BookExpo America opens at the Javits Center in New York City

The book industry's biggest annual event will open to the public on the last day of the show. Photo: (BEA) Opening day at BookExpo 2013

DOTHAN, AL, May 31, 2013 — BookExpo America (BEA) is the granddaddy of all book shows and is now open at the Javits Center in New York City.

The show is primarily for industry professionals, including publishers and booksellers, but it opens to the public for one day only on Saturday, June 1. Power Readers, the official BEA term for consumers and non-industry attendees, can get access to a thousand exhibitors and over 500 authors for the admission price of $49 for the day.

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Savvy book lovers know there are a lot of freebies at the show, including new and upcoming book titles. Publishers are pretty generous with their samples, but BEA does not allow rolling carts to collect swag so you are limited to what you can carry in a tote bag.

There is also an autograph area with over 500 authors available to sign your books. Be sure you match the right book to the right author. Having an author sign someone else’s book does nothing to enhance the value of the title.

Some tips for surviving BookExpo:

  • Check in late. Contrary to popular opinion, going late gets you in faster since you avoid the long lines of all the avid readers who follow the advice to show up early.
  • Wear comfortable shoes. The Javits Center seems to extend across three states and there is no public transportation nearby other than taxi cabs. Plan to leave early and get ahead of the crowds if you hope to get a cab.
  • Bring a refillable water bottle and some snacks. Buying a skinny sandwich and chips at the center can sometimes be as costly as eating at Le Cirque. Generally trade shows are not keen on you bringing bottled water because they prefer to sell it to you at a 400% markup.
  • Bring a canvas bag with wide, comfortable straps to carry free stuff in. Stick to grabbing free books and skip the flyers, sample chapters and various other marketing collateral you will toss out later anyway.
  • Bring extra batteries for your cell phone or camera. Visitors often get caught up in “photo frenzy” that severely shortens battery life. The general rule of thumb is that any authors you don’t already recognize will probably remain in obscurity, so save your batteries.
  • If you cannot get to New York to attend in person, you can follow the speakers via a live video stream on the BEA website at Two video streams are running live for all three days of the show. If that is not an option either, watch here for more details on the show, new technology and upcoming book titles.

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Quick Takes

Michael Crichton to make a posthumous comeback.
While a student at medical school, Michael Crichton published a number of books to support himself under the pseudonym John Lange. Ten titles will be brought back into print as e-books in July 2013 by Open Road publishing.

Rudyard Kipling admitted he plagiarized parts of The Jungle Book.
In a letter written by Rudyard Kipling in 1895, he admitted that “it is extremely possible that I have helped myself promiscuously” to stories included in The Jungle Book. This revelation does not seem to have had an impact on sales of Kipling’s printed works. The letter is listed for auction at just under $4,000.

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Kindergartener in Louisiana holds the record for reading.
Five-year-old Sophia Moss of Lake Charles, LA, set a record by reading 875 books during her term in kindergarten. Her father said she just has a natural affinity for books and he hopes she will become an attorney one day. One also hopes her enthusiasm for reading is not dampened when she encounters Common Core in later grades.

Graphic novel coming for first comic adaptation to win top prize at Cannes.
Canadian publisher Arsenal Pulp Press is moving ahead with an English translation of French graphic novel Blue is the Warmest Color after a film version of the story took top place at Cannes. The story is a passionate lesbian romance originally published in Belgium in 2010. The translation and publication is expected to be available in September 2013.

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Rick Townley

Rick Townley was a bookseller before switching to electronic publishing with The New York Times, Reuters, Grolier and others. He is the author of a humor book, For Boomers Only – Exploring Life in the New Millennium, a supernatural novel, Stepping Out of Time, and numerous short stories. In addition to contributing to the Washington Times Communities, Rick is working on a fiction series called Stigma and resides in southern Alabama with his 7-year-old granddaughter, Chloe.


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