The annual publishing trade show, Book Expo America, finished its run for 2013 this afternoon, at the gigantic Javits Convention Center in New York City. My tired feet (and aching shoulders; those book bags get VERY heavy) are grateful for the rest.
The conference began, for me, with the Book Bloggers Conference - now retitled as the BEA Bloggers Conference - on Wednesday. There were a couple of interesting keynotes and several panels. I was a bit disappointed, as I was last year, that there was nothing really aimed at those of us who blog about mysteries, given the huge number of mysteries published each year - and what appears to me, at least, to be a significant number of blogs that comment primarily on the mystery/suspense/espionage/thriller genre.
At any rate, the conference was followed by the big show Thursday through Saturday. It's the show where publishers from around the world come to promote their authors and their latest books and to reveal the many titles that will be published in the months ahead. I don't know what the attendance figures are - probably several thousand; I know there were more than a thousand exhibitors and more than 600 authors in attendance.
I attended a couple of very interesting panels on some of the questions facing the industry - and its authors - about digital rights. Who owns them, particularly digital rights for books that were sold to publishers long before there was an internet to make electronic rights an issue? What about so-called "orphaned" works by authors whose works are in a sort of limbo because the authors have died and their estates may or may not have figured out what to do with selling republication rights? It's a complicated and tricky legal tangle.
I did have a chance to talk with some of the people from Open Road Integrated Media, which has been working with publishers such as Otto Penzler's Mysterious Press to republish some classic mystery writers as e-books. Open Road has been very active in seeking solutions to those tricky republication questions, and I wish them well in moving forward.
I also saw several authors whom I know from attendance at Malice Domestic and/or Bouchercon. I made some new friends and contacts as well. I came home with a lot of new books, some of which I hope will be discussed here in the weeks and months ahead. And right now, I'm going to go soak my feet. And - maybe - read.