We’ve been considering doing the BookExpo America convention since it’s in DC this year. BookExpo is totally different than the fan cons we normally do. It’s not genre specific and it’s all publishers exhibiting for book sellers and libraries. A table at BookExpo is like 5 or 10 times more expensive than a usual convention but we’d have no travel expenses so it would basically be the same, or maybe a little less than some of the cons we’ve done in the past. In a way I think it’s still a little too early for our company to make this move but who knows how many years before BookExpo is back in DC.

The thing that most attracts me about it is getting away from the usual genre mire. Genre can be a helpful place to start but it’s also limiting. One of our prime goals has always been to put out stuff that either crosses or trancends genre. Another exciting thing about it is there are a lot of people interested in buying the foreign rights for books and I’d love to see our books translated.

It can be kind of scary outside of the cozy genre community that we’ve come to know so well but I think there’s a lot of opportunities out there. I’m reminded of my favorite Ric Flair saying, “If you’re gonna play dress up, play it big time, baby! Wooooo!”


  1. Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

    oooooooooooooooooooooo!!!! Take a ride on Space Mountain!

  2. If you go to BEA, stay the hell out of the Small Press Ghetto Alley. Nobody takes that aisle seriously.

    What you really should be doing, if you decide to attend BEA, is looking for a distributor.

  3. I don’t know, we tried Pathway and it’s not really working out. We’re selling more copies but not really making more money. We could have done better if we just filled the orders ourselves, the main problem is that we don’t have a warehouse.

  4. Pathway’s a fulfillment house, not a distro. Distros have sales forces. Pathway is a good way to start as you will sell books, as you mention, if they’re available and being reviewed, but you have nobody calling stores for you, going to trade shows, etc.

  5. I’d agree. Pathway has its uses, like any other distribution channel or service, but it has its limitations. But simply advising that you look for a distributor requires some big questions, for the company itself, I’d thought.

  6. It would be closer to thirty to fifty times, actually. The prefab booth we’ve schedule is about twenty-seven hundred dollars—and then throw in the cost of samples, catalogs, freebies, and more. This wouldn’t particularly do you any good unless you already have a distributor, perhaps.

  7. I’ll be at BookExpo, so it’s worth attending just for my glowing presence.

    Or my dark, lurking presence. I haven’t decided which yet.

  8. It’s an industry convention, with more than two thousand exhibits, and over thirty thousand attendees. It’s certainly not somewhere that you can just sit down somewhere and start selling books.

  9. Re: That clenches it

    Well, I’ll just do sort of a glowing lurk thingie.

    I had a fantastic time at BEA in New York this year. I can’t say how beneficial it is for a publisher to get a booth, but unfortunately I have to agree with the comment above…the small press area was definitely a ghost town much of the time.

  10. The spider pie referance had to do with a conevetion when i showed up and hung out at the RAWDOG table and just sold the books like crazy. It was fun. At least for me. Industry convetions tend to be cool regaurdless of the idustry, i;ve been to a few. The loot, the new stuff, the networking.

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