BEA – the Place to Be

Imagine the largest convention center you’ve ever seen. Now imagine it three times larger and you’ll have some idea of the enormity of Book Expo America (BEA). It consumes the entire multi-floor Jacob Javits Center located in New York City. The BEA, and the other events it attracts during the week preceding Memorial Day, is the largest book related convention in the United States, which is why I was there.

Conceivably, one could browse the convention booths as one might a bookstore, albeit on a grand scale, however I went with several goals in mind. Advance planning paid off as I hit my starred attractions before I lost track of time in wonderland.

My primary objective was to find a book distributor for “You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get.” Some distributors were too large for my taste, or only would accept newcomers with a minimum of five or ten books. I found one distributor in particular I liked and submitted my information. Distributors take about one new client for each nine they reject. More on this as it develops.

I considered publishers who might be interested in my book as a repackage deal. Other publishers were interested in my unpublished romance novel and short story collections. I found companies able to generate book reviews, marketing and PR. I attended two talks, one by Michael Moore, who read an excerpt from his upcoming book of true stories (fascinating), and a panel discussion on book marketing stunts (so-so). My book was on display in the IBPA (Independent Book Publishers Association) booth where I discovered a couple of Russians eyeing it for translation. I spoke with one gentleman about writing an article for his writing magazine, and picked up information about a book reading program on Sirius Radio.

I returned home wired up and excited. Follow-up starts tomorrow for the piles of contact info I’ve sorted on my dining room table. Far from being overwhelmed, the work load pleases me. It’s what I want to do and I’m doing it.

Author/speaker Janet F. Williams is a high-end sales professional, sales trainer and coach for personal and professional development. She speaks on topics contained in her award-winning book “You Don’t Ask, You Don’t Get” to businesses, networking groups, non-profits, book clubs and more. For more information or to buy the book, please visit: and

2 Responses to “BEA – the Place to Be”

  1. June 1st, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I agree with you about the stunt seminar, but the Facebook info session with Cindy Ratzlaff and the 2 twitter talks I saw were very good. Best of luck with your book! So happy you made so many contacts. PubMatch which was with Publisher’s Weekly booth helps you match your book with foreign publishers. Some countries are hungry for content. Rosemary

  2. June 9th, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    I signed a distribution agreement with SPU (Small Press United) a division of IPG (Independent Publishers Group). Yeah!

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