by Corinne Moulder, Vice President, Business Development, Smith Publicity
BookExpo 2018 marked Smith Publicity’s 16th year exhibiting. While much has changed over the years, there is one constant that keeps everyone coming back—a passion for books and authors. This year, Reed geared most of the panels and education sessions towards the resurgence of independent bookstores…and we obliged.
Our team jumped right in on Day One with Executive Director of Publicity Services Mike Onorato moderating the panel “Making Indie Bookstore & Library Events a Win-Win-Win” on Wednesday, May 30. Joined by Smith Publicity’s Marketing Manager Andrea Kiliany Thatcher, Mark Sedenquist, publisher at Imbrifex Books, Megan Edwards, author of A Copper Black Mystery series, and Lynn Rosen, founder Open Book Bookstore, the panel addressed critical tips to maximize an author event from the perspective of a publicist, publisher, author and bookseller. The room was packed and prepped us all for the overarching discussion of bookselling that carried on throughout the show.
Rolling into the full exhibition hall on Thursday, May 31 and Friday, June 1, our business development team, joined by Mike Onorato and a number of our creative publicists, handled over sixty meetings with publishers (traditional and independent), marketing consultants, independent authors, media, and other individuals who keep the book world in constant motion.
We found time to catch up with many of our strategic partners who feel more like honorary Smith Publicity staffers than they do outside consultants. We celebrated the many small presses new to the show and lamented over the void left by exhibitors from the past. We immersed ourselves in trend and content takeaways our media contacts shared with our eager team. Most importantly, we bonded as a team over the great appreciation we have for being a part of the fast-paced and vital role we play as book publicists in the ever-changing and always-relevant publishing industry.