Skip to main content

Archives - Weekly Update

I am sitting here humming “Here Comes the Weekend” by Dave Edmunds. After a string of cold, damp days, summer temps blasted in this week with a vengeance. This newsletter is arriving earlier than usual to give our amazing staff some extra-long weekend hours. I apologize in advance to those of you who will be off your usual rhythm with this timing.

You know all those “indoor chores” that you swore you would get to over the winter? I have managed to take care of MAYBE 10% of them. There is always a book I would rather be reading, a show I would rather be watching, a meal I would rather be cooking, or a project I would prefer to be knitting. Oh well, maybe it will rain one weekend this summer.

When we left off, I was in Chicago at BookExpo America, which is some version of “book heaven.” All day we were hearing about the long TSA lines, so I was really happy I had booked myself on a 9pm flight, so there was no stress about getting to the airport. I had applied for TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry on the previous Tuesday night, and I was thrilled that it came through in 48 hours so I could express my way through Pre-Check on the way home. I hit the United Lounge where things have been way upgraded. There was a salad bar, as well as a hot food station, which is a huge step up from the packaged cheese and crackers --- though I usually grabbed extras of those for the plane.

Greetings from Chicago, where I have spent a whirlwind three days at BookExpo America (BEA), the industry’s annual trade show. BEA always has special meaning for me as it was the first industry event that I attended in 1996 when we were planning the site that became I knew NO ONE. I was walking around telling people that the internet was going to be this great place to learn about books and authors. I told this to about six publishers before I adopted a new strategy --- only after they told me that they did not yet have email. I grabbed a few boxes, tossed catalogs in them and went to the mail area to ship to our office. Then I left the convention, and as Bookreporter lore will have it, I went to the movies to see Mission: Impossible, which seemed oddly prophetic about what we were trying to do.

It’s way colder than I would like in the month of May, but it’s good for getting work done, without the distractions of the pool and the garden. Ever the optimist, I know. Last Sunday, I sat on the couch and wrote nine sets of author interview questions, dropping into a zone where I took time to reflect on the books and the authors.

I am flying to Chicago on Wednesday morning for BookExpo America, the annual book trade convention. I have a VERY full schedule there, including a panel about audiobooks (looking forward to sharing what we have learned from our audiobook readers); interviews with the six authors whose books have been selected as BEA Buzz titles (more on those books next week); an interview with Chris Cleave, whose EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN we review this week; and Fredrik Backman, who's best known for his mega-hit A MAN CALLED OVE and whose BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE is just out this week, not to mention our Book Group Speed Dating session featuring 21 publishers. It’s going to be a very, very crazy couple of days, so please note that next week’s newsletter may be a tad less chatty than usual. Trust that I will be gathering tons of news to share with you in the next few weeks.