OK, here are my picks thus far for the official renaming of this blog:
Let It BEA
This is not unlike an NPR pledge drive - please help me return to regular blog programming by getting this bit of blog related business out of the way.
Mrs. BEA and I are off to Tanglewood tonight to catch Garrison Keillor's Prairie Home Companion. Should be fun, if for no other reason we've packed two bottles of wine and some tasty Stilton cheese to enjoy whilst sitting on the lawn. GK always reads greetings at some point in the show, so Mrs. BEA sat on the porch last night and cooked a few up hoping that by referring in a folksy manner to our middle American roots one might get read:
Dear Dan & Barb,
Thanks for the use of the cabin up in Emily, MN. Sorry we didn't rake the lake but after living on the Long Island Sound we've learned to be fearful of just what we might stir up.
Dear Mom and Dad,
Please send a 20 pack of sliders, CT fancies itself as refined.
Dear Dan and Barb
After just a two years out East you're right we've lost our roots. Our first canoe ride at the Minnesota cabin ended with me in the lake. Thanks for the towel.
Dear D Dub
You may work for the evangelicals but I've seen you tapping your toes to Johnny Cash. Your secret is safe with me.
To the Breva's in Emily MN,
Bob the cat sure misses his canoe rides on Little Trout Lake. Kayak rides on the LI Sound just don't compare.
I'll spare you the rest......
Saturday, June 30, 2007
OK, here are my picks thus far for the official renaming of this blog:
Thursday, June 28, 2007
While reading Michael Hyatt’s blog, a few weeks back I saw that he was using the site to “post” an open position at Thomas Nelson. Never one to shy away from stealing someone’s good idea I thought I’d follow suit.
I am looking for someone to join the BEA team in the position of National Accounts Manager (see the official HR description below) which means the individual would be responsible for building relationships with some of BEA’s major customers and assuring that BEA is delivering to them the value and success they seek. The position hinges on building strong personal relationships, ability to work individually within a strong team environment, and the potential team member must have an ability to contribute to and follow a strategic vision. Background in the book industry, a sense of humor and ability to point out and correct typos in the show director’s blog are also big pluses.
Review the official posting below and follow the instructions to apply, and tell them that you read it on my blog – I get a free set of steak knives if I help to find the eventual candidate. I kid, I don’t get steak knives, but If you or someone you know might be a good fit, do follow up. And thanks to Michael Hyatt for letting me steal his idea…..
Join BEA! We are currently recruiting for a National Accounts Manager for Book Expo America event.
Responsibilities include generating new business, building relationships, and cultivating new prospects within the publishing industry. Additionally, this person has overall responsibility for managing our Rights Center.
Qualified candidates must have a Bachelor's degree in business or a related field. Must have 3 - 6+ years in business to business sales and/or publishing industry experience. Role involves both telesales & face-to-face sales, and strong relationship management and organizational skills. Approximately 30% travel.
We offer competitive compensation, excellent benefits, including tuition reimbursement, 401(k) and pension plan, convenient location in Norwalk, CT and a vibrant working environment. Please send resume with salary requirements in confidence to Human Resources, Reed Exhibitions, 383 Main Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org (in Microsoft Word). No calls or agencies please. Web Site: http://www.reedexpo.com/ E/M/F/D/V.
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 3:38 PM
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
If this blog were a library book I would owe some serious fines for my blatant neglect of due dates! I have been traveling pretty extensively for the past two plus weeks and had every intention of blogging from the road (“I’ll do it on the plane”, I’ll do it in the car”, “I’ll do it at the airport”, “Ah, I’ll just wait and do it when I’m home”) but that disintegrated into an unplanned blogging furlough to restore my creative juices.
So I’m back in the blog saddle after a few weeks of blog guilt (Bluilt?) and expect regular posts on my exploits through Toronto, Minneapolis, Washington DC and points in between. I got to see a number of great bookstores, a concert that gave me an idea for BEA and much more.
In the meantime, I really need you help, dear reader(s); “Blogging with lance Fensterman” is just not a suitable title for a blog of this creative magnitude (I hope that sarcasm can be interpreted in blog format!) please, I beg of you dear reader, help me come up with a better name. I could go cute: Lance’s Rants. I could go industry cute: Uncorrected Proofs. Or perhaps just go to an all cute cat format: Kitty Ditties. Yes, those were all jokes, although I kind of like Uncorrected Proofs and furthermore my friend Carl Lennertz at Harper Collins and I have often talked about making a cute cat calendar……
Please help me and I in turn will get blogging!
Good to be back,
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 10:13 AM
Friday, June 8, 2007
A couple of BEA photos to share – no I don’t have a Flickr page full of shots, but I did just get over 4,000 shots from our show photographer. Don’t worry, you won’t see them on a Flickr page any time soon. The first shot is the BEA team and the second just a cool one that I like….
