Where the Book Industry Meets
Publishers of all sizes find BookExpo America to be the perfect place for putting fall releases in the hands of retailers and booksellers around the country. BookExpo America features over 1200 Publishers - including all major U.S. houses, university presses, independent presses, international publishers and small presses. BookExpo offers something for all industry personnel. Conference sessions are designed to train all members of the publishing team: Publishers, Editors, Rights Directors, Sales Directors, and Publicists. Whether you’d like to generate interest in a new release, position an author within the industry, buy or sell rights, generate press, or simply discuss industry trends with colleagues, BookExpo America offers you the perfect opportunity. From author breakfasts and luncheons, to awards program and networking receptions, there is something special to look forward to each day at BookExpo America!
Doing the Show - A BookExpo America '06 Follow-Up
It's all about making a good impression and following up VERY thoroughly.This being my second year attending BookExpo America, I felt much more confident about knowing what to expect. I felt last year’s show in New York had been successful, even though I went into it with no clue. This time around, I even had a list of names of people to actually meet with! So this year I was confident I would take even better advantage of attending the nation’s largest publishing event.
To prepare for the BookExpo this year I had to ask myself:
The main reason I wanted to attend was to pursue my interest in finding a publisher for a marketing book I have been writing. I just finished my book for Entrepreneur Press which they will be releasing in August, and the second edition of my book, Starting a Collection Agency is being released in June. So, I have been focusing on the new marketing book, and since I was able to find publishers that were interested in my work at BEA last year, I thought I could do that again.
Now, two weeks later, I can already say it was worth the money for me. I only attended one day at Convention Center, so the attendance fee was less. I also had to pay airfare, hotel, meals, cabs and tips, but it is still pretty reasonable for two people depending on where you eat or stay. It is well worth it, especially if you achieve the goal of finding a publisher that wants to work with you.
Face to Face
When you meet a prospective publisher and approach them with confidence in yourself and pride in what you have created and done, they look at you with respect. You may end up communicating with this person via email in the future, and giving them a face to associate with the email can help them remember you. Making the effort to visit them at the show can leave a very positive impression.
I put a lot of effort into everything I do, and this trip to BookExpo was no exception. I ordered author photos, and created 20 updated press kits. I ordered bookmarks promoting my latest book and extra business cards. This effort to me is not a chore, I love it! It is so exciting to do your best to create something that looks professional, and that you feel confident will capture someone’s attention.
The main reason I was going to the Expo was to see what kind of publishers were out there that publish business books. I wanted to see what types of books they had, their quality, topics, audience, promotion and to determine what the benefits would be to write for any of them. As a business book author, the business section seems so small to me! I always meet lots of nice people, and everyone seems pretty happy to be there. Some people I meet are people I have exchanged emails with in the past, so it is great to meet them in person. I visited all the booths of publishers that publish business books and spoke with their staff members, and found quite a few who were very interested. I felt very good about these meetings, and based on the positive responses I had, I would say the trip to BookExpo 2006 was definitely worth everything I put into it.
Once I returned home, I had a pile of business cards and catalogs I had picked up or was given by the publishers I had spoken with and had left press kits with. I sent them each a handwritten thank you card, saying it was nice to meet them, and stating that if I could ever do anything for them, to let me know. I included my business card, and also included something about the conversation we had so they would remember me. There were a couple of publishers that I had wanted to talk to that were always busy with other people each time I returned to their booth. I left my press kit with their associates manning the booth and ended up talking with them quite a bit through the day during my return visits. I did collect the business cards of these people for follow-up, so I typed them letters that explained how I had been at their booth, who I was, what kind of books I write, and about some of my press and education. I included a press kit, my promotional post cards and bookmarks, and sent this by priority mail, as I did with all the follow-up press kits I sent. I then put those catalogs with the business cards in my follow-up file.
So, I have returned from BookExpo with a list of publishers I have contacted, and now will wait to see who is interested in what I am doing. In the meantime I will go back to promoting myself and my books!
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See Michelle’s pre-BookExpo article, Wear Comfortable Shoes and a Big Smile
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Michelle Dunn started M.A.D. Collection Agency in January 1998 and ran it successfully until December 2004, when she sold it. Her first book, How to Make Money Collecting Money - Starting a Collection Agency, was published in 2002. Michelle has been featured in Ladies Home Journal, PC World, Home Business Magazine, Home Business Journal, Entrepreneur, The Internet Web Source, Professional Collector, in the books Home Based Business for Dummies, Shameless Marketing for Brazen Hussies, From the Home-Front: The Simple Guide to Starting and Running a Home Based Business, and on National Public Radio and many newspapers nationwide. Most recently she has become Editorial Advisor for Eli Financial Debt Collection Compliance Alert Newsletter. Originally from Rhode Island, Michelle now resides in New Hampshire with her family.