Friday, June 01, 2007

Book Expo America

After a brief flight to New York and a lengthy cab ride to mid-town NYC, I finally made my way to the Javitz Convention Center. Like all BEAs, the convention center spans a vast distance. Exhibitors are given a few days to setup, and for some displays, it does take every bit of time. The first image to the right is 1 side of 1 floor of the convention hall during setup. At this point books are being unloaded, stands being erected, and the carpet has yet to be placed.

The following photos are from various angles of the same floor.

So what does everyone do at the convention? The public is welcome, for a small fee around $100.00 (U.S.) to enter. However, nearly every one of the 2000 exhibitors offer free books -- hardcovers and softcovers, advance reading copies, and oddities. This means countless people, including attending publishers, are strolling around with bags filled with books. And there are companies who give away book bags, so no need to worry about transport.

Of course free books, book bags, stuffed animals, key chains, magazines, pens, coffee mugs, and various other items given away produce a confusion of people shuffling up and down the isles, gathering what they can, offloading it at a secure storage site (booth or hotel room), and then returning to the floor. After a few hours, the attendees tend to share they same weary visage, and glazed stare. Book zombies!

I'll not venture down that avenue, as these photos are still the setup stage. Captured in these images are a number of large publishers and distributors, each with a crew to construct elaborate booths, some with couches, chairs, bookshelves, and of course coffee pots, bars, televisions and sundry other features.

No comments: