A Message from Kristin Nelson
10,000 Maniacs. Oops, I Meant Fans.
Ten-thousand screaming fans! Teens lined up for hours to get in! Squealing girls chasing after stars, screaming their names!
Sounds like a pre-show moment before Fitz and the Tantrums hits the stage, but what I’m actually talking about is 2014 Bookcon, the Book Expo Saturday that’s open to the public.
And I’m not exaggerating! Bookcon sold more than 9,000 tickets, and from the looks of the crowd, I’d say 70 percent of those tickets were sold to teens.
And publishers were caught flat footed. You can’t really blame them. In terms of fan participation, the two previous Bookcons were snoozers, to say the least. As an agent present at this year’s con, I cringed at the missed opportunity. Disappointed fans are never a good thing.
Veronica Roth (of Divergent fame) moderated a panel in a packed room with more than 500 attendees. Hundreds more waited in line for hours but were turned away because of fire-code restrictions. (In fact, at one point, Bookcon had to close down a whole section of the Javits center because the number of people in the space far exceeded those restrictions.) I know because I was there for Marie Lu, who was on that panel with Danielle Paige and Alaya Dawn Johnson. We could have used a room that held 2,000 people.
Books causing fan frenzy. Fans treating authors like rock stars. Next year authors might need handlers and bodyguards. Crazy!
You can bet that publishers will be prepared next year. I hope so!
Bookcon 2015: We are all in!