Where else can you start your day hearing insider writing tips from Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones author’s new novel is Almost Moon), Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner author’s lavishly-praised 2nd book is A Thousand Splendid Suns), and Stephen Colbert (the Comedy Central star penned the forthcoming I am America (And So Can You!) . . .and wrap up your evening dancing non-stop to Dave Barry, Mitch Albom and the rest of the Rock Bottom Remainder Gang?
If you’re involved in the book industry, Book Expo is the place to be every year as publishers break out the Fall books they hope become bestsellers.
It’s also an extravaganza of educational sessions, hundreds (really!) of autographing sessions, and aisles upon aisles of booths pitching everything from a remote pen (created by Margatet Atwood, this unique device is a way for authors to conduct long-distance book-signings via the web – http://www.LongPen.com) to a $2000 book (an oversize edition of the coffee table book Earth from Above) to the purple Hogwarts Knight Bus that’s about to visit libraries across the country to promote the much-anticipated release of the final Harry Potter book this summer.
As always, I’m on the lookout for clever, stop-me-in-my-tracks titles. A few this year include “Fat, Forty, and Fired” by Nigel Marsh (love that alliteration), “Flickipedia: Perfect Films for Every Occasion, Holiday, Mood, Ordeal, or Whim” (Flickipedia is what I call an Alphabetized title in my book POP!), “Even June Cleaver Would Forget the Juice Box” and for canine lovers “Why Do Dogs Drink Out of the Toilet?”
Book Expo features many real-life stories that remind us that dreams can and do happen in the publishing world. The PW Show Daily (a free newsletter which chronicles the events of the weekend) revealed that Paulo Coelho (92 million books sold in 64 different languages) wrote “The Alchemist” in 2 weeks (!)
I must admit though, that in addition to meeting with my consulting clients who were there pitching their books and meeting with agents and editors, my favorite part of the entire 3 day event was rocking out with the Rock Bottom Remainders at New York’s East Village Webster Hall. Can you imagine anything more fun than boogying to Gloria, It’s my Party, and other oldie-but-goodies while watching some of your favorite authors (e.g., Dave, Mitch, Frank McCourt, Scott Turow, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Greg Isles) jam with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Roger McQuinn (The Bryds)?
If you couldn’t be there in person, the next best thing is to check out their website http://www.RockBottomRemainders.com and click onto the YouTube clip which features them being interviewed by Steve Martin at the Aspen Comedy Festival. Get ready to laugh. These guys know how to have fun.
Have you been to Book Expo before? What was your highlight?