In a blog post that The Guardian first blogged about, apparently Macmillan chief executive Richard Charkin stole a Google laptop from their booth at BEA in an act of civil disobedience meant to protest the Google scanning project. This story has been floating around the blogosphere for a few days, but today The Bookseller picked it up so it will certainly create lots of chatter in the next few days. I’ve already read 4 or 5 posts responding to the move with opinions ranging from "Hurrah for Charkin" by one Guardian blog responder to "Charkin's stunt was so mind-numbingly dumb" by Cry Doctorow at Boingboing. Of course, feel free to weigh in yourself and just to note, the laptops were returned unscathed. Read the original post on Charkin's blog reagrding this protest theft.
BEA has finally made the big time! A mention on Gawker? No (Mrs. BEA asked me the other night what my obsession with Gawker is all about and I really had no credible answer for her). Our own home on iTunes for the BookExpo Cast pod casts! Check out our home on iTunes and the BookExpo Cast site and sign up for a feed, tons (over 100 in fact) podcasts are coming your way soon.
When I opened the Sunday morning author breakfast at BEA I think I was quite clear that there was to be no video recording of any kind. However, Access Hollywood felt they were above the law and beyond the reach of my iron fist of rule (can you read sarcasm in a blog) and got ahold of a bootleg video of Rosie’s remarks. Now by putting a link to the video I am in no way endorsing the behavior of Access Hollywood, instead I simply want you to notice that for 3 seconds at the end I got to be on Access Hollywood. Bootlegging the Rosie event? Deplorable. 3 seconds of me on TV? Titillating! It was also a great promo for BEA and in all seriousness a major goal of the show is to promote new books to the general public and raise awareness of forthcoming titles on behalf of our customers. This is an unconventional way to do so, that’s for certain…..
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 10:06 AM
Thursday, June 7, 2007
I cannot possibly catalogue all of the press, media, blogs etc that have been buzzing about BEA. Why can’t I? Not only do I not have the time (even though as of Monday my calendar has opened up!) I simply don’t have the patience! I don’t know how you heroes of the blogosphere do it. So here is a random sampling of a few cool things I’ve spotted that you should check out:
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 1:39 PM
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
One of the treats of running BEA is that I get a chance to haunt the green room and thank all of our breakfast and lunch speakers prior to their events. It’s unwise for me to play favorites, but I can’t resist telling you that I was ecstatic to meet Steven Colbert. Through a twist of fate we have a good friend in common so we got a chance to chat about her and discuss the fact that I have a near complete inability to grow a full beard. He was growing his out to ensure he was not upstaged by a more scholarly looking Ken Burns and his beard. Before hitting the stage and repeating the contest, Burns and Colbert had a private "beard off" in the green room. Thanks to Steve Kagan for taking this picture. Of course, of the 4 or 5 he took, I chose the one where Colbert is laughing at something I said – did I point out how polite he is?
Meeting Alan Alda prior to the Saturday lunch was also a treat. I grew up watching M.A.S.H. with my older brother and I told Alda that MASH is how I learned what funny is – whenever my brother laughed, I did, not even getting the jokes. And as an adult, the PBS junky that is Mrs. BEA has turned me on his current show Scientific American Frontiers.
I also learned on Saturday that BEA and my company in general ruined Russell Simmons weekend. He was telling me how he had planned to be in the Hamptons for the weekend but had to come to BEA to promote the book. And not only did he have to be here but also in Vegas for a jewelry show. Yep, JCK is also owned by Reed the company I work for. So thanks to Reed for running Russell’s trip to the Hamptons! Just as Simmons was walking on stage he looked back at me and said, “there are more than 100 people here!” Apparently he was pleasantly surprised by the 800 or so in attendance.
Last but not least was the chance I had to briefly speak with Dr. Alan Greenspan. I shook his hand before he took the stage and then promptly used that hand to buy stocks on E-Trade. Perhaps his Midas touch will mean I get to ride my own plane to BEA in 2008.
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 12:39 PM
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
It occurred to me as comments have coming pouring in about BEA that I have told many people, but not 36,000, what the hell (and rarely has hell been used more appropriately) happened to the A/C on Friday at the lovely Javits Center. I must say the vast majority of feedback I’ve received on the show has been insanely positive – except for the heat wave of course.
First and foremost, I am truly sorry for the discomfort, the soaked handkerchiefs and any ruined suits or undershirts the situation caused. Trust me, I was swimming in it too. To quote a co-worker, “I’m gonna pit all the way through a suit today”. And he did.
