In advance of this year's BookExpo America (BEA), held May 28-31 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City, one might have expected to see tumbleweeds blowing through the aisles, based on pre-show media coverage and word in the blogosphere pondering the show's future and its role in the industry. While a number of exhibitors noted that traffic seemed lighter this year, and many publishers downsized their booth space or decided not to exhibit at all (Thomas Nelson, which announced its decision prior to the 2008 BEA, was among the most notable not to exhibit), the event was successful for many publishers—though their objectives for "success" varied, and few seem to include actual sales. Also, many publishers' booths were difficult to traverse due to crowds.

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