April 5, 2016
A look back at this year’s AWP Conference
by Liam O’Brien
This year’s AWP Bookfair & Conference was held in sunny Los Angeles, which was a blessed relief during a weekend when the Northeast was being hit with hail, chills, and all those other charming late March by-products. There were a record total of six Melville House authors attending the AWP this year, which meant that we had the singular pleasure of personally introducing them to a whole new group of their fans.
It was also, as always, a treat to be on the convention floor with so many other great presses. As our publisher Dennis Johnson told Publishers Weekly:
“I love the idea that people visiting Two Dollar Radio have to walk by Melville House and vice versa,” he said, “That is fantastic. We’re all in this together. After all, we’re not here just to promote Melville House, but to promote the business of independent publishing.”
See below for some of the highlights!
Yep, definitely in Los Angeles.
Set up the booth in record time! Now for a very full night’s sleep.
Day 1 of the fair. Some friends from Booksmith show up to check out the wares.
Our publisher Dennis Johnson talks indie bookselling’s partnership with writers. He’s joined by Dan Graham (Book Soup), far left, and Alex Maslansky (Stories), middle.
Also on our bookseller panel; John Evans of DIESEL and Mary Williams of Skylight. Special thanks to John, who was sick but powered through!
Jeremy Bushnell, very proud of the galley for his long-awaited second novel THE INSIDES, out this June.
Wait a second…is that former Melvillian Kirsten Reach in our booth?!!
The very talented Maris Kreizman, with our very popular hat.
Eric Lorberer from Rain Taxi, or Trump?
The gorgeous Last Bookstore hosted us Thursday evening.
An author seeing his finished book for the very first time.
Catie Disabato reading the first chapter of THE GHOST NETWORK.
Jeremy Bushnell reading from THE INSIDES.
Edward Gauvin reads from his sterling translation of THE DEEP SEA DIVER’S SYNDROME.
Kirk Lynn reading from RULES FOR WEREWOLVES.
Christopher Boucher reading from GOLDEN DELICIOUS.
Day 2. And look, another satisfied customer!
We couldn’t keep people away from this guy!
Martin Seay with the bookseller-blurb-bespangled galley of his novel THE MIRROR THIEF, on sale 5/10/16.
Day 3: we sold out of hats!
Dennis, Kirk, Catie, and Jeremy are joined by Edan Lepucki (CALIFORNIA) and Maxwell Neely-Cohen (ECHO OF THE BOOM) to talk about the business of publishing your first novel.
A packed house for our author panel!
The official Signing Face.
Photo taken seconds before these last two books were signed and sold.
And finally, a photo from my visit to the Bradbury Building, because Los Angeles.
Liam O’Brien is the Senior Sales & Marketing Manager at Melville House, and a former bookseller.