The live tweets that came out of BookExpo America (BEA) showed e-book pricing, author promotion, and the divide between publishers and the reading public on the brain. The latter point is particularly intriguing, mainly because this divide is part of the reason the industry is experiencing upheaval. Now that self-publishing, crowdsource funding, and digital platforms are enabling even published authors and readers to circumvent the traditional publication process, the publishing industry still seems at a loss as to how to embrace and engage the public.
Ann Kingman, co-publisher of Books on a Night Stand, touched on the topic in a blog post she tweeted. Here’s what she had to say on her blog:
I know that many publishers hate the idea of “consumers” (let’s call them “readers,” shall we?) breaching the hallowed doors of Book Expo America. I say “get over it.” You can hate the idea, but If BEA declares it to be happening, these publishers should embrace it. Some did, sort of. There were some name-brand authors (Neil Gaiman, Diana Gabaldon, Sara Dessen) doing signings. A few publishers had special giveaways. But mostly, it was business as usual. To the readers it was exciting, sure, but most publishers let a huge opportunity slip by. Not a single publisher asked us to sign up for a consumer-oriented mailing list.
Check out the full post and click through the slideshow of tweets above.