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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.
Conference: Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP)
Dates: February 26-March 1, 2014
Registration Deadline: N/A
Location/Venue: Seattle / Washington State Convention Center & Sheraton Seattle Hotel
Pricing: $65 to $875
Why you should consider attending: The conference is tailored to writers and the writing process, including multiple opportunities to learn from and engage with esteemed and bestselling scribes. This year Chris Abani, Annie Proulx and Amy Tan are among the featured presenters.
Conference: The Festival of Faith & Writing
Dates: April 10-12, 2014
Pre-registration Deadline: January 31, 2014
Pricing: $185 if you register before January 31st; $200 thereafter. $85 for students.
Location/Venue: Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI
Why you should consider attending: Faith. Religion. Spirituality. Whatever you call it it, you likely have questions. The annual festival creates a space for writers, readers and anyone else who’s interested in exploring how spiritual understanding relates to literature.
Conference: BookExpo America (BEA)
Dates: May 29-31, 2014
Registration Deadline: May 15, 2014
Location/Venue: New York, NY / The Jacob Javits Center
Pricing: $189 to $349 depending on the badge you qualify for; $89-599 for attendance at one of the concurrent conferences. (4-Day Attendee Show Badge allows you access to Free BEA Conference Sessions throughout the event; 1-Day Attendee Show Badge allows you access to Free BEA Conference Sessions only on the day of your Pass.)
Why you should consider attending: Excellent networking opportunity. Publishers, booksellers, librarians, agents, and authors converge, plus you’ll get to see which books and authors publishers are putting their muscle behind.
Conference: American Library Association Annual Conference & Exhibition
Dates: June 26-July 1, 2014
Pre-registration Deadline: N/A
Location/Venue: Las Vegas
Why you should consider attending: Get your book on the radar of librarians across the country.
Homeric Writers Retreat and Workshop
Dates: August 1-7, 2014
Registration Deadline: July 1, 2014
Location/Venue: The island of Ithaca in Greece
Pricing: 1,550 Euros
Why you should consider attending: It’s Greece! Also, literary agent Katharine Sands of the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency will be in attendance and giving a talk.
This is an organic list that I’ll add to as I learn about more conferences. If you know of any, by all means submit it in the comments following the format above. Thanks!
BookExpo America, the biggest trade show for the American publishing industry, is now accepting submitted ideas for speakers and conference sessions to round out its May 30-June 1, 2013 program. As a writer, it’s a pretty important event to attend if you can. I’ve only been twice, and couldn’t stay for very long when I was there, but what I did get to experience was incredibly useful and affirming. It’s basically wall-to-wall people who care about books, from writers to agents to publishers to librarians. In other words, it’s an excellent place to network, and get a sense of what books publishers are putting their energy behind in the next few quarters. If you’re interested in submitting, Publishers Weekly has some suggestions on crafting the right proposal. If you’d like to register to attend, click here.