Tuesday, June 2, 2009

BEA Buzz

A commenter remarked on my last post about being surprised about how segregated BEA (Book Expo America) seemed and asked my thoughts.  I'm not sure I can form any cogent response (my body arrived home yesterday, but my brain is over Iowa somewhere), except to say: welcome to publishing and bookselling.  This separation isn't the life I lead or what I see around me (my cousins' book club in Philly is reading My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult), but some in the biz seem really late to the party. Which is why this site exists.

The panel I was on about book promotion through social networking with Felicia PrideAbiola Abrams, and Daaimah Poole attracted about 200 people, most of whom where black, but there were some nonblack folks in attendance too.  And I'm sure some nonblack folks weaved their way through the trade show floor to get to the African American Pavilion, and there were definitely some when Cornel West and Tavis Smiley spoke.  But it's no joke that the book biz has a way to go.

A few of the interesting titles by black authors I learned about at BEA:

Rhythms of Grace by Marilynn Griffith
Unsigned Hype by Booker T. Mattison
Worth a Thousand Words by Stacy Hawkins Adams
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi Durrow (coming next year)


upwords said...

Thanks for the mention Carleen! I hope you had a blast and I pray you enjoy Rhythms of Grace. I really admire your writing.

Angie L. Jennings said...

Thanks for the insight. I am a new self-published author and this was my first year at BEA. I guess I was just taken aback to see the stark separation at the conference. I'd been following your blog for a little bit because I am also a bit bothered by the "African-American books" section in every bookstore. What you said during the panel discussion about the white person asking you if "it was okay" to go into the section was unforgettable.

Doret said...

Where is the Black section in BEA has it relates to everything else?
I finally read the new Walter Mosley, The Long Fall and loved it. The new Percival Everett novel -I Am Not Sidney Poitier is great and a paperback, only about $17

Angie L. Jennings said...

Well, the halls are lettered A-E. The main BEA sessions were mainly in D and E. The African American sessions were in A.

Doret said...

Well at least we were in the front.
Thanks Angie.

Helen said...

I don't know what happened but I seem to have missed all the fun. I should make an effort to attend this time.

Nice piece BTW :)

btm said...

Hey Carleen, nice meeting you at BEA and I look fwd to your comments on Unsigned Hype. My publisher just signed on for books 2 and 3 in the series so I appreciate the mention! Happy writing, and continue to be creative and funny!