The day got off to a rollicking start, with hundreds of attendees heading over to the convention center bright and early to catch Stephen Colbert, hosting the BEA Adult Book and Author Breakfast. Colbert, drawing plenty of laughs along the way, welcomed attendees to BEA, ‘the lollapalooza of quietly reading to yourself’ and served as moderator of the event which featured writers Junot Diaz, Barbara Kingsolver, and Jo Nesbo. Diaz spoke of the importance of reading in a democracy, stating that the space reading opens in individuals is absolutely essential to the functioning of a democratic society. He also spoke about his latest work, “This Is How You Lose Her” stories of love and heartbreak that examine how young boys and men struggle with the vulnerability needed to understand what love means. Barbara Kingsolver, who clearly enjoyed repartee with Stephen Colbert, spoke about how the book delivery system has changed radically, but the book will endure because it is the ideas that endure. Her new novel, “Flight Behavior” has climate change at its heart and examines how people can look at the same facts and draw different conclusions. Jo Nesbo, who mentioned that his mother is a librarian(!), talked about how he became a writer, after lots of jobs that did not work out and also talked about the development of his character “Harry Hole.” The Norwegian writer mentioned that he usually delivers his talks in English (even outside of the U.S.) and how listening to his fellow panelists today, he learned new words. Colbert was delighted that they’d been able to teach Nesbo new words. Attendees received a galley proof of Kingsolver’s book and samples of Colbert’s (in 3D complete with glasses), Nesbo’s, and Diaz’s books.
This year one of the concurrent events taking place alongside Book Expo is Blog World and New Media Expo.Billed as the world’s largest conference and tradeshow for bloggers, podcasters, webtv content creators, and social media innovators, the conference offers lots of programming that would be appealing to those in the information business.
“The Social Habit: How Americans Use Social Media” provided lots of fascinating information from The Social Habit 2012 Study including:
*Over half of Americans have a profile on a social networking site.
*Slightly more females use social networking.
*Over half of those using social networking sites are 12 to 34.
*Over 93% of Americans have heard of Facebook, while only 85% of Americans have Internet access.
*22% of those who use social networking sites check them 12+ times per day.
*That makes 58 million Americans who have the ‘social habit.’
*26 million Americans are using Twitter.
*1/3 of those do not post updates; only read status updates. However the number of those who post content is increasing.
*69% of social networkers update using their mobile phones.
*One in ten social networkers follows a brand on Facebook.
*The number one reason for following a brand is sales, discounts, coupons.
Visit The Social Habit to read more about this report and see more of these types of statistics.
In other news, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) has launched a new video campaign,” Why Indies Matter” that captures short, unscripted testimonials about independent bookstores from authors, customers, and indie supporters around the country. The plenary session of the 10th annual ABA Day of Education featured journalist Lynn Sherr, who interviewed author Richard Russo, a vocal supporter of indie bookstores, about his New York Times piece, Amazon’s Jungle Logic. Russo said “The Amazon threat is real – it now has 75% of the market for books and electronics.” You can get more information about the Why Indies Matter campaign and see the videos at here.