By Natalie Bozimowski
This week, from May 31 to June 2, the Literary Show Project will be attending BookExpo America — the largest annual book trade fair in the country, and a place for those in the publishing world to gather in celebration of literature and those who create it. This year’s expo will be held at the Javits Center in New York City, attracting authors, publishers and bibliophiles alike.
Here are ten points to help you get the most out of this year’s extravaganza.
1. More stuff to hear, more stuff to read
Great news for literature lovers: this year's line-up is as big as ever, with more authors on the bill. Influential authors will host a variety of panels that open up a dialogue on topics ranging from politics to social awareness. We’ll be looking out for this one on Thursday June 1, co-hosted by PEN America: The First Amendment Resistance. "In the age of fake news," the event asks, "what responsibilities do publishers have when it comes to books by controversial writers professing what seem to be unpopular opinion?"
2. Lit kings on stage
Literary luminaries including James Patterson and Stephen King are expected to attend this year, as well as numerous emerging talents and one of our favorite authors here at LSP, Sarah Gerard. Also on the lineup are bestselling authors Jessica Valenti, Katherine Paterson, Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler), and Mark Manson, amongst many others.
3. Authors in the spotlight
A couple of this year’s promising names are said to be Jesmyn Ward for her new novel Sing, Unburied, Sing, and New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul for her early May release, My Life with Bob. Panels for emerging authors will introduce readers to some of this year’s possible hits, and we’re looking forward to adding to our already long To Be Read list.
4. Look out for these books
With BookExpo’s previous accuracy in selecting the year's buzz-worthy titles, pay special attention to the prestigious, hit-predicting panel BookExpo Adult Editors’ Buzz. The finalists tis year are Liz Nugent (Unraveling Oliver), Ayobami Adebayo (Stay With Me), Gabriel Tallent (My Absolute Darling), Brendan Matheews (The World of Tomorrow), Chloe Benjamin (The Immortalists), and A.J. Finn (The Woman in the Window).
5. The tyranny of choice
We're intrigued by the Global Market Forum, which brings American publishing houses together with foreign publishers to generate conversation on a variety of topics such as understanding foreign markets, detailing best practices and success stories in the world of translation. This year, sessions will focus on how to diversify the industry. We’re looking forward to two in particular on May 31: Reaching the Arab World, and The “Elena Ferrante” model about how independent publishers excel in promoting international literature. Other special events include exclusive author breakfasts and author stages.
6. Let’s talk, students
Advanced copies from debut authors and the season’s most talked about books will be available to help cultivate new lesson plans for students. Additionally, sessions like “Book Reviews: The Diversity of Race, Ethnicity and Sexual Orientation” are hosted for educators to enhance classroom discussion.
7. Meet Mrs Hillary Rodham Clinton
Former Secretary of State and first female presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton will be on the main stage on Thursday evening. The author of several bestselling titles already, Clinton is releasing yet another new book in September, It Takes a Village (Simon & Schuster). This sold-out event is being held at the Javits Center, where the past presidential nominee would’ve enjoyed her victory celebration if the election had gone differently.
8. Politics, politics, politics
In addition to Clinton’s special visit, the expo is putting a significant focus on politics this year. Many sessions will focus on politics, and how to address the world’s constant changes and what that means for storytelling.
9. Don’t get (too) mad
Have a game plan before you enter the convention to avoid the madness: there will be thousands of exhibits, presentations, autograph signings, merchandise booths and panels going on around you. Get the BookExpo mobile app to make your life easier. Special passes (“Reader” and “Avid Reader”) are also good tools to skip lines in the Autographing Area.
10. Be safe, feel safe
Big gatherings can feel scary these days. A security team will be active throughout the convention to keep you safe. NYCC badges must be worn by all those who attend for procedural purposes. Bags will also be checked, as is custom for most large events.