BookExpo (June 1 and 2) has been in a state of perpetual change in recent years. The one obvious new change is the name. I’m not sure why, but the organizers changed it from BookExpo America to BookExpo. Then there’s the length of the show. BookExpo used to be three days, then it was two and half days last year, and in 2017 it’s only two days.
Going back further, in my earlier days as an author publicist, the show rotated between three cities each year, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Then, after it was announced it was going to be in Las Vegas a few years back, the organizers subsequently decided it would only be in New York; no more city rotation. And then … after a few years in New York, it was held in Chicago, and now – I think – it’s only going to be in New York again.
Confusing, eh? Indeed it is, and the changes are controversial. Set a side the fact that as exhibitors, it’s more expensive than ever, and exhibit time has been reduced by a third – the condensed time frame may have a negative impact for both attendees and exhibitors. We will know soon enough!
In 2014, BookCon was added as a one day co-event with BookExpo, and now it’s two full days. While BookCon can be great for author promotion by engaging with fans and readers, it’s completely different in design and purpose from BookExpo.
While some (such as myself) have doubts about the future of BookExpo even existing, the fact remains that it is the still the most important publishing industry show in North America. If you are an author, want to be an author, or are thinking about being an author, BookExpo is still a wonderful way to “see” the publishing industry and to make all great connections. Representatives from every area of the industry – from publishers, book cover designers and editors to distributors, foreign rights agents and store book buyers – will either be attending or exhibiting.