Friday, May 28, 2010

On the Horizon in the World of Books

Hi Meltingpot Readers,

Yesterday I spent the entire day at Book Expo America. Book Expo is the largest trade event for the publishing industry in the United States.

BookExpo is the event where bookstore owners -- from Amazon to your local indie book shop -- and librarians come to find out what the hot new titles are going to be for the following year. The press is also there as well as book bloggers and film and TV folks who might be interested in turning a good book into a movie or TV series.

So, I went to BookExpo to try to spread the word about my new novel, Substitute Me. I wore my new sneakers and and hit the floor at 10am and didn't stop moving until the show was over at 5:00pm. My goal was to hand out my 150 flyers to as many bookstore owners and librarians as possible. I still had 10 flyers left when I came home, but I'm happy with my efforts.

Of course I didn't spend the whole day thinking about Substitute Me. I was also interested to see what new books would be coming out. Most publishers only showcase their big titles like Terry McMillan's highly anticipated sequel to Waiting to Exhale called, Getting to Happy. Or the next Diary of a Wimpy Kid book. (My older son can't wait for that.)

To be honest, I was disappointed by the lack of titles I saw with multicultural characters or authors of color being highlighted. At least in the children's section I was thrilled to visit the Barefoot Books booth. If you haven't heard of this wonderful publisher of books with a multicultural, environmental and an all-around positive perspective on childhood, I encourage you to check them out. And they have a wonderful selection of Spanish titles too.

I also almost peed my pants when I saw a new book by one of my favorite childhood authors, Katherine Patterson. I loooovvveed Bridge to Terabithia, but honestly I thought Patterson had died in the '90s. But no. She's 77 years old, has just been named the new Ambassador of Children's Literature and has penned a new story called, The Day of the Pelican and it's about a family who has to flee from Kosovo after the war breaks out. Way to keep it fresh. To read more about Patterson, check out her website.

I did find one book I'm anxious to read called, My Masai Life: From Suburbia to Savannah. As you can imagine, it's about a young White woman's escape from what she describes as her meaningless existence in America to live with a poor Masai community in rural Kenya. I'll let you know how it goes.

So that sums up my whirlwind experience at BEA 2010. What books are you looking forward to reading in the upcoming months?


1 comment:

AnaCeleste said...

I'm in the middle of reading a book entitled "Almost Mexican." It was published in 2008 by Stephanie Elizondo Griest. I like it so far. It's sort of a memoir of how she traveled to Mexico in 2005 to rediscover her Mexican roots. Her mother is Mexican and her father is white. She did not grow up speaking Spanish and didn't know much about her Mexican heritage. One of her goals in Mexico is to learn Spanish. It's a great read so far!