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2016 BookExpo America to Debut New Networking Tools for Attendees

BookExpo America (BEA) is unveiling two new digital platforms to connect and enhance the event experience for the anticipated 10,000 attendees at the 2016 trade show. The new platforms will provide onsite networking capabilities through the BEA Network and offer free access to PubMatch, a global rights trading platform.

“As good as BEA is in making on-the-ground personal connections, we have so much more opportunity by accessing those digital and social platforms that connect us all every day,” said Brien McDonald, director of publisher relations for BEA. “The debut of the BEA Network and offering of PubMatch takes the core benefit of BEA — networking — and makes it even stronger.”

The BEA Network, located within the online planning tool “My Show,” allows attendees to create profiles similar to basic social networks and then search and message anyone else signed into the platform. The Network also provides personalized exhibitor and product recommendations along with recommendations on whom people should meet at the show based on mutual interests.

Through its partnership with BEA, PubMatch, a platform for agents and publishers designed to make the marketing of titles, aggregation of data and rights trading simple and easy, will also be available to show participants on an initial trial basis. After the expo, participants will be offered a preferential rate upon signup.

National Book Critics Circle Award Winners Announced

The National Book Critics Circle announced the recipients of its book awards for the 2015 publishing year on Thursday, March 17, at the New School in New York.

To qualify for the awards, books must be published in the United States in English (including translations).

The recipients of the National Book Critics Circle Awards for publishing year 2015 are:

  • Poetry: Ross Gay, Catalogue of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press)
  • Criticism: Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts (Graywolf)
  • Autobiography: Margo Jefferson, Negroland (Pantheon)
  • Biography: Charlotte Gordon, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley (Random House)
  • Nonfiction: Sam Quinones, Dreamland: The True Story of America’s Opiate Epidemic (Bloomsbury)
  • Fiction: Paul Beatty, The Sellout (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • The John Leonard Prize (for an outstanding first book in any genre): Kirstin Valdez Quade, Night at the Fiestas (W.W. Norton)
  • The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing: Carlos Lozada
  • The Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award: Wendell Berry

The National Book Critics Circle includes more than 700 critics and editors from leading magazines and online publications providing book coverage.

Inaugural Walter Awards for Diverse YA Presented

The nonprofit We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) presented its inaugural Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature at a ceremony on Friday, March 18, at The Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress (LOC) in Washington, D.C.

The award honors a young adult book that highlights diversity or whose authors come from diverse backgrounds. This year’s recipients are Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely for All American Boys (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books), a story told from the perspectives of a black teen who is beaten by a cop and the white teen who witnessed it.

The authors of two Walter honor books were also recognized: Kekla Magoon and Ilyasah Shabazz for X: A Novel (Candlewick Press), which follows the journey of Malcolm X as a teen, and Margarita Engle for Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings (Atheneum Books for Young Readers) with illustrations by Edel Rodriguez, a poetic memoir about being Cuban-American at the time of the Bay of Pigs invasion.

The Walter Award was inspired by award-winning children’s book writer Walter Dean Myers, who passed away in 2014. Myers was the author of more than 100 books and a former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. He was also the author of a widely read 2014 op-ed in the New York Times “Where are the people of color in children’s books?”

James Patterson to Launch BookShots

This summer, novelist James Patterson will introduce BookShots, a series of short, inexpensive, widely available books marketed toward people who have abandoned reading for television, video games, movies and social media, the New York Times reported.

All BookShots will cost less than $5 and, at shorter than 150 pages, can be read in a single sitting, according to Patterson. Hachette Book Group, through its Little, Brown imprint, is planning to publish 21 BookShots in 2016, including thrillers, science fiction, mysteries, and romances, and will expand the list later this year to include nonfiction, with a focus on short, newsy books on current events.

Patterson, who will write some of the books himself, write some with others, and hand pick the rest, told the New York Times that he plans release two to four books per month. The first two, out in June, are Cross Kill, a book by Patterson starring his popular recurring character Alex Cross, and Zoo II, a science-fiction thriller written by Patterson and Max DiLallo.

While BookShots will appear at first in the usual venues for commercial fiction and will be available in digital and audio versions, eventually, the Times reported, Patterson is looking to expand distribution to retail chains that don’t normally sell books, like drugstores, grocery stores, and other outlets.