Get Caught Laughing at Ellen DeGeneres

Emmy-winning writer and comedian Ellen DeGeneres will address the book industry in a solo comedic benefit performance Saturday evening, May 31, 2003, at BookExpo America (BEA) in Los Angeles. Proceeds of the performance will benefit the Book Industry Foundation, which is comprised of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE) and the Association of American Publishers' Get Caught Reading campaign.

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Continued Growth for Spanish Book Pavilion; Announcing Launch of eBook Experience
Heightened Spanish book industry activity is expected at BEA 2003 as the annual book convention prepares its return to Los Angeles, a city with more than four million Hispanics and the largest concentration of Latinos in the United States. BEA 2003 is scheduled for May 30-June 1 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA. BEA was last in Los Angeles in 1999.

Continued BEA Spanish Book Pavilion Growth Projected. BEA's Spanish Book Pavilion, a prominent convention feature for publishers and buyers of Spanish books, continues its steady growth. BEA's Spanish Book Pavilion was launched at the 2000 show in Chicago, with participation doubling that of the launch at the close of the 2002 event in New York City, which saw publisher participation grow to 160 participating companies.

"BookExpo America reflects what is going on in the book industry, and nowhere is that more evident than in the growth of our business in the Spanish arena," notes Greg Topalian, Vice President and Show Manager for BEA. "We are keeping pace with the interest in Spanish-language books and authors by further developing our Spanish Book Pavilion, and by linking specific Spanish and Latin American conference programs and marketing initiatives to our overall strategy. We want the Spanish book community to feel that they have a home at BEA."

Fondo de Cultura Económica, one of Mexico's leading publishers, has tripled its presence at the 2003 event, Rayo/HarperCollins joins as a first-year exhibitor in the pavilion, and Random House Español has doubled the size of its booth for 2003. "This market is developing and growing quickly. It's crucial for publishers and buyers, be they librarians, retailers, or wholesalers, to have a place to see the books, talk about the needs of the community, and work to meet the needs of the book-buyers " notes Lisa Alpert, Publishing Director of Random House Español. Other companies participating in BEA's Spanish Book Pavilion include: Alfaguara USA, Críticas, C.D. Stampley, Ediciones Castillo (Mexico), Cupro, Editorial Pax México, Grupo Editorial Norma USA, Independent Publishers Group, Kiser & Associates, Lexicon Marketing, Planeta Publishing Company, Rosen Publishing Group, Thomas Nelson Publishing, Shin-Seken, Trucatriche, as well as collective exhibits of publishers from Spain and Mexico.

Also, as part of last week's declaration of 2003 as the Year of Publishing for Latinos, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), a BEA show sponsor, will feature AAP members' titles at a special showcase during the convention, complemented by artwork of the AAP's new Ajá Leyendo!/Get Caught Reading campaign featuring Jorge Ramos reading Vivir Para Contrarla by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and artwork of the popular animated character Dora the Explorer.

BEA Develops Targeted Outreach to California Librarians and Educators. In the Los Angeles market alone, the L.A. County Public Library system boasts well over 300,000 Spanish-language volumes. Targeted programs with national and California-based librarian and educator associations with the authority to purchase Spanish language books are expected to yield new attendees to BEA. BEA initiatives with librarians and educators in the greater California region include:

* California Association of Bilingual Educators (CABE), which represents 7,000 bilingual educators from the Kindergarten - University levels

* The Los Angeles Public Library System, who has already confirmed attendance of 200+ librarians to BEA

* Los Angeles County Library Systems, all eighty-eight systems who have also confirmed convention participation

* California Library Association, representing a total of over 1,500 members in the State.

"These groups represent an aggregate universe of more than 10,000 Spanish book buyers in the California region alone," adds Topalian. "Supported by our Los Angeles venue with U.S. independent stores and bookselling chains already in attendance looking for Spanish titles, we expect a considerable rise in activity in the Spanish Book Pavilion aisles." Spanish-specific conference topics supporting attendance and exhibit hall activity include: Starting a Spanish Language in Your Bookstore, Finding the Right Distributors for Spanish Books, Puros cuentos: An Overview of Spanish-language literature for children, Publishing in Spain, Collection Development for Children's Books in Spanish and Beyond demographics and profiles: Getting to Know The Person Behind The Reader; Spanish Book Buzz Workshop; and The Latin American & Latino Author Forum.

