By Kristin Clifford, Partner, and Director of MC Satellite
September used to mark the premiere for that year’s television season – and that was really it! There was no such thing as a mid-season launch or summer series. Book publishing also holds to “seasons,” although as with TV, this has become less of a hard and fast business model and more of a general guideline for those in the industry. Readers still look out for their beach reads come late May, and the November/December season will always deliver weighty glossy tomes perfect for gift giving. Now with Amazon – a heavy hitter in the marketplace – book buyers may be more apt to visit the site already intent on a particular title rather than being swayed by the new release gauntlet that was historically a series of tables set up around the entrance at your local book store.
That said, some things still hold true and spring marks another season for those of us in the book industry: events! Publishing veterans and readers alike come out of winter hibernation to excitedly talk up what they’re reading now, what they want to read next, what they’re looking forward to from their favorite authors and for some the chance to meet those authors in person. The big kahuna in the room is BookExpo America (BEA) taking place from May 29th-May 31st in NYC. An annual event for publishers, distributors, booksellers, authors, media, librarians and publicists, the show is an epic 3 days highlighting what everyone has in store for the next year. It’s a chance to catch fire with early excitement over an upcoming title!
Summer also brings local events cross-country. In New York we have the Brooklyn Book Festival, offering opportunities for both the larger houses and their more independent brethren to reach out to local communities for a one-on-one experience with their readers.
Joining the frenzy this year is a new event targeting readers with a strong appreciation for pop culture. Titled BookCon, this is a direct descendant of the ComicCons that are sweeping the nation! Expect books from celebrities, graphic novels and books that you’ll no doubt see “coming to a theater” near you soon! This will be a public event taking place in New York on May 31st and will be part of BookExpo America. Headliners for this year’s inagural event will be comedians Martin Short and Amy Poehler, who both have books out this fall.
Tying into my subject line, Amy Poehler has also been named the honorary chairperson for the year’s World Book Night literary giveaway. The 3rd annual World Book Night U.S. will be held April 23. Organized by a coalition of publishers, booksellers and librarians enlist 25,000 volunteers who give away a total of 500,000 books targeting areas of the United States where reading books might not be as prevalent. Each year, the organizers select a broad range of titles to give away – in specially printed paperback editions. This year’s list includes Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 and Carl Hiaassen’s Hoot! A truly important event because reading is fundamental at every age. Amy says it best – “I grew up loving books,” says Amy Poehler, who’s best known for her roles on Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation, said in a statement. “In today’s digital world, it’s more important than ever to know how it feels to have a good book in your hands. I’m thrilled to be part of World Book Night. People who read are people who dream, and we connect through the stories we live and tell and read.”
Related: Meet Our MC Team: Kristin Clifford