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BookExpo America Programs Focus On Hollywood; Global Publishing Unity

Books to Film Connection; Global Rights Forum; Graphic Novel Saturday; Results of Study on Impact of Chains vs. Independents
The books-to-film connection has always been a big part of the publishing business, and a major barometer of success for authors and their books. Titles such as Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Old Man and the Sea, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and The World According to Garp all became films that helped the books become an even greater part of our collective consciousness and further defined their impact on popular culture. Movies help bring books to life, and they have a huge impact on books' longevity, sales, and their status as cultural icons.

  Capitalizing on its move to Los Angeles this year, BookExpo America (BEA) has announced several seminars designed to examine the intricate relationship between the film and book communities. Notably, Peter Bart, Editor-in-Chief of Variety (see details below), will moderate a panel of high profile film industry insiders, including Robert Bookman, Peter Guber and Tom Rothman as they discuss the studio players, publishers and movies that have reshaped the Hollywood book market.

“The relationship between Hollywood and Gotham has changed in many ways,” says Mark Dressler, BEA education program coordinator and longtime industry consultant. “Today, it's more of a two-way street with more interdependent properties. However, publishers and booksellers continue to benefit from the hype generated by Hollywood.”  

“One of the best opportunities for independent publishers at BEA will be the ability to meet many of L.A.'s radio and TV producers,” says Dressler. “L.A. is the nation's largest book market and there exist many high quality media outlets for authors.”

The impact of movies on books' popularity also has global implications, as a popular film's foreign release can turn the book-to-film effect into a worldwide phenomenon. Supplementing this theme, BEA will also offer the Global Rights Forum, a joint initiative between BEA, the London Book Fair and the Frankfurt Book Fair, conceived to bring a sense of continuity to the international book community, and to provide seamless, quality education at the world’s leading international book fairs. The Global Rights Forum at BEA will begin with two seminars focusing on the potential of the American market for buyers and sellers. There will be at least one Global Rights Forum seminar at each of the three participating international book fairs in the coming year.  

BEA organizers note the move to Los Angeles should not only encourage attendance in the film community, but also among other west coast and international participants who will find the location easier to reach. “Our goal in moving our convention site from Chicago to New York, and now out to LA, is to make it easier for people from different parts of the nation, as well as the world, to make the decision to come to BEA,” concludes Topalian. “With more than 800 publishers who do not participate in any other book fair, BEA offers exclusive access to books and products from a range of exhibitors and participants. In particular, we hope to attract additional members of the rights community who will want to take advantage of this unique buying and selling opportunity.”

“Our strategy in developing our conference program, as well as other parts of the convention experience, is to focus on current industry trends, and certainly also to take advantage of opportunities that result from a change in location,” notes Greg Topalian, Vice President and Show Director for BEA. “The Hollywood theme in our conference program reflects this, just as the successful launch of the editor Buzz Forum last year came about because we were visiting the New York publishing community right in their own home. These workshops and seminars are part and parcel of our desire to bring a sense of relevance and immediacy to our education program.” Convention officials note that the Editor & Bookseller Buzz Forum will be a mainstay of convention activity for years to come as some of the industry’s leading figures have agreed to sit on this year’s panel.

Selected highlights of the educational seminars this year include:

Thursday, May 29

1. The Global Rights Forum: The American Market (9:00am – 12 noon, Room 405, $75)
Program Chair: Robert Baensch, Director, The Center for Publishing, New York University
How to Find, Edit, Translate and Publish International Literature for the American Market
(9:00am, Panelists: Andre Bernard, Vice President & Publisher, Adult Trade, Harcourt, Inc.; Daniel Halpern, Editor-in-Chief, The Ecco Press; Elisabeth Sifton, Editor, Farrar, Straus & Giroux; Others TBA

Selling Translations & English Language Rights Into the American Market: What Works & What’s Hot (10:45am, Panelists: TBA)

2. Demystifying The Books-to-Hollywood Connection: How Agents, Scouts and Producers Work Together (11:00am – 12:30pm, Room 404B, $59)
Moderator: Tad Floridis, Executive Vice President,
Panelists: Dan Levine, Executive Vice President, Jersey Films; Howard Sanders, Literary Agent, United Talent Agency; Richard Green, Literary Agent, United Talent Agency; Erin Hennicke, Literary Scout, Franklin & Siegal Associates.

