Social Media and More

Creating Personalities and Brands on the Web

Being Social at Book Expo America

Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) and Julie Spira( @JulieSpira) at Book Expo

Gary Vaynerchuk, @garyvee and Julie Spira, @JulieSpira at Book Expo America

I just returned from New York from Book Expo America, the largest industry conference in North America. At the show, authors, publishers, agents, and distributors met to discuss the state of the industry. A big subject this year was the value of e-books and their impact on the industry.

Although the show was a day shorter and the exhibit hall was noticeably smaller, BEA expanded their offerings this year by adding three new events to their packed agenda.

Let’s get Digital included co-location with the International Digital Publishing Forum in a pre-day event on May 25, 2010 as well as the Digital Book Zone on the exhibit hall floor to learn about the latest apps.

New York Book Week was added to the agenda this year. It was an honor for me to have been selected to speak at the New York Public Library as the first of ten authors this year. I read excerpts from two chapters of my book, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online as part of their Meet the Author Series. A discussion with dating advice followed the reading.

As an author who uses social media to extend the shelf life of my titles and those of my social media clients, it’s imperative for any author who has an idea to start thinking about their social media strategy. In 2009, a record 1 million books were published.

This year, Book Expo America got a face-lift and became extremely social media savvy. They were tweeting during the show, have a whole new look and feel with a new logo, and were engaging with authors in real-time.

Julie Spira at Book Expo America

Julie Spira at Book Expo America

On day one of BEA, I enjoyed signing copies of my book in the Authors Autographing Area. Close by, was Sarah, The Duchess of York as well as romance writer Robyn Carr, who I shared a cab with at the end of the day. I met with several publishers and agents about my next two books.

On day two of BEA, as the conference was about to end, I heard a familiar voice. It was Gary Vaynerchuk, better known as Gary Vee.  Gary was speaking at the Downtown Author Stage, sharing his passion and enthusiasm on how he lives his life.  Gary’s first book, Crush It! became a New York Times bestseller.  He was talking about his next book, The Thank You Economy (Harper). Gary said he was driven by gratitude. He shared with us his dream of buying the New York Jets, and brought it to our attention that 80% of drivers actually text while driving.

Gary also gave some sound business advice which included “Giving a gift certificate to an unhappy customer is like giving hush money.” Gary added that he treats his employees better than his family because he wants to keep them for life.

I enjoyed sharing social media strategies with my author friends and look forward to next year’s BEA conference, to be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on May 24-26, 2011.


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