Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Day at BEA

Attended the Book Expo America yesterday. Some random observations:

Manhattan sizzled. Literally. Temps in the 90s. My strategy of walking from subway to expo center slowly didn't work. Still needed a shower and dry shirt when I arrived.

Book people are crazy. There was a huge line waiting to get into the exhibition area a full hour before it opened. We're talking books, not the Rolling Stones (although Keith Richards stared down on all of us via a a huge banner promoting his new book).

The E-Sky is Falling. The hot topic everywhere was, of course, e-books and how they affect publishers, authors, consumers, and the written word itself. Conclusion: Nobody knows.

We apparently aren't distracted enough. During one of the presentations I attended, people could tweet their observations and questions, which were then projected onto a large screen at the front of the room, while the panelists were talking.

I love Viking. I saw my publicist, spent some time with my editor, and spoke with several other Viking/Penguin execs. What a great company. Also had lunch with my agent. She's great, too. When it comes down to it, no technology is more powerful than "face time."

Reports on the death of publishing are greatly exaggerated. The energy of the place, and the love for and commitment to books (e or otherwise) was incredible... and inspiring.