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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Book Expo 2009--and Back to Gettysburg

I am leaving Thursday morning with Sarah Keeney, our marketing director, for New York City and the 2009 Book Expo.

The sad state of economic affairs and dismal general book sales numbers (not ours, but the large vanilla publishers) puts a cloud over the event. I recommend an interesting article on the entire conference and industry, Worried Book Industry Gathers for Convention.

Book Expos are generally very helpful (but completely overwhelming the first time you attend). That is to be expected with thousands of vendors, agents, writers, authors, librarians, booksellers, etc. all milling about.

Our headquarters is at the Casemate booth (our distributor). There, we will be meeting with editors of the Military and History Book Clubs, foreign rights agents, various book imprint buyers, audio agents, and many others. We are also meeting with one of heads of Penguin (who purchased our Playing with the Enemy title) to discuss other potential acquisitions.

Friday night will include a raucous (as always) red meat dinner with plenty of spirits with the largely British-UK publishers at a local restaurant. (That is often the highlight of Book Expo, though getting up early the next morning is often a chore.)

Usually we remain through Sunday, but this year we are leaving mid-afternoon Saturday with a recently signed author / blogger / former embedded reporter-correspondent (USS Kitty Hawk, March 2003; Baghdad, Fallujah, Iraq, March 2005; and Afghanistan, May 2008), together with a very experienced and widely known Washington, DC media person (who shall remain nameless) for a two-hour limo ride up into the Catskills, where we shall spend the night discussing his exciting book project (think history and current events, tied into political commentary), and how to package and market it during the 2010 campaign season. Stay tuned for more on that.

From there, Sarah and I will rent a car and drive Sunday evening to Gettysburg. Sarah has never been there, so that will be a treat. We will spend Monday meeting with various vendors, and then with several Savas Beatie authors, including JD Petruzzi, Steve Stanley, George Newton, Jim Hessler, and a couple others. We will fly back out of Baltimore on Tuesday evening. Somewhere in between, I wager, we will find time to show Sarah some of the battlefield.

I will report back on what we learn at BEA, etc., when I return.

Stay well and stay engaged.



Mark Hughes said...

Hope you and Sarah both have a good trip. Sarah be sure and take a copy of The Complete Gettysburg Guide.Mark Hughes – author The New Civil War Handbook: Facts and Photos for Readers of All Ages http://www.civilwarhandbook.com

J David Petruzzi said...

LOL, thank you, Mark! Ted and Sarah, it'll be great seeing you on Monday. I suppose we will let Sarah see some of the battlefield...

J.D. Petruzzi

Sarah Keeney said...

Thanks, guys. I am ready!


Anonymous said...

I have always wanted to attend one of these. Lots of free books, I hear, and it sounds like for adults it would be a giant candy shop.

You guys do a lot of truly interesting titles and events, and garner a lot of media events for a a smaller independent house. Others large and small should learn at your elbow. My wager is you have a lot to teach.

Enjoy some "red meat" for me, and if you are hanging with Brits, a room temperature ale!


Andy Adkins said...


This is my first post, though I've been reading for several months.

I caught the reference to the Kitty Hawk - I spent 2 1/2 years working on the flight deck back in 1975-1977. She was just decommissioned in Bremerton/Seattle January 31 this year; I went up for the ceremony. It was the first time I had seen her since I walked off the Afterbrow in 1977. Lots of emotions when I went aboard again.

Ted knows I'm working on a new book about my Navy career, so anything that mentions Kitty Hawk catches my attention.

NY should be fun and I hope you have a good time. Say hello to David @ Casemate for me. BTW, my Navy book is done and I'm looking for a publisher :<))

BTW, I really enjoy this blog - lots of good info on it. Thanks for doing this.