|A small part of the China Booth|
Let’s be clear. Ordinarily in my life for the past few years, and into the foreseeable future, BEA stands for British East Africa—the scene of my Tolliver historical mystery series. But in this instance, it means Book Expo America—the biggest annual publishing convention in North America. It takes place in May, frequently at the Javitt’s Center on the banks of the mighty Hudson. It is a great favorite with Mystery Writers of America. You are about to see why?
|There were 26 aisles of exhibitors!|
The first lift to our spirits occurs on entering the building. The event is HUGE! Hundreds of exhibitors from twenty-three different countries. Many thousands of attendees—from the publishing industry, libraries, universities, critics, bloggers, and on and on. One glance at the enormity of the convention dispels all the prognostications of doom about publishing being a moribund industry. The atmosphere crackles with energy.
|The MWA booth, just before it opened on Friday|
|Typical of the line of readers waiting for autographed books|
The Mystery Writers of America booth is home base for us. Thanks to the organizational skills of our administrative director Margery Flax, we have a constant flow of author signings. This year, in three days, we gave away over 8000 books, which were largely donated by our publishers.
|Your reporter with Lucy Burdette and M.J. Rose|
There are people lined up to collect books and get them autographed. The warmth of the gathering of writers is a delight to behold and revel in.
|Not our Michael Sears, but Michael Sears nonetheless|
|The last of the day's authors: Wendy Corsi Staub, Reed Farrell Coleman, and Ken Wishnia.|
The number of readers waiting in the line has never let up from 10 AM and 4 PM.
For a few years now, I have volunteered to work the booth for one of the days, and I wouldn’t miss doing that.
|Those smiles tell it all.|
Next year, the conference will be in Chicago. I am planning on being there.
Annamaria - the Monday after BEA