Just a few years ago, major book industry events like Book Expo attracted buyers and managers from bookstores from around the world. It gave the publishers the opportunity to put their authors in front of the buyers, and help the buyer make decisions about what big books were coming soon, and what the stores should put on their shelves. However, over the past few years, the number of exhibitors at Book Expo has greatly decreased and the number of bookstores attending seems — well, it seems like they are outnumbered by the publishers wanting to get their attention. So, where are bookstore buyers going to make decisions about what to put on their shelves? The answer: the same place the consumers are going; they are online. Blogs and Facebook and Google and PW Online ads are the way to reach the buyers … and the consumers. Authors and publishers who are not using web-based publicity and promotions are losing the battle.
The Book Expo and other similar events aren’t extinct yet, but they aren’t the events they were just a decade ago. Sure, the Book Expo is still a fun event, and its still a good place to meet and greet people, but it has become much more about networking with other publishers and printers than it is a book selling event.