The biggest business book show in America is inching towards a full-on consumer day, as the Comic-con-ization of trade book shows continues. BEA director Steve Rosato writes that the 2013 show—the largest b2b book show in North America— will once again include a “Power Reader” day open to the public, a program which launched this year. But one thing will be new: exhibitors will be able to SELL books for the first time:
Power Readers, here are the basics: BEA will promote to consumers to attend exclusively on Saturday June 1st who will be badged as Power Readers. Power Readers will pay to attend. Exhibitors will be permitted to sell directly to anyone during BEA as long as they are registered with the state of NY and collect taxes (instructions for registering with be provided. BEA will offer a solution to sell books through an approved vendor, those details are in the works. There will still be a significant amount of booksellers and librarians that want a Saturday to attend BEA as well as it is cheaper and more convenient for them.
Power Readers will make BEA will be a pop culture event that is a compliment to the industry’s trade show. This will open new promotional opportunities for publishers. Power Readers will change how media covers BEA, bringing more focus and attention on the latest titles and highest profile authors. Publishers will be able to connect directly with consumers and consumers will have access to their favorite authors on a scale that was never been available to them in one place at one time.
Power Reader day will be Saturday, June 1. BEA—BookExpo America—traditionally was only for book professionals, but as the publishing industry has been declining ways to enliven the show have been sought. For some reason, nothing stokes the excitement of an author like the public clamoring for his or her book. Cosplay is still years away, we reckon.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.