Published or Aspiring Authors
While the BEA is the place to make connections to agents and publishers, this event can be quite intimidating. It's full of over-stimulation, with thousands of people running in all directions, and it goes non-stop every day, from the wee hours of the morning till late in the evening.
Publishing houses and literary agents are not always easy to approach, as they are primarily interested in promoting the work of their current clients. That being said, here are a few tips to increase your chances of making the connections you want:
1. When walking up to a booth, notice the kinds of books on that publishers' shelf. Would your book fit in with their line? If it would, then this is a booth worth approaching.
2. The first line of defense you'll encounter at the booths is the sales staff. These are not the people you need to talk to; however, one of them may give you a lead to the Acquisitions Editor.
3. Make a quick, sound-byte pitch about your project to the Acquisitions Editor. Don't include your name. They don't need to know your name up front; they just need to be pitched the project.
4. Collect business cards from everyone who indicates interest in your work. Make a note on the back of each card so you'll know what's needed in order to follow up.
5. Bring copies of your book proposal and a few copies of your manuscript and store them in your room, just in case a publisher requests it at the show. It is rare for a publisher to ask for your manuscript. A few might ask for your proposal. If interest is expressed, most will request that your materials be mailed.
6. Note that the thicker the carpeting at a publisher's booth, the less likely they are to talk with you. The major houses, such as Simon and Schuster or Random House, for example, have very plush booths. The people in these booths have no interest in talking directly with authors. They will only talk with literary agents. If you have your heart set on having your book published by one of the major houses, focus your BEA efforts on finding a literary agent.
7. Definitely have your book professionally edited, and have a solid book proposal in place and ready to send out. Follow through immediately upon your return. If proposals and manuscripts were requested, send them.
If your book is already out, there are countless opportunities at the BEA for you, or for an Author Representative, to network with media people, and bookstore owners and librarians from all across the country. There is a section where authors sign autographed copies of their work, which are handed out for free. Bookstore owners and librarians stand in long lines to acquire these books.
Some publishers will fund author signings, while others consider it just a way for people to get free giveaways, and insist that the authors fund it themselves. Ask your publisher if they'd be willing to sponsor your signing. If not, the next best way to attract this audience is to hand out your media kit or postcards and present it with a really strong, quick pitch. Again, you can hand your postcard out yourself, or have an Author Representative make these and other media connections for you.
If you want to learn more about the publishing industry, a week of educational classes regarding everything related to publishing takes place immediately prior to the BEA. Information is posted on the Book Expo America web site. There are also special events for authors of books that are spiritual, as well as numerous luncheons and breakfasts in various niches.
Copyright (c) 2007 Gail Richards
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