Where can you go and watch Dan Rather tear up during an interview and then walk across the room and pose with muscly models?
Yeah, I never thought these things went hand in hand either.
This was the first year Book Expo America not only lined up with the Summer Publishing Institute but also allowed people that do not work in the publishing industry to explore the booths. So, instead of going back to the Woolworth building for lectures and meetings, we were free to go to Book Expo America and explore.
My roommates and I arrived at 9:30 after a few delays trying to navigate to the Javits Center. The venue was filled with booths, books and tons of people. We had no idead where to start. Instead of exploring the booths, we looked up special events and found that Dan Rather was speaking at 10.
He was there promoting his new book, Rather Outspoken, and told some great stories about his career. Rather explained how there were a lot of little events that affected his career path. For instance, he fell in love with radio when he was home sick for a long time in middle school.
He also got very emotional when he talked about covering the Civil Rights Movement. He attended a KKK rally and was disturbed by the violence inflicted on African Americans. The rest of the talk was not as intense but still fascinating.
This picture isn’t great, but after a little bit of editing you can at least see his face.
After a wonderful talk from Dan Rather, I was ready to buy his book. We left the stage and began to meander through the booths. That’s when the experience took a complete 180. We came across a booth for a romance novel publishing company and the models were signing calendars. Needless to say, we had a blast.
From there we did a lot of walking around, picked up some free stuff and chatting with professionals. Four hours later we were weighed down with books and it was time to head back to our side of town. My shoulders were killing me (and still are) from carrying all of this –
Book Expo America was a great way to experience an industry event. There were publishers from all over the nation and some that were international. I am excited to read all the free books I got (too bad they did have a Kindle option) and even more excited to read and review the ones that aren’t being released until the fall!