Tuesday, June 17, 2008

BookExpo Canada

... was small. Smallest I've seen. Don't get me wrong: I had a great time, and saw lots of old friends and colleagues.

But still.

One major player said to my wife he thought this might be the last year for BookExpo Canada (just his opinion, not inside scoop or anything).

Of course, the point of BookExpo Canada (formerly known as the Canadian Booksellers Association trade show) is for publishers to show their wares to buyers from chains and independents. But Canada's lost a lot of its great independent bookstores, and is down to one national chain.

Still, my signing (along with Nick DiChario and Kristyn Dunnion) at the Fitzhenry & Whiteside booth went well, and the Penguin Canada champagne reception was wonderful.

I was surprised to see how many self-published authors had taken booths (not a cheap thing to do). Most of them were ignored by passers-by.

I was also surprised to not see a single ebook vendor there. Yes, the Amazon Kindle is not available in Canada, but Sony has launched its reader here -- but no electronic book manufacturer (or ebook content retailer) was present.

Don't get me wrong: Canadian bookselling and publishing are doing not badly, and, in some cases, spectacularly well (Penguin Canada had a record-setitng $100,000,000 year last year). But this particular tradeshow may have outlived its usefulness.

(My colleague Brian Hades, who runs Canada's largest SF publisher, Edge, was at BookExpo America this year ... but gave BookExpo Canada a miss.)

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site


Post a Comment

<< Home