RT Booklovers Convention Day 2

Before I embark on day three and the e-book expo ‘signing’ I will be a part of Friday 4-6 p.m., thought I’d drop in and tell you a bit about my impressions so far…

The lobby of the Westin Bonaventure hums with chatter echoing though the four levels of its lower concrete columned interior towers. The fountains are empty, part of a refurbishing project lay dormant while the two thousand plus attendees of the 2011 Romantic Times Booklovers Conventions hurry from conference room, to bar to ball room.

What makes this convention different is the tenor of the content. Panels consisting of authors, agents and editors in various groupings and covering a broad array of publishing related subject matter have tried hard to ignore the pink elephant in the corner.

No longer.

The holiday season of 2010 saw an unprecedented sales of I-pads and dedicated reading devices; avalanches of electronic books sold. When the trend is referenced, presenter’s faces ashen as they share their predictions of the ‘tipping point’ just over the horizon–that time when electronic books will outsell their legacy printed progenitors.

“It’s a very exciting time in the publishing world.”

“The tutelage and direction of an agent is needed more than ever.”

” Even Amanda Hocking (new millionaire via self publishing) has gotten herself an agent and a traditional publisher.”

“Popular thriller author and until now, traditionally published Barry Eisler may have turned down an enormous advance from a print publisher for his next project, but he is one of the few with the temperament and knowledge base to do it all on his own.”

No one actually said they are nervous, but the air is thick with concern, nay worry over how this is all going to wash.

No one knows.

Huge corporations with massive investment in books and an excellent record of cutting edge innovation have not sorted out how to re-create the atmosphere of a brick and mortar bookstore (online)–a place where readers can look at hundreds of books on shelves, quickly peruse spine and book covers, touch the product to find that perfect new read.

Discovery.

That is the term they used to define what this brave new world of internet and electronic publishing has not been able to master.

How does a reader wade through the increasing numbers of new authors and books to find his/her next favorite? How does a new author get ‘discovered’?
Will even the appearance of hitting the mega jackpot sales lottery by slapping up your own book online without benefit of agent, editor or publisher create an exodus of talent from the traditional publishing channels?

They say that fear is excitement taken to the next level. Fear, held in check very closely mimics excitement.

Not a handful of years ago, New York print publishers sat on their throne of tradition. So sure of their place were they, many members discounted e-books as poor quality pulp fiction–a fad.

The RT Booklovers Convention is a buzz.

One editor was heard to say “We have undergone more change in the last seven months than all twenty five years of my tenure”.

Indeed.

The publishing world is an exciting place to be.

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11 Responses to RT Booklovers Convention Day 2

  1. And Muse shall lead the way{trumpet fanfare, Lea riding on on a bejeweled elephant}

  2. The e-book trend, not 'fad', was in the making for a long time. Many were waiting to see how it will play out while others knew it would explode into a giant sooner than later.And I say not fad because a fad is here for a short while and e-books are definitely not a fad.Thank you, Christine, for keeping us abreast and representing all of us at the Muse.And glad to read so many entries were had for our gift basket. Congratulations to the winner.

  3. Sandrac says:

    Wow, what a amazing event. The reactions are wonderful to hear.Christine, I's like to step away from the subject matter,and compliment you on a wonderful, well written article.Keep up the excellent work.

  4. Thank you for sharing this with us. Some day I hope to attend one of these conventions.

  5. Thank you, Christine, for taking time in your crazy schedule while at the conference to keep us informed.

  6. Karen Cote says:

    And among it all is a gracious author who I am proud to know and who represents the emerging digital world with such class and kindness how can it not stand up and garner attention? You, Christine, is what I want and desire to be in this exciting time in our lives.It is my pleasure and delight to know you. Thank you for all you do.Yep, I'm a fan…a big one.

  7. Christine,Loved the blog. Yep…Muse is the "blueray" of e-book publishing, and I don't care what Vivian says, I AM NOT going to be bejeweled and let Lea ride me anywhere. :)Have a great time for those of us who can't be there, and love ya for keeping us up-to-date.Ging

  8. Such exciting times – and I felt the undercurrent from your words as if I stood right next to you there. Thanks for the update Christine – thank you for all you're doing and I love that Pink Elephant in the room (tee-hee).Hugs.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Wow. Thanks for the blog post. So much is changing and there's just so much to think about. Exciting times.Thanks again.

  10. lionmother says:

    Christine, thank you for bringing us right into the conference. I love the quotes and know that pink elephant from past years at SCBWI conferences. Though at BEA this year they are devoting a whole section to epublishers. Please keep us posted. I loved seeing and feeling the fear gripping those traditional publishers who unlike our farseeing publisher poo poohed the whole idea.

  11. Thanks you one and all for your thoughtful comments. I am honoured to bring you a taste of what I saw and heard.More to come…

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