Book Expo America – Day 1

Solstice Publishing Booth (#3983) a Success!

Solstice Publishing’s new Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Linda Harmon, called me last week to chat about the plan for this year’s booth at the BEA at Javit’s Center in NYC June 5 – 7. She described the vision that new CEO, Bruce Wilhelm, and the team dreamed up for the booth, including the concept of the Illumination Lounge, a warm area with comfortable chairs where authors , agents, and publishing executives could gather to discuss writing and the publishing industry. She also hinted there would be a camera crew filming short interviews allowing BEA attendees to discuss their views on the current state of publishing. I remember thinking that the concept seemed ambitious, unique and intriguing, but I wondered if the BEA community would embrace the concept. Would the booth be empty?

Solstice CEO Bruce Wilhelm chats with author

The answer is “no”–the booth buzzed with excited authors and industry folks from the moment I arrived mid-morning until the crews dimmed the lights well after the expo floor closed. The Solstice team hit a home run! In fact, I heard several times that Solstice had the best booth at the show.

New editorial chief, James Hallman, along with the camera crew conducted some 19 interviews, barely taking a break all day. The interviews not only allowed participants to voice their opinions on the state of the industry, but it fostered plenty of discussion and networking within the Illumination Lounge, making the Solstice Booth the unofficial social hub of the expo.

James interview all types on Day 1 of BEA 2012!

The new Solstice team figured out how to engage the BEA participants and provide content and value for those stopping by. Wednesday promises to be another busy day. I will be giving away copies of my novel, THE WILCO PROJECT, so please come by and say hello!