Although many or even most book readers have never heard of it, Book Expo is the book world's largest North American gathering of industry professionals. While members of the public attend (tickets are expensive), it is largely a pow-wow for insiders to meet and discuss publishing issues, sell rights, promote and cross-pollinate forthcoming titles, schmooze--and drink and eat too much with friends you often see but once or twice a year.
The Book Expo experience is also utterly overwhelming the first time or two you attend because literally thousands of publishers and other professionals display their wares. Many offer free books and other premium items, author signings, and much more. For book lovers it is akin to a kid stepping into Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory with a free pass to taste, touch, smell, and eat as much candy as you like.
Many publishers do not require a booth there because the price is very expensive, and good walking shoes and some energy can put you wherever you need to be. However, we have grown substantially over the past few years and have done so with the right national-interest titles to necessitate the reservation of part of Casemate Publishing's space. Casemate is our distributor into the book trade. The table space and booth area allow us to schedule meetings with authors, media people, foreign rights professionals, and others.
In 2006 in Washington, DC, we kicked off a major signing of galleys with Gary Moore's Playing with the Enemy. He signed 250 galleys, met reviewers and media professionals, talked with sales reps, and more.
This year in Los Angeles we will feature another significant book and author. He will sign galleys, meet and greet a host of industry professionals, and kick off what we believe will be a major release, tentatively set for September 15, 2008.
More on the author, his book, and the campaign in a later post.