May 22, 2018

BookExpo/BookCon 2018 Preview

Grand Central Terminal with traffic, New York City, USA

With so many sessions, panels, and events, trade publishing conference BookExpo and its consumer companion BookCon, held May 30–June 1 and June 2–3, respectively, at New York’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, can be overwhelming for conference newbies and veterans alike. Below are a few that the LJ editors are most excited to attend. Unless otherwise noted, all programs are at the Javits Center. Beginning this year, the New York Rights Fair will become the official rights fair of BookExpo.


Wednesday, May 30

LJ Day of Dialog
9 a.m.–6 p.m.
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 524 W. 59th Street
LJ’s annual event features the popular Editors’ Picks panel as well as an Editors’ Mystery Picks panel, plus discussions of literary fiction, books tackling current events, memoirs, historical fiction, and more. School Library Journal’s Day of Dialog will be held concurrently at New York University’s Kimmel Center.

Editors’ Buzz 2018
1:45–3 p.m. 1E12/1E13/1E14
Editors and publishers discuss six big fall books: Sarah Weinman’s The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel that Scandalized the World (Ecco: HarperCollins); Wayétu Moore’s She Would Be King (Graywolf); Casey Gerald’s There Will Be No Miracles Here (Riverhead); Stephanie Land’s Maid (Hachette); Kim Brooks’s Small Animals (Flatiron: Macmillan); and Stephen Markley’s Ohio (S. & S.).

The Graphic Novels You Can’t Miss of 2018
5:15–6 p.m. 1E10
Comics are a key component of any well-rounded collection. Enrich your offerings this year with essential new releases from creators Tim Fielder (Matty’s Rocket, Dieselfunk Studios), David Small (Home After Dark, Liveright: Norton), and Ngozi Ukazu (Check, Please!, First Second).


Thursday, May 31

The Marketing Success Story Behind Little Fires Everywhere
2:30–3:20 p.m. 1E11
Topping best books lists in 2017 and soon to be a Hulu TV series, Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere was one of last year’s big hits. Matthew Boyd, associate publisher and marketing director, Penguin Press, and Suzanne Skyvara, VP communications, Goodreads, discuss the secrets to the novel’s success from a marketing standpoint.


Friday, June 1

LJ’s Annual Shout ‘n’ Share
11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m. Downtown Stage
Librarians gather at the close of the show to shout about ’n share their favorite discoveries from the show floor. Moderated by LJ Fiction Editor Wilda Williams.

Audio Publishers Association Author Tea
3–4 p.m. 1E07/08
Four authors will consider their craft, creativity, and inspiration, with a focus on how the audiobook continues to grow in importance to the publishing industry. The event will feature authors Laini Taylor (Strange the Dreamer, Hachette Audio), Gayle Forman (If I Stay, Listening Library), Jason Fry (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Books on Tape), and actress Kathryn Hahn (My Wish for You, Orchard Bks.). The APA Author Tea is a separately ticketed event; see BookExpoAmerica.com for more information.


Saturday, June 2

When Reality Is Stranger Than Fiction
10:30–11:15 a.m. 1E10
How do thriller writers, known for creating high-concept plots that stretch readers’ imaginations, compete with the modern-day 24-hour news cycle? Brad Meltzer, Kiersten White, Charles Soule, and Lou Berney address the challenge of writing fiction that competes with the drama of current events.

Tor Presents: LGBTQ+ Authors on Gender and Identity in Science Fiction and Fantasy
12:45–1:30 p.m. 1E16
Sf and fantasy is about invention and change but is rooted in the real: in people and often in struggle. Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky, Seth Dickinson (The Traitor Baru Cormorant), S.L. Huang (Zero Sum Game), and V.E. Schwab (“Shades of Magic” series) talk about how their identity affects their work, characters, and the worlds they build.

Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives
1:45–2:30 p.m. 1E16
Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen (The Sympathizer, Grove Atlantic), Novuyo Tshuma (House of Stone, Atlantic), Thi Bui (The Best We Could Do, Abrams), and others examine the refugee experience and how their histories have impacted their writing.

Social Justice Warriors: Redefining Youthful Rebellion
3–3:45 p.m. 1E10
Newbery Award winner Kwame Alexander joins authors Jason Reynolds, Angie Thomas, and Jacqueline Woodson (National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature) and activist DeRay Mckesson (host of the podcast Pod Save the People) in a conversation about youth activism and social justice in YA lit.


Sunday, June 3

President Bill Clinton and James Patterson, The President Is Missing
11–11:45 a.m. Main Stage
President Bill Clinton and best-selling author James Patterson chat about their forthcoming thriller, The President Is Missing, offering insights into their collaboration and research. The book signing is sold out, but the panel discussion is first come, first served for BookCon ticket holders.—Mahnaz Dar, Liz French, Barbara Hoffert, Stephanie Klose, Annalisa Pešek, Stephanie Sendaula, and Wilda Williams

This article was published in Library Journal's May 1, 2018 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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