The BEA: Books Exposing themselves in America

Josh Spilker

The publishing industry really is far behind on this technology thing

It started a few days ago on Twitter. Some of the book people I follow were adding tags with the letters “BEA.” No, not a petition for an aging TV actress to spice up Two and a Half Men, but the BookExpo America, being held this week at the Javits Center in NYC.

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Man, I read books all the time and never knew such a place existed. I thought books being exposed in America only happened in indie bookstores and in bathroom stalls.

Good thing there's Twitter to let me in on all the action.

Like did you know 2/3 of all book statistics are made up? Such as how book sales are totally “cannibalized” or that 95 percent of all books are only for gardening grandmothers, professors living in San Francisco or unintentional gifts given on Father's Day.

At BEA, books also have this strange commodity exchange where advance copies are fought over, book prices are disparaged, but the lines for $4 lattes stretch forever.

Couple this with multimillion dollar author toe-stomping and cultish sightings and it's no surprise that the biggest star of the whole thing wasn't an author, but Barbara Streisand. But books are serious business, so don't expect to get a book deal unless there's an animated fairy present.

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