When Terry McMillan published "Waiting to Exhale" in 1992, it was a game-changer. It sold 4 million copies, spent 38 weeks on the bestseller list, and showed the publishing world that there was an audience for the stories of intelligent, successful, flawed and still-struggling women who were solidly middle-class and black.
The number of parties has dwindled and there are fewer blockbuster celebrity authors, but the actual business of book publishing looks a little brighter this year.
Book Expo America, which kicks off at the Javits Convention Center today, is designed to bring independent booksellers together so that publishers can hype books they think will be big sellers in the coming months.
Yesterday, the Alfred A. Knopf imprint announced “Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy,” the third book in British writer Helen Fielding’s mega-selling series about the travails of a single woman. The first two books became international sensations in the 1990s
Our country is in the midst of a growing "shop local" movement, urging folks to support their neighborhood stores, eat locally grown produce, and, in general, make staying close to home with their dollars a lifestyle choice.
As publishers, we can take this local movement to heart. You're part of a local scene, wherever you're based. Do you know your nearby colleagues? Get together with them? Attend or even create events that provide opportunities for networking? I urge you to talk to your local colleagues, talk them up, and support them by buying what they write or publish!
Goodreads Community Manager Patrick Brown calls the site “the largest in the world for readers and book recommenders,” soon to hit nine million members. He says discovery is their most important role, and reviews are the cornerstone of how the site supports discovery. According to Brown, Goodreads' reviews spread beyond the site and they are the number one driver of book reviews to Facebook.
BookExpo America officially kicks off today, with a number of concurrent shows. On the south end of the mammoth Jacob Javits Convention Center is the BEA Education Program, featuring panels on topics such as raising your revenue with direct-to-consumer sales and managing the digital rights marketplace, as well as a special focus on publishing in Russia.