Monday, June 8, 2009
It's Award Times: Winner of Best Booth at Book Expo America (Hey, It Was an Outrageous One, Too)
As the followers of this blog know, I visited Book Expo America last weekend.
It took place at the Jacob Javits Conference Center in New York - the kind of place that would be perfect if you brought your private jet and didn't know where to park it. Unfortunately, the Javits isn't an airport hangar, it's the home of North America's biggest book fair.
So how do you survive a room with thousands of booths, with literary blogger assassins, and neurotic novelists looking for people to harass - not to mention an Elvis impostor, a skinny girl in beige bikini, and two Scientologists trying to convince you that Ron L. Hubbard is God and Tom Cruise is the Holy Ghost.
Well, it ain't easy. But I survived, mainly because BEA09 (as we smart asses call it) is a lot of fun if you're schizophrenic. I also survived because I ran into some truly great people.
So ladies and gentlemen, it's awards time. I'm going to give a prize to the best booth at Book Expo America. And no, it ain't Simon & Schuster's, even though they had the kind of carpet my dog would love to take a dump in. It's not Penguin Books', either. Those booths were the kind of places you'd go if you felt like head butting your accountant.
No, the winner of The Danish Accent Award for Best and Most Outrageous Booth is: WINDY CITY PUBLISHERS, Chicago!!!!
Winner of Best Booth at BEA09, Windy Publishers. Oh, to drown in this sea of gorgeous women.
You've never heard of this fine publisher? Well, I hadn't, either. I've never even heard of Chicago, but this booth kicked serious ass if I may be so bold. I got acquainted with these gorgeous psychos Saturday afternoon. I was in a bad mood (which is rare for some one as shallow as me), but suddenly I was attacked by two beautiful women. They started off by passing out pens, golf balls, and garden gloves to get my attention. Then they got down to business, removing my clothes under the excuse that I should feel more "comfortable". More women joined in. Believe it or not, one of them was a mother of three. "I'm gonna scream if you stop," I shouted - it was certainly a full-service booth.
Seriously, I hung out there for half an hour, convincing all the women that they should buy The Tsar's Dwarf. To get rid of me they promised they would, but I don't even care if they lied. Windy Publishers made my day. You should buy their books. Or their book. They just started out, but they're going places if you ask me.
Runner up for Best Booth at BEA09: Yogananda, SRF publishers, and his soul mates.
Runner up: SRF Publishers
I always need a dose of spirituality. So would you if you watch Judge Judy. Luckily for me, SRF Publishers had a booth that was dominated by the face of Yogananda, the Indian guru who introduced the West to Kriya Yoga and samosas. I adore Paramahansa Yogananda. He might be my favorite Indian guru, since he never dabbled in small boys as opposed to a lot of his competitors. If you don't know this Indian master, you should get hold of SRF's books. The most famous is the gorgeous Autobiography of a Yogi, a must for any one who is into spirituality. SRF has also reprinted a lot of Yogananda's wonderfully uplifting speeches.
I had a lengthy talk with Frank Marquette, a man who radiated the kind of serenity you'd expect from a cocaine addict. But Frank Marquette was not high at all, he was the real deal and I enjoyed talking to him immensely. He seemed like a man who lived his spiritual values. I would definitely buy a used guru from that man.
Jenn Northington, King's English Bookshop and me at the BEA09 in New York. It's Jenn on the left.
Honourable Mention: Jenn Northington from King's English Bookshop, Salt Lake City. Jenn Northington didn't have her own booth, she just had 8.244 meetings to go to. Still, she found time to introduce me to book sellers, event managers, and a Twitter party that took place in a night club where you couldn't hear a word any one said - the perfect venue for people who are forced to express themselves in 140 characters. Mrs. Northington was the one who told me that I should go to BEA, so I could meet the right people. Luckily for me, Jenn is a big fan of The Tsar's Dwarf and has sold an obscene amount of the book in the Mormon City. Dear God, let me meet more book sellers like her on my fall tour!
Yes, that's right. You should sign up for my fall tour, the third one I'll be going on. I'm loud, ridiculous, and known to stand on broken chairs. Nine states have survived me so far. If you want to be next, send an email to my publisher Kate Sage at Hawthorne Books, firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me (see upper left bar on this blog)
Support your small independent publishers. They do weird things like believing in Danish novelists of the tragicomic persuasion ...
Also read, Unpublished Writers, Please Don't Visit Book Expo America or You Just Might Get Shot at Dawn