For the first time in 12 years, Chicago played host to the Book Expo America. Touted as the largest annual publishing industry event in North America, BEA rivals the Frankfurt Book rivaling Fair and London Book Fair in size and scale.
Although the change in venue to Chicago meant a smaller show in terms of exhibitors, it did shine a spotlight on often overlooked Chicago and Midwestern publishers. According to the American Booksellers Association, many booksellers who don’t normally make the trip to New York City, did come to Chicago. In fact, overall attendance was up by 1000 people, with a 10% increase in VIP attendees.
Since Chicago has been PG’s home for over 20 years, this was a fantastic opportunity to feature our publishing solutions for publishers and authors. The Reprint Center plus our new direct to consumer bookstore, PGDirect were demonstrated at the show, to many positive reviews.
“With over 250,000 books already in our catalog, authors and publishers are finding the site a welcome addition to the marketplace,” Nick Lewis, President of PG, said. “We’ve added over 250,000 titles from publishers and the feedback we are receiving is telling us that we are on the right track. Authors and publishers have been craving a new business model and new distribution channels for their books.”
PG also debuted a new display at the show: “Choosing the Road Less Traveled Can Make All the Difference.” Kathleen Lewis, President of PGDirect explained, “Publishers have many choices when it comes to selling their titles. But with PGDirect, you are printing and distributing books in the most environmentally-friendly, socially responsible manner possible. So you are actually helping the environment and the Earth, even though sometimes that road can be the most difficult and least traveled.”
Dozens of sessions, panels, and lectures were scheduled during BEA. Some programs educate new and experienced booksellers on how to become better at the business. Others focus on trends that affect publishers, editors, and/or agents. Still others help self-publishers master social media and book promotion.
Anthony Ferrigno, VP of Sales and Distribution noted, “As I have been to BEA many times over the years, BEA at McCormick Place in Chicago this year was another positive EXPO experience. It had a good mix of domestic, international, self- publishers and publisher service providers. In that BEA usually fosters the opportunity for new B2B business and the opportunity to see old colleagues in the industry this EXPO did not disappoint!”
And the celebrity authors! There were several celebrities at BEA this year including Jamie Lee Curtis and Nicole Curtis from HGTV’s Rehab Addict. We even had a visit from John Wayne’s grandson who posed for a quick photo!