What was once the 'be there or be square' event of the bookworld, a smaller and less flashy BookExpo America was held this past weekend at the Javits Center in Manhattan.
According to Bloomberg News, BEA "was a toned-down affair as delegates fretted about declining publishing revenue and the rise of electronic books like Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle 2." Carol Schneider, a spokeswoman for the Random House Publishing Group. “Everyone has a somewhat reduced presence.”
Several large publishers, including Farrar, Straus and Giroux, a division of Macmillan, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, were missing from the Javits Center’s convention floor, choosing to work from basement meeting rooms, which are less expensive than the well-adorned display booths.
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Random House Inc. known for hosting lavish sit-down dinners at such venues as Campanile in Los Angeles and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, when the convention was held in those cities, instead held a cocktail party at the modest, timeworn Strand bookstore in Greenwich Village.
More on the diminished state of the book industry and "on the increasingly frenzied conversation about electronic books that has hijacked the business" at the New York Times.