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.

Via Publishers Weekly


  1. I would make a trip up there if I could get a Power Readers badge. That would be an amazing show to see in person.

  2. Frankfurt has had a public component (on the weekend) for years.

    Most American publishers sell books at the American Library Association conferences, and do a nice trade, especially with author signings! Most publishers were selling books at Javits at NYCC, so it’s not a matter of logistics, just paperwork.

    Hmmm… BEA was once owned by the American Booksellers Association. That approved vendor… what if it’s not a member of ABA?

    More info available here if you’d like to pre-register:

    Just so Beat readers can visualize… the show floor for Book Expo is the same size as the show floor for BEA; the entire third floor. (Once, when the industry was more vibrant, small press and juvie publishers were situated in Hall 1A-C) Most booths are linear, with some publisher situating displays on both sides of the aisle, instead of a giant square display.

    Here’s something to ponder… some publishers don’t have big displays on the show floor, using meeting rooms to limit access to titles shown. Will a publisher like Random House now have a bigger presence? Might Marvel actually appear, given that the crowd will be genre based?

    WOW… think manga was a culture shock to fanboys? Imagine the influx of ROMANCE READERS!

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