Richard Nash, founder of Cursor, chastises publishers in a Huffington Post article. First off, he’s not happy that Book Expo America, “the largest book convention in the US,” changed its days from Friday - Sunday to Tuesday - Thursday. What bothers him more than the day changes is that BEA cut the expected opening night party and, to make things worse, the show will not be open to the public, as is done in other book festivals and events. He feels it shows a lack of caring about the fans.
Books was once a business where publishers sold to booksellers, and booksellers sold to readers. So BEA was an event where publishers sold to booksellers. But with the chains not needing an event to meet everyone, since everyone beats a path to their door, and with the explosion in the number of books available means that publishers need to motivate readers to read their books, and not take for granted they'll walk into bookstores and buy, the event needs to be about exciting readers/customers, not hustling the retailers.He doesn’t put the blame on the organizers of BEA, but on publishers:
By reducing their participation in BEA at the same time the media participation has increased by almost 50%, by refusing to open the Fair to the readers …, these CEOs have effectively thrown in the towel. They are managing the demise of the book business, pointing fingers at any generic social forces they can find, failing to see the one place the responsibility can be found, their own damn offices.So, what do you think? Should BEA be open at least one day for book readers and fans to come in? Is Nash right when he says to publishers, “That pain in our foot? It's not outsiders stomping on it, it's us, shooting ourselves.”