Hey friends! It’s Ashley, here with your Book Expo and BookCon 2019 Recap!
Picture this: It’s 8 am on a Wednesday at the Javits Center in New York City. There’s a roped-off the line of about 300 people buzzing with anticipation. Bright red lanyards accessorize their various looks, from business casual and suits to fanfare costumes of elves, witches, handmaids and more. Their wait has just begun as hundreds of publishers make their final adjustments to their booth displays. Doors open at 12 pm and the line is likely to triple.
Though it sounds like a scene from Best Buy on Black Friday, this is Book Expo. A leading trade event in the publishing industry, Book Expo filled with Librarians, Publishers, Bloggers, and major Retail Buyers and more. Book Expo lasts 3 days and then quickly switches over to BookCon! BookCon showcases YA and adult fiction, and is where fans dress up as characters from their favorite franchises.
During the 3-day conference, there isn’t a minute of downtime! Between author signings, educational sessions, networking opportunities, and galley drops, there is always somewhere to be and something to do. The atmosphere of Book Expo/Con is electrifying, which helps ease the pain of standing in the long lines to attend your most anticipated event!
3 takeaways I learned from Book Expo and BookCon were:
1. Covers are EVERYTHING!
Never judge a book by its cover is sound advice for anything BUT a publishing trade show. Attendees would eagerly jump in line for books they hadn’t even heard of based on the cover. Covers that caught eyes were BOLD, filled with moody reds, greens, and gothic fonts!
2. YA is stronger than ever!
YA readers are loyal, patient, and eager for any title that catches their eye. Annie Sullivan, author of Tiger Queen, had a line wrapped in and out of booths with over 250 people anticipating her signing for her 2nd book. Meanwhile Lauren Mansy, author of The Memory Thief, went through 100 copies of her soon-to-be-released book in under 30 minutes!
Two other YA titles that stirred up some buzz at the show were:
Pretty in Punxsutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton. A Groundhog Day meets Pretty in Pink mashup, this novel tells the tale of a high school girl who must relive the first day of school repeatedly and she hopes true loves kiss breaks the curse.
The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais. Releasing August 13th, this novel tells Maya’s story about moving halfway across the country to Colorado right before senior year. Leaving behind Pratt School for the Deaf where she’s been a student for years only to attend a hearing school is even worse. Maya has dreams of breaking into the medical field and is determined to get the grades and a college degree to match, and she’s never considered being deaf a disability. But her teachers and classmates at Engelmann High don’t seem to share her optimism.
3. Summer Book Clubs are thriving!
Many attendees were booth hopping to get ideas for their summer book clubs! Titles like The Enlightenment of Bees releasing July 9, by Rachel Linden, A Serial Killer’s Daughter by Kerri Rawson, and Romanov by Nadine Brandes would be great additions to your reading whether at the beach, pool, or plane!
If you missed out on BookExpo or BookCon join in on the fun with Page Chaser’s Summer Reading Bingo Challenge! We handed out Bingo cards at BookCon, but if you missed the event, you can still get your own printable version right here! Choose books that fit into the provided prompts and share a photo of your completed card when you get Bingo! Use #PageChaserSummer on Facebook or Instagram!