As if we needed further confirmation that the publishing industry is in trouble, BookExpo Canada officials are leaning towards canceling this years show. To put this in technical terms, this sucks the big one. All the major publishers are pulling out, not willing to pay the exposition fees in order to show off their wares. Here’s a quote from an article in Quill & Quire:
After confirming that Penguin Canada would not be attending, company director of marketing and publicity Yvonne Hunter told Q&Q Omni that the money that would have been spent on the fair is now going to be channeled into marketing. “We’re looking at the possibility of creating a travelling Penguin showcase to promote our key titles for the year,” Hunter explained. Such an initiative would be costly, she added, but would still be cheaper than attending BookExpo.
Despite this development, I still think it’s too early to panic. In the words of Sam Cooke, a change is going to come. Don’t worry. It’s a change for the better. The new publishing industry will be more flexible, and I believe more open to a bigger pool of writers. The money might not be as big as it once was. The seven figure deals that are few and far between as it is will be fewer and farther between. As I said before, publishers will be looking for books that are multimedia friendly. Authors may have to change the way we approach the pitch, and be willing to expand our skills, but the opportunities will be there for us. BTW – I don’t really blame Canada.
I leave you with my favorite performance of Sam Cooke’s song “A Change is Going to Come.” Obama’s first mistake was not having Ben Sollee performing this at the inauguration celebrations that took place this weekend. Instead, they had Bon Jovi singing it with Betty Lavette. It should have been Ben and Betty.