Book Expo America:
A Solemn Response
A Solemn Response
I am going to try and temper this rant so that it does not get out of control, however I NEED to comment upon the newest release from the Book Expo team. Book Expo America for those of you who do not know is a bookish conference that happens each year in NYC or Chicago where publishers bring ARC (Advanced Reading Copies) of books coming out within the year to give to professionals in the field to read and review for them, the conference also holds panels and discussions about the book industry and marketing tasks. This conference is the biggest book conference in the United States at least, and this has been open to the public and bloggers/reviewers, however, this has infuriatingly changed this year!
These changes are justified on their behalf as they have been cheated in the past. Some people who attend this conference each year will wait in long lines and get ARCs just to sell, which is illegal as they are getting them for free from the publisher to review and speak about on their medium of choice! The expo has also become violent at times to get books with people shoving and grabbing for books which is an issue as the safety of individuals is not worth jeopardizing for any ARC. However I believe in changing these regulations and applications that Book Expo has hurt the masses of good bloggers and loyal reviewers instead of just targeting the problematic attendees. I do understand that since this is a private event that they have the right to control admittance, however I feel that this is a bit over the top restrictive!
While Book Expo does not specifically state that you are unable to attend the conference, they has convoluted the application process to get tickets so much that many of the small book bloggers and YouTubers will not be able to go. They have succeeded in doing this by adding new criteria to the process to get tickets such as list employment, and have two contacts within the publishing industry; though the second task may not be hard for those of us who work closely with publishers I can assure you the first criteria is almost impossible. When they are asking for employer information what they are looking for is a connection to the bookish world in your daily life beyond sitting at home writing reviews and chatting about books because it is a passion, sadly many of us do not have that either. This is something that I think is a major flaw on Book Expos behalf. These readers and reviewerrs that they have essentially banished give great and a large percentage of the publicity each year for the upcoming books. I know personally, though I am a blogger that I get many of my ideas about what books are coming out soon and what to read from hauls of BEA each year; sadly this will be limited this year to the select few (if any) bloggers and YouTubers that get admitted to the event.
I am all the more bitter about this because this was going to be my first year going asmy following has grown recently which makes it possible for me to stand out with others; yet now because I do not work within the publishing industry and do not have friends there I will not be able to go. Thank you Book Expo for giving me so much hope in years past of all the post BEA book buzz, though your days of hype are surely over!
Ranting is done, I am sorry about this if it seemed unprofessional or as though I was attacking Book Expo, I am not attacking them at all. I love what they stood for and who they were, although I do not know if it will ever be possible for me to forgive the changes that they have made as it excludes so many. Best of wished Book Expo, I hope the industry thrives still as I love every aspect of the book world, even publishing though I do not work in the industry.
Small bloggers (myself included) keep your heads up, your opinions do matter in the world. Keep reading and reviewing!