Publishing Trendsetter is a production of Market Partners International and Publishing Trends.

BEA Basics for 2015

It’s spring. It’s May. It’s BEA!

BookExpo America, the annual trade fair for the North American book industry, is coming once again to the Javits Center in New York City. Running from May 27 to May 29, BEA 2015 promises three busy days full of exchange, expertise, and excitement.

Two big changes set this year’s BEA apart. First, the exhibit hall is opening on the same day as the conference. This “compact” scheduling should prove more convenient for attendees, event director Steve Rosato explained to Publishers Weekly. Second, BookCon has been organized as a separate business-to-consumer event, so that BEA can stay pure business-to-business. It’s also been expanded to two days, in response to last year’s high attendance; BookCon 2015 will take place at the Javits Center on May 30 and May 31.

This is also BEA’s last year at the Javits Center for at least a little while. After six years in a row in New York City, BEA is moving to Chicago in 2016.

As with previous years, the programming is very robust. Along with the exhibit hall and the conference, BEA will also feature author presentations, autographing sessions, and other special events throughout. You can view the full schedule on the official website, using the Conference Grid tool. (It’s not easy to navigate, to say the least, but sorting by track or event type really helps.)

In the exhibit hall, you’ll see close to 1,000 booths from industry players of all shapes and sizes. All Big Five publishers will be there, as well as independent and smaller publishers. Many will have galleys to share— so look through Publisher Weekly’s lists of adult and children’s galleys at BEA 2015 and plan ahead. Distributors, booksellers, and associations will be exhibiting, too.

The exhibit hall opens at 1:00pm on Wednesday, May 27, following a special event with award-winning writer Jonathan Franzen and Salon co-founder Laura Miller.

The conference will be just as lively. It features sessions in seven tracks:

  • ABA Education (6 sessions)
  • Analytics, Tech & Mobile (7 sessions)
  • Business of Publishing (13 sessions)
  • Content: Readers & Authors (10 sessions)
  • Global Market Forum: China (39 sessions)
  • Library Insight (4 sessions)
  • Marketing & Engagement (9 sessions)

What stands out is the impressive 39 sessions in the Global Market Forum track, and no wonder— China is launching the biggest Guest of Honor exhibit in BEA history, according to Publishers Weekly. More than 100 representatives, 26 writers and poets, and more than 10,000 books will provide insight into one of the most important and dynamic markets in the global book industry today.

Also worth considering is the Library Insight track. Libraries and publishers haven’t always had an easy relationship, “hit[ting] a historic low, as publishers denied or greatly restricted library e-book lending” in 2012, as described by Publishers Weekly. They’re beginning to mend and fortify their partnership, and you should be able to learn more about how in these sessions.

And of course— aside from exhibit booths and conference sessions, you should also go meet authors. You’ll see Lee Child at the Adult Author Breakfast on Thursday, Oliver Jeffers at the Children’s Author Breakfast on Friday, and Judy Blume at the APA Author Tea on Friday. (For the full list of authors, see the official website.) You also have the opportunity to get autographs from more than 600 authors, including Jon Scieszka and Meg Cabot; look at the schedule to find out where and when your favorite authors will be signing. You can go to one (or more!) of the 49 sessions taking place across the four different Author Stages, too.

With all this— the exhibit hall, the conference, the author events— packed into just three days, you’re going to require some foresight and real determination to conquer BEA 2015. If you’re a first-time attendee, be sure to take advice from wise veterans, like our very own Sam Howard and Elisabeth Watson.

I hope this helps you to at least get a sense of what to expect, and I wish you the best of luck— and fun!— as you further your knowledge and passion for the book industry at BEA 2015.

One Trackback

  1. […] a phone charger, and some sensible shoes. (I’d already read up on conference advice from other Trendsetter writers.) My goals were pretty modest: to see a few panels, talk to other professionals […]

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