Briana Haguewood, Publisher Relations Manager, is our newest addition to the RedShelf Team! Within her first two weeks, she attended BookExpoAmerica with our CEO, Greg Fenton, and COO, Tom Scotty. Read along as Briana recounts BEA with a few insights on the industry as well!
Every year, book publishers meet for the largest book trade conference in the United States – BookExpoAmerica, or BEA as it’s known to industry insiders. Publishers, authors, booksellers and tech companies (like RedShelf!) came together in New York at the end of May to discuss all things books-related.
Ecstatic to finally see the Penguin Book Truck in person, but not so thrilled about the massive line for Starbucks coffee each day, my first BEA as the newest member of the RedShelf team exposed me to the inner workings of the fast-paced and exciting publishing business.
The event is huge for the publishing world, as professionals who usually collaborate from half a world away get to connect face-to-face, showcase upcoming titles, and discuss issues the industry faces today. It’s an ever-changing field so there’s always lots happening, from new ways to read digitally, to growth in self-publishing, and more. Between discussing ways in which RedShelf is helping make academic eBooks readily available to students, and new features we have coming out this fall, I was able to learn a bit more about how the publishing realm is working to create change.
A major theme on the digital side of BEA – the International Digital Publishing Forum's 'Digital Book 2015' – was “Putting Readers First." In one particular panel, "Taking it to the Reader," Macmillan Science and Education, Simon & Schuster, Publishers Weekly and HarperCollins Publishers debated how publishers can keep readers – their wants and habits – at the heart of content.
From the tech side, our perspective is that in a digitized world where people read in so many different ways, enabling them to read how, when, and where they want is not only possible but productive. It’s become ever clearer that in a world of burgeoning technology, adapting to readers' needs is the most important piece to making sure eBooks are helpful and meaningful to those buying them.
Our hope is to help drive discussion spurring digital in a way that benefits both readers and publishers. By offering different options and digital capabilities such as highlighting, dictionary look-up and note-taking, then looking at how they’re used, we can better align our offerings to what readers want today. In our case, it’s all about helping equip students of all different reading styles, habits and budgets to learn and excel!
Before a book gets to a reader, it passes through so many hands – authors, editors, producers, marketers, distributors – that it's easy to forget what and who waits at the end of the line. I appreciate any event, like BEA, that creates discussion on ways those of us in the book-making process can best benefit our ever-evolving customers, by continually evolving ourselves.