On Saturday I attended PNBA- the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association trade show. The organization supports independent bookstores in the Pacific Northwest and once a year they bring together publishers, authors and other book-related companies. This year the event was held in Tacoma, WA at the Hotel Murano. I went to see what the publishers are talking about for spring and thought I’d share it with all you readers because it was so much fun.
There is something about walking into an event like this that is probably hard for non-book lovers to understand, but it’s a bit intoxicating. All of my plans about which booths to visit and what books I’m interested in fly right out of my head and I want ALL. OF. THEM. There was so much to see and the publishers’ representatives did an amazing job selling their upcoming titles. By and large they are there to get sales, booksellers ordering books for their stores, so a book blogger is not a big deal but everyone I met was more than happy to talk to me about their upcoming spring releases. And more importantly, they’d read them! The man at Macmillan was engaged from the moment I stepped up to the booth until I left. He was describing their new titles with such enthusiasm that I took several based on his recommendation. At Penguin Random House, I met with two sales reps—one who did such a good job describing The Girl on the Train that three people took a copy. The other was so excited about the upcoming Anne Tyler that she crawled under a table to try and find a copy for me. Unfortunately, they were all gone but she took my info and promised to mail me one. And at Tin House, a small publisher based in Portland, I managed to get copies of two of their spring releases that had been highly recommended to me.
This is a special show, maybe because it is perfectly sized. I’ve been to BEA and it is a blow-your-mind kind of event. Everything is over the top—the crowds, the hype, the noise, with huge authors and celebrities everywhere. PNBA is much more manageable and yet, it gets the job done just as well in that it gets books into the hands of the people who are going to promote them and sell them. Overall, I had a great time. The feeling of being surrounded by people who love books and want to talk about them is infectious and uplifting. I had conversations with strangers about why we loved a book or why they didn’t and I did. There was a lot of good energy which means that readers have all kinds of great reading to look forward to this spring! And don’t fret if you don’t live in the PNW. There are similar associations in other parts of the U.S. One of my blogging friends Shannon, over at River City Reading went to SIBA, the Southern version a few weeks ago.
Going to PNBA means I’ve completed the trifecta of bookish events for book lovers! I’ve been to BEA (Book Expo America), the largest event for publishers and virtually anyone in the book world; ALA (Seattle and Las Vegas), which is for librarians; and now PNBA for booksellers. I can retire. No, I can’t, I have all these amazing new books to read and write about!
Have you been to any book shows? Or events in your industry that were fun?