Library Budgets Support Growth. In related library activity, survey results from Críticas' First Public Library Survey 2002 indicate that Spanish-language materials have a powerful presence in U.S. public libraries in particular. Eighty-six percent of 1,000 libraries surveyed across the country possess a Spanish-language collection. Over half of Críticas respondents report that their budgets for Spanish-language materials hold steady, and 40% claim an increase, with only 8% losing funds. Funding has risen 50% and more at some libraries, with budgets up 12% overall. (Críticas, July/August 2002). Críticas is again the sponsor of BEA's Spanish Book Pavilion.

La Librería Mundial Makes Its First Appearance at BEA. To encourage more buying of Spanish books at BEA, a new feature for Spanish book publishers and buyers will be BEA's La Librería Mundial, a bookstore sponsored by Fondo de Cultura Económica USA held in a special meeting room off the show floor. Exhibitors in BEA's Spanish Book Pavilion will be able to sell their Spanish-language books and materials to attendees, including librarians, K-12 Spanish teachers, booksellers and college/university professors. The Librería Mundial is intended to draw hundreds of new attendees to the show while allowing participating publishers to offset the cost of exhibiting at BEA. Fondo de Cultura Económica, sponsor of the store and Mexico's premier publishing house, has serviced the needs of Spanish-language readers since 1934. FCE has one of the most extensive catalogs in Latin America, gathering some of the best-acclaimed authors from around the world. As the only Mexican publisher with local offices in the U.S., FCE now distributes other Mexican publishing houses to assist wholesalers, retailers and libraries with their Spanish-language book needs. BOOKEXPO AMERICA ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF eBOOK EXPERIENCE

Unique Technology Center Provides Interactive Business and Learning Environment

In partnership with the Open eBook Forum (, BEA has announced the development and implementation of a unique business and learning environment. The special interactive center, which will be called the eBook Experience, will be located prominently in the Concourse Foyer, assuring a steady stream of traffic of book industry professionals who will be enlightened by the latest digital technology on display by participating exhibitors. The eBook Experience is designed to be a total experience, with a modular layout that provides for a single point of entry and exit. BEA, which annually draws up to 30,000 book industry professionals to its annual meeting, including more than 1,500 members of the media, is North America's largest book industry event, thus providing a platform perfectly suited to learning about developments and innovations in the delivery of digital content. It will be held this year at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

"eBooks and eBook technology are becoming a growing part of the publishing and bookselling landscape," notes Greg Topalian, Vice President and Show Manager for BEA. "With the recent release of Tablet PCs and the proliferation of PDA in use by students, travelers and professionals, thousands of eBook titles are selling every day in every category of publishing. The creation of the eBook Experience at BEA is a great, fun way for everyone to see what is going on, sit down in a comfortable easy-chair, read from several different types of eBooks, and experience for themselves what the future holds."

While the BEA sales team is just beginning to approach potential sponsors and exhibitors, management officials note that the eBook Experience concept is being greeted enthusiastically. Steve Potash, President of OverDrive, Inc. and a member of the board of the Open eBook Forum, states: "BookExpo America 2003 attendees will have a great opportunity to learn and experience how publishing, retailing and technology leaders are enabling everyone to participate in the growth of the eBook industry. Whether you are an author, editor, or bookseller, the eBook market is ready for all to participate."

In addition to OverDrive, Microsoft Corporation, Adobe Systems and Palm Digital Media will be participating companies in the eBook Experience. There are three levels of participation in the eBook Experience including Reading Room Participant, Turn Key Participant, and Title Sponsor.

New One-Day Librarian Registration Options.

BEA will offer new one-day passes for librarians at the 2003 convention at $35 to encourage participation from libraries in the region. The one-day passes must be picked up at the convention site and are good for one day only. Advance purchase is required. Three day passes are $65 for librarians, if registration is received prior to May 4 and $95 after May 4 and on-site.

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BookExpo America '03 Friday, May 30 - Sunday, June 1, 2003 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, CA. (Conference programming begins Thursday, May 29, 2003.)

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For more information about BookExpo America and registration for the above events, please call 800/840-5614 or 203/840-5614 (International) or visit the BEA web site at