Apparently the move-in process ran very late on Thursday night so the large freight doors were open throughout the center which obviously kept the temperatures up. So the building never had adequate time to cool down, then we had a 90 degree day on Friday and an absolutely HUGE crowd in the building – all that adds up to a huge heat wave.
We met with the Javits General Manager that afternoon and urged him to correct it. He assured us that the A/C was running at maximum capacity and they would keep it that way all night and Saturday would be better. And it was – not perfect, but better, and by Sunday there were complaints that it was too cold!
I wish there was more that we could have done in this situation, but trust me, everything I and the BEA team could do, we did. At the end of the day if this is worst thing that happened at BEA, we’re in OK shape. We can fix these kind of logistical issues!
Sorry again for the heat…..
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 9:36 PM
Dear readers, you can scroll down and see how well I did at blogging from the show. Who know that as director of BEA I’d find myself insanely busy and have no time, energy or brain matter to blog. I am on sensory overload today, as is my email inbox. I’ve been sitting on my couch all morning reading media coverage and surfing blogs. Thanks to Google email alerts I’m getting pinged every time a new BEA related post goes up – it’s overwhelming. First and foremost thanks to everyone that attended the show, I was totally overwhelmed by the people – old faces and new, I saw streaming in to the Javits Center. Thanks so much for making this an incredible event. I often say, this is your party, we just throw it and a party it was. I can’t even attempt to recap the show for you, but I’ll try to give you my ultra Cliffs Notes version of it day by day…..
- It all seemed real on Wednesday when the 400 foot (I don’t really know how big it is, I didn’t measure it!) banner for BEA was hung outside of the Javits Center. I got goose bumps. I’ve been working for 12 months to build a great show and it was finally here. I can remember sitting in my office looking at 8x12 ink sketches of different art options from the artist I selected to create the show creative and now it’s in full color hanging in a giant banner on the side of the building. Yeah, pretty flippin cool. Incidentally, we’ve named the “guy” in the show art reading the book “Globey”
- Wednesday night in Brooklyn was awesome. First the BEA/ABA party at Borough Hall where Borough President Marty Markowitz was like a suit salesman/politician/tourism directory/cheerleaders. His speech about Brooklyn was incredible. I’m ready to move!
- From Borough Hall I headed to the ABA board dinner for a quick cocktail and conversation where I finally got to meet Carl Port of Shamen Drum bookshop in addition to lots of old friends from the ABA. Gayle Shanks of Changing Hands cornered my boss who was with me and talk me up good. Thanks for earning that 20 bucks Gayle, I think you ought me another year on the show.
- After hanging out with the adults for a bit I headed over the Emerging Leaders party I was throwing at Floyd NY, a great little Brooklyn Bar that was filled with young booksellers (Emerging Leaders). Had a great time, in fact it was one of my favorite events. I got to meet the author Kate Christensen who I’m a huge fan of and found out she’s one of the coolest people I’ve met in a long time – and she has a Minnesota connection (perhaps that’s what makes her so cool). She also accomplished my life long goal this week – a mention in Gawker.com I will be teasing her about this.
- One more stop on Wednesday which was the Scholastic reception at Hotel ABA. From there the night was a blur. I dragged BEA’s marketing Director with me on most of this journey and poor Kelly had been up at 4am to make the trek into the city. You see what kind of a boss I am?
So that was Wednesday, god it's a week ago already! I will post tonight some insiders insights about the special events and show. Stay tuned......
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 10:48 AM
Monday, June 4, 2007
Estimated attendees: 36,000
Estimated book buyers: 9,000
Estimated Librarians: 4,000
Percentage increase in librarians from 2006: 100%
Average length of lines for the women’s restroom on Friday: 12 people
Average length of lines for the women’s restroom on Saturday after we converted men’s rooms: 4 people
Temperature in the exhibit hall on Friday: melty
Temperature in exhibit hall on Saturday after threatening Javits with everything we could think of including to turn Jenn Risko of Shelf Awareness loose on them: Tolerable
Temperature in exhibit hall on Sunday: Too cold according to some exhibitors.
Increase in people in the Javits Center on Friday compared to the same day in 05: Over 2,000
Number of authors in attendance at BEA: 1262
Number of blisters I have: 5
Time I woke up after missing my wake call on Sunday: 7:30am
Time I was to emcee the Sunday author breakfast: 8:00am
Average time, door to door from Hotel ABA to Javits: 33 minutes (via subway and foot)
Number of sessions BEA will podcast shortly on www.bookexpocast.com: over 80
Total number of parties I attended: 11
Number of aspirin I consumed: 14
Number of days until BEA 2008 in LA: 358
Posted by Lance Fensterman at 4:32 PM