create buzz, a phenomenon that McDonald has seen at
ComicCon and C2E2, and one that he is excited to bring to the
Books for Sale
Last year was the first time that organized bookselling became
part of the show, and it will be again this, with a few changes.
This year, BookCon’s official bookseller partner is Anderson’s
Bookshops, based in Naperville, Ill., and with whom ReedPop
has partnered at C2E2. (In New York, Reed’s partner was
Word.) Another change that is sure to please fans is that
Anderson’s will sell books directly at the autographing tables
rather than forcing consumers to buy books at a central purchasing area. Anderson’s is also selling books at ReedPop’s
Supply Co. booth and has been approached thus far by Penguin
Random House, HarperCollins, and Candlewick, among other
publishers, to facilitate sales of books at their booths. A percentage of Anderson’s sales goes to Reed.
Becky Anderson, a fifth-generation owner of Anderson’s
bookstores and related businesses, is a big fan of the public element of BookCon and recalls that not so long ago several publishers (whom she left unnamed) had an “over my dead body”
attitude about inviting the public to be a part of BEA. She
believes that the growth of comic cons and C2E2 is behind the
attitude adjustment of publishers. “When you have voracious
readers who are passionate—crazy—about books, it makes
great sense” to provide an opportunity where they can connect
with authors and buy books, she says.
Consumer book show to make
Windy City debut in May
BY LIZ HARTMAN
Following two successful years in New York City, BookCon will move to Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center on Saturday, May 14, taking place for one day only. According to Brien McDonald, event director for both BEA and
BookCon, even though last year’s BookCon, at the Javits Center,
drew approximately 18,000 attendees over a two-day period,
the Chicago event is being modeled on the first-year launch of
BookCon, which was a one-day affair that reached its 10,000-
person limit. McDonald says that they are on target for attendance of 7,500– 10,000.
Chicago has a bit of an advantage over that first BookCon in
New York; since 2010, the Windy City has been home to
ReedPop’s C2E2, the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo.
But by having it last only one day, McDonald is using the 2014
New York launch as the template to expect a similar-size crowd.
The zeitgeist remains largely the same as 2014. “We are
going back to the well of what we know how to do really well,”
ReedPop’s programming does have a few new tricks up its
sleeve. Going beyond autographings, BookCon will feature
porate social media into their daily lives, those moments can
Last year’s BookCon in New York City drew about 18,000 readers.