Friday, June 20, 2008

Visiting BEA - What We Learned

We went to BEA and spent Saturday there walking the aisles. Ernest Borgnine (es Effron Borgnino) and Jamie Lee Curtis were signing books while we were there -- we didn't wait in line! Nice to see Mr. Borgnine looking so chipper at 90. Ms. Curtis apparently doesn't age and could have walked right out of one of her Halloween movies, except for her hair color. :-)

Attendance was done at this show and that was apparent. Some said it was because the show was in LA and the book world revolves around NYC. Maybe. Our opinion is that BEA's relevance is waning. With the electronic/Internet dimension to book publishing and book sales, the trade show format and role was the subject of lots of discussion during, and after, the show. We'll be curious to see what happens next year.

We do plan to have our own booth next year, as a sub-booth of PMA (now re-labeld IBPA). Please stop by -- BEA might be doomed thereafter. For those of you familiar with exhibiting at trade shows, do stop by the PMA area next year and introduce yourself to Lisa Krebs. In our book, she's the goliath of trade show organization -- she manages multple AISLES of booths.

2008 Writing Contest Winner

The 2008 Writing Contest was over for the authors at the end of April. It took us another month to get through the backlog of submitted manuscripts. Finally, we reached a decision as to the three finalists, and we now have selected a winner who will be announced on June 21st on our website.

Last year, many of the submitted manuscripts were not well written, had numerous grammatical and punctuation errors in the first few pages, and were generally not ready for prime time. (Hint: don't send us a note asking that we ignore spelling errors because you are a poor speller!) As a result, we could weed out many manuscripts by reading only a few pages.

This year, the number of submitted manuscripts doubled and the quality was markedly higher. We estimate that only 25% were rejected in the first few pages. Ten or so manuscripts were read completely by more than one reader. In the end, the final decision wasn't clear, either. We had some really good submission and we certainly thank all of you for submitting.

We also apprciate your patience if your submitted a non-contest manuscript during this time. We sure got bogged down, but we are now back on track and trying to catch up. We are only about five weeks behind at this point!