3. Inside the Realm of Hollywood’s Independent Book Agents (1:00pm – 2:30pm, Room 404B, $59)
Moderator: Jonathan Bing, Variety
Panelists: Jody Hotchkiss, Hotchkiss and Associates; Lynn Pleshette, Lynn Pleshette Literary Agency; Sylvie Rabineau, Rabineau-Wachter Literary Agency.

4. Youth Market: Books to Film & TV / Film & TV to Books (3:00pm – 4:30pm, Room 404B, $59)
Moderator: Kendra Marcus, President, BookStop Literary Agency
Panelists: Bridget Marmion, VP, Director of Marketing – Trade & Reference, Houghton Mifflin; Victoria King, Director, Licensing & Merchandising, 20th Century Fox; Jason Grode, President, Grodehouse, Inc.; Byron Preiss, Publisher, ibooks.

Friday, May 30

1. From Books To Blockbusters (10:00am – 11:30am, Room 411, FREE OF CHARGE)
Moderator: Peter Bart, Editor-in-Chief, Variety
Panelists: Robert Bookman, Creative Artists Agency; Peter Guber, Producer; Tom Rothman, Chair, Fox Filmed Entertainment

For more information concerning 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 BEA to Feature Graphic Novel Saturday

Graphic novels have emerged as one of the book industry's hottest formats, and BookExpo America has designated May 31 as Graphic Novel Saturday at the show. Related events will include educational and author-related sessions. In addition, new for 2003, BEA will also host a Graphic Novel Pavilion on the show floor.

Saturday's graphic novel events begin with "Shelving & Selling Graphic Novels: A Treasure Map for Booksellers" from 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. This session will help booksellers assess, buy, and merchandise graphic novels. Calvin Reid, news editor at Publishers Weekly, will moderate the panel featuring Paul Constant of Elliott Bay Books; Chris Oliveros, publisher of Drawn & Quarterly, and Rory Root, proprietor of Comic Relief.

Publishers and distributors of graphic novels and manga will share their thoughts, tips, and successes at the session "The Graphic Novel Youth Seen: What Works," from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Kuo-Yu Liang, vice president of sales and marketing at Diamond Book Distributors, will moderate the panel featuring Rich Johnson, director of book trade sales for DC Comics; Stu Levy, founder and CEO of TokyoPop; and Larry Price, vice president of Ingram Library Services.

From 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m., Calvin Reid will host "Understanding the Adult Literary Graphic Novel Milieu," featuring Dan Frank, publisher of Pantheon; Gary Groth, publisher of Fantagraphics; Terry Nantier, publisher of NBM; and Chris Oliveros, publisher of Drawn & Quarterly. This panel will explore the various sub-genres of literary graphic novels, subject headings, in-store merchandising, consumer profiles, what's hot, and what's on tap for the future.

BEA attendees will have the opportunity to hear from some of the hottest new author/illustrators at "BEA's Afternoon With Graphic Novelists," from 3:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Participants will include Doug TenNapel, author of Creature Tech (Top Shelf Productions); Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood (Pantheon); and Joe Sacco, author of The Fixer (Drawn & Quarterly). Economic Impact of Locally Owned Businesses Panel

Recent hoopla over the Austin, Texas showdown between BookPeople and Borders has brought the long-running debate about chain stores’ impact on local independent bookstores to a head.

On BookExpo Saturday, May 31, from 10:30 to noon, the panel "Economic Impact of Locally Owned Businesses" will give attendees the opportunity to see firsthand the results the recently published report "Economic Impact Analysis: A Case Study, Local Merchants vs. Chain Retailers." The study provides rigorous analysis that compares local merchants and national chains and quantifies their respective local economic impacts.

Bookselling This Week reports that Liveable City, Austin Independent Business Alliance, BookPeople, and Waterloo Records commissioned the "Economic Impact Analysis" after it was learned that a developer that was planning to anchor a development with a Borders Books & Music might receive public funding from the city. The study showed how local merchants contribute significantly more money to the local economy than do retail chains and garnered widespread publicity in the media. In late April, Borders announced that it was pulling out of the proposed development.

This special 90-minute panel (Room 303A/B), which will be moderated by ABA COO Oren Teicher, offers attendees the chance to ask questions of Dan Houston from Civic Economics and to speak with BookPeople's Steve Bercu about how the study was used to oppose the granting of public funds and resources to national retailers. Civic Economics is currently adapting the latest ABACUS data, so that the "Economic Impact Analysis" study will document the contribution to local economies of bookstores of various sizes.