Publishers’ plans are taking shape for the American Booksellers Association’s Meet the Editor networking sessions at next month’s BookExpo America, but booksellers must preregister by May 11 to take advantage of this exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the book editing process.
Jennifer Barth, vice president/executive editor at Harper, said she is looking forward to participating in the program and learning about readers through those who know them best: independent booksellers.
“Editors have great relationships with authors but most of us are at a remove from that essential player on the other end of the book’s life cycle: the reader,” Barth said. “No one is closer to readers than booksellers; having the opportunity to spend time with them offers a window onto the world in which our books arrive at their final destination. Plus, booksellers are just good fun.”
Rave reviews from booksellers who took part in last year’s inaugural Meet the Editor event prompted ABA to bring it back for a second year. Booksellers who preregister for Meet the Editor will meet in a small group with book editors at a publisher’s New York City offices.
Bloomsbury Publishing Director George Gibson said booksellers can provide invaluable insight to editors and vice versa. Meet the Editor, he said, gives each the rare chance to engage in a face-to-face dialogue.
“The more editors understand the challenges and opportunities booksellers face, the more effective they will be as acquirers and nurturers of great content,” Gibson said. “I think booksellers benefit by coming in touch with the editorial process, which is so often behind the scenes, but is so crucial to the books they ultimately sell to customers.”
Booksellers will be assigned to a group prior to BEA. In addition to HarperCollins and Bloomsbury, publishers taking part in this year’s event include Disney Publishing Worldwide, Grove/Atlantic, Hachette, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Macmillan, Melville House, New Directions, Penguin Random House, Perseus Books Group/PGW, Scholastic, Seven Stories, Simon & Schuster, Sourcebooks, The New Press, W.W. Norton, and Workman/Algonquin.
Meet the Editor visits will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 27, at the assigned publisher’s offices. Booksellers can preregister for Meet the Editor online. Space at the event is limited and sign-up is required by May 11.