Friday, May 30, 2008

BEA Day 1: Where does a 210-pound Star Wars book sit? Anywhere it wants.

BEA 2008 logoWhen nine AM comes in the Los Angeles Convention Center, brace yourself...what's that stampeding noise? It's thousands of happy friendly booksellers barreling onto the show floor in search of free books! Welcome back to the opening day of BookExpo America, home of author appearances, special book deals, and the four dollar bottle of water. It's also a busy, busy day for this little stuffed bull, running around and helping out my pals at Norton by stocking extra copies of book galleys, catalogues, and keeping stocked the plastic bowls full of giveaway vampire teeth to promoted The New Annotated Dracula. Why not stop by the booth, grab a pair, and declare to the world "Bite me!"

The new booth is ready for BEA Day 1

The new Norton booth looks absolutely fantastic. You're seeing it here at a quiet moment, but that's not typical on BEA Day 1: usually the place is crammed and crowded and packed to the newly-designed arches with booksellers and publishing people. You're only seeing it uncrowded here because this slight lull was the first time I was unbusy enough to take a photo! Mind you, the Dracula teeth have been going fast, so I've been keepin' occupied. Still, there's time to wander about and see the show. You can keep up on events, giveaway, and author appearances by picking up a free copy of PW Show Daily, the tabloid version of Publishers Weekly Hey! There are no comic strips in this! Please get that fixed immediately, Heidi!:

You can keep up on events with PW Show Daily

PW Show Daily will clue you in on the best freebies at the BEA: from advance galleys to finished books, toys and candy, posters and buttons, this show's got it all, and this bull's a happy hunter/gatherer of free swag. It helps, therefore, to start out by visiting a booth giving away a free canvas bag to store your loot in.

Make sure you pick up a free bag to carry your swag

However, as I often urge, don't be greedy! There's plenty of things available as free samples. Book galleys piled up on the floor are usually giveaways, but don't grab for single copies off the shelves of exhibit displays: those are usually the publishers' display copies. (If you're unsure, ask politely if it's a giveaway.) And keep this important lesson in mind: if you grab every book and galley in sight, publishers will giggle at you. Seriously, show some restraint and just pick up what you think you or your co-workers back at the bookstore will find entertaining and useful. There's no need to be loaded down this heavily ten minutes into the show:

Galley grabber

Exercising some restraint and politeness will make your BEA less stressful on your mind and your back! And really, half the fun is just scopin' out the stuff that's coming up. Hey, a new novel by one of my favorite mystery authors! I sure hope the title doesn't mean this is John Rebus's final adventure:

Hooray! A new novel by one of my fave mystery writers

Lots of publishers have upcoming books on display so you can see what they look like, but it's the very special publishers who let you see their books in three dimensions. Aieee, look out! Theropods comin' right at me!

Yowza! The dinosaurs are comin' right at me!

There's always plenty of celebrities to meet at BEA:

Dueting with Dolly. "Islands in the stream...that is what we are..."

And my good friends at DK Publishing showed me a big display of Eyewitness Guides. They know how much I love the London guide!:

DK Eyewitness travel books. I want 'em all, especially London!

A large number of books have raffles, drawings, and contests to win free books or other merchandise, so bring your business cards to pop into fishbowls for a chance to win some cool stuff. On the other hand, there are some drawings that are best left un-entered:

I shall not. I shall not enter.

The basic design of the book hasn't changed in 500 years, but that doesn't mean that the only things promoted at BEA have paper pages and cardboard covers. Here, my good pals at show off King Kong's Kindle. I imagine this is so he can read his favorite book.

Wow, that's the biggest Amazon Kindle I've ever seen

Not every volume that's displayed at BEA need by great literature, either. Some publishers thankfully remember that books oughta be fun:

Tee hee!

But my favorite item I've seen so far at BEA is this:


This is Star Wars: Frames, published by Insight Editions:
The ultimate limited edition, Star Wars: Frames brings together master filmmaker George Lucas's personal shot-by-shot selections from all six legendary Star Wars films. Limited to 1,138 copies and showcased in a sumptuous deco-inspired wooden box, Star Wars: Frames contains six books, each corresponding to one of the movies in the Star Wars saga....all six books reside in the beautiful wood-inlaid box, which is adorned with two exclusive high-relief sculptures of Darth Vader and Yoda...
Holy cow. This thing's big: 25.75 inches long, 12.25 inches wide, 13.5 inches tall. Each book is 44 inches across when opened. The weight of the whole shebang? A whoppin' 210 pounds. It'd take a Jedi to levitate that thing!

What's the price of all this Star Warsy goodness? I picked up the Insight Editions catalogue to look it up:

No price listed in catalogue. If you have to ask, you can't afford it

There is no price listed in the catalogue. In other words: if you have to ask, you cant' afford it. Oh my.

Dear Santa Claus...I have been a very good little bull this year. And I only want one thing this Christmas...

Still, a wonderful amount of stuff can be had at BEA for nothing more than the price of a "please" and "thank you." Here's the BEA swag I picked up today:


That's a whole lotta wonderful: free books, pins, toys, pamphlets, comics, CDs...even chocolate pirate coins and a stuffed buffalo to call my own! (I will hug him and squeeze him and call him "Bill.") I especially liked this pamphlet from Naxos Audiobooks that uses the London Underground map as a reference to find great literature on audio CD. But watch out, Naxos...your unauthorized use of their logo, map, and designs will surely attract unwanted attention from Transport for London. Don't get sued now!:

Transport for London's solicitors will soon be contact you, Naxos
(Also, you misspelled the name of Dickens's classic as Our Mutual Freind. Have you ever considered hiring a little stuffed bull to do proofreading for you?)

All the free stuff in the world isn't as lovely as great books in the future, however, and the very best news for yours little stuffed truly is Overlook Press's announcement of six more P. G. Wodehouse reissues this fall. Hoorah!

New Wodehouse reissues from Overlook

At the end of a long and busy day a weary little bull, his hooves a-achin', takes the shuttle bus back to the hotel and relaxes with a hearty meal at the nearby Curry House, home of Japanese-style curry and spaghetti. I enjoyed a delicious Katsu Pork Curry:

Katsu Pork Curry at Curry House in Little Tokyo, LA

As they say on the internet: NOM NOM NOM.

Tomorrow looks like another busy BEA day: it's graphic novel feature day at the show, with plenty of panels and events to celebrate and help sell comics and GNs in bookstores. My pal John, the very cool guy I live with, will be participating in a panel on "Graphic Novel Distribution, Bookstores, and the Direct Market" at 9:30 AM, and I'll be wandering the floor to see what's new and cool in comics-related books coming out this fall. I'll show you what I've most excited about tomorrow, but in the meantime, this little bull needs a good night's sleep. See y'all tomorrow at BEA Day 2!


Marionette said...

I see Nemi has finally made it across the big water. I hope you enjoy the adventures of England's most beloved Norwegian goth.

Novice said...

When you see Dorian, give him a big fuzzy kiss!