I highly recommend attending Book Expo America. The annual event held at the end of May in New York City is full of opportunities and networking. The four day event includes author sessions, book and author discoveries, new titles, meeting agents, editors, publicists, librarians and booksellers.
It’s an experience with valuable information from those in the publishing industry.
Here are some intriguing items from the author sessions:
Editor Kathy Pories told author Lin Enger to switch from present tense to past tense to improve his historical novel, The High Divide.
Deborah Harkness spoke of how her love of history propelled her to write her trilogy.
Carl Hiaasen said don’t throw away a character if it doesn’t work in your present book, save it for another book.
John Grisham said he rewrites as he moves along; it’s quicker than doing it later, and to use dialogue and scenery changes to move your story forward.
Walter Isaacson spoke about the importance of creativity and collaboration and how the best leaders are those that know how to collaborate. He also emphasized the importance of serendipitous encounters.
There were so many authors to meet, like Jack Gantos, Lev Grossman, Kate DiCamillo and 80s rockstar Billy Idol was promoting his book, giving out signed copies of his advance reader excerpt for Dancing with Myself.
You have to feel the pulse of the show, the city and the people there—you never know who may be standing next to you in line—whatever you do, talk to people, that serendipitous encounter might be the most meaningful person you meet there.