By Natalie Bozimowksi
BookExpo America is the largest annual book trade fair in the country – a place for literature lovers in their thousands to gather in celebration of books and those who publish and sell them.
At the same time as the event features an extraordinary array of writers and influential keynote speakers from the literature universe and beyond, it also promotes and gives a platform to up-and-coming literary voices, and others involved in the publishing and book industries, such as librarians and booksellers.
In this series, we meet the people who make up BookExpo 2018.
Name: Kimberly Usselman
Bio: This is Kimberly's ninth BookExpo – she’s on the Rhode Island Book Award committee and loves hitting up publishers for new recommendations. She says she typically brings home 100 to 150 books each year. It's a lot to lug come, but it's a weight she's willing to haul for the enjoyment they'll give. After years of practice, her strategy at BookExpo is to hop into the lines and chat with any friendly publisher she comes across.
Must-Read Book: Kimberly swears by the classic Harry Potter series. Her favorite is The Sorcerer’s Stone because it started it all. Hermione is her literary hero.
Name: Jessica Miller
Bio: Jessica, a library director in a small town in Connecticut, has been making the trip to BookExpo since 2009. Her expo tactics change yearly based on whatever piques her interest that year “Sometimes I’m here for work, sometimes I’m just here... for my own book-nerd pleasure.” Jessica represents the kind of literary-loving attendees we expected to find here: she's waited two to two-and-a-half hours to see her favourite authors because she knows it’s worth it.
Must-Read Book: Her “heart book” is Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce.
Name: William Floyd
Bio: William is a BookExpo first-timer, and an intern for *Publisher’s Weekly*. When he isn't reading, he spends his time writing reviews for the trade magazine. He volunteered to man the New York Rights Fair booth, which is where we met him. He gladly informed us that this is the first year that BookExpo America and The New York Rights Fair has collaborated.
Must-Read Book: The Connecticut native’s favourite book is the widely-adored and universally-studied novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby. His warning: narrator Nick Carraway is not to be trusted.