Yesterday was my third annual trip to NEIBA, the New England Independent Booksellers Association annual trade show. It’s a highlight of my year. It provides a glimpse into what it is happening in the world of publishing and gives me books to read and blog about for the next six months. As far as things that make me happier, this event is waaaaaaay up there.
This year’s event was especially encouraging. Whatever malaise has been rolling through the world of publishing houses, they seem to be finding a way to cope and move past it, because this year has a bumper crop of titles I’m excited to explore.
As I looked back over my blog posts from NEIBAs past, it’s obvious that in 2011 I was simply in awe that such a wonder existed at all. It was fun to re-read that post, and I love the question I came out of that day with: that instead of telling the sales reps what types of books I usually read and review, it was better to ask them “What are you most excited about this season?” and let them broaden my horizons. That lesson has some fun applicability to life, so I’m glad to be reminded.
In 2012, I came home from NEIBA with a ton of books I knew very little about. There were a couple of familiar names, so I grabbed those, but otherwise I just picked random new titles on spec, because it didn’t seem like many of the sales reps had answers to my question. They were all very nice, but not excited; they seemed a bit shell-shocked and unsure what was happening. And to be honest, with a few exceptions, there weren’t many books I came away with last year that were all that exciting.
What a difference a year makes! 2013 was the most awesome NEIBA yet, and I’m not just saying that because I tend toward enthusiasm and hyperbole. I went in determined to be circumspect in my choices – to bring home only books I was genuinely excited to read, ones I’d pay for in a store. I made myself do a full circle of the show before picking up a single advanced copy, just to get the lay of the land. I purposed to remain calm (a challenge because this IS my version of being a kid let loose in a candy store). Then I looked at the tables one by one, and was amazed. It was as if last year’s meager crops did something to heal the soil, and this year there is abundance once again. I had amazing conversations with the sales reps about veteran and new authors and this season’s titles. They all had favorites. And I was able to find an array of genres: novels, memoir, business and self-improvement. I’m excited about my bookshelf.
I’m also getting wiser about reviewing, and have organized these books by publication date so I can blog about them near their release dates rather than six months before they’re available. If you’re a reader, get ready (and set aside some extra time & money in the book budget!) because this is a banner year!
It’s nice to deliver good news in this part of life I love so much :)