March 23, 2020
BookExpo is rescheduling for late July
by Athena Bryan
Shelf Awareness and Publisher’s Weekly are reporting that BookExpo, Unbound and BookCon have moved their May 27-31 convention to July 22-26.
This is a bullish and heartening response from the organizer, Reedpop.
Nobody can say when massive events like BEA can indeed go forward, but putting a date on it is heartening, and just another sign of how tough and optimistic the book industry is in the face of COVID-19.
The decision is couched in the sort of reasonable flexibility we all need to practice these days. Event director Jenny Martin noted: “If the situation changes again between now and July, we will change along with it. We run events, we pivot proudly. Right now, we remain focused on the goal of serving our community this summer with those who want to do the same.”
None the less, she continued: “We are committed to running a show for this industry and the fans this year.”
This news, coupled with the outpouring of support for independent booksellers and the creative solutions that indies have come up with to keep serving our reading appetites (which seem to be up, if anything!) is as sure a sign as any that the publishing community is coming together and pulling through in these unprecedented times.
Allison Hill, CEO of the American Booksellers Association, had the same reaction as yours truly:
It’s been incredibly moving these past few weeks to watch the book community come together during this unprecedented crisis. I’ve been reminded over and over again of how important books and bookstores are to the world. Reed’s announcement that the show will go on, just postponed, is a significant sign of support for our industry and what we do, and I have no doubt that this summer’s show will be another example of our industry’s resiliency.
Athena Bryan is an editor at Melville House.