This will be quick. The days at BookExpo America are crammed start to finish. This is how the day ended:
But before that, the ForeWord Book of the Year winners were announced. In the Crafts category, I had submitted two books that Nomad Press had published: Spinning in the Old Way (released in May 2006) and Arctic Lace (released in October 2006). Wonder of wonders, they both won top awards! Spinning in the Old Way received the bronze award and Arctic Lace won the silver.
Later in the evening, I went to the party for the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs), which were announced earlier, and picked up the bronze medal Arctic Lace had earned in that competition.
Simply producing good books full of solid information is really enough. However, it’s also nice to have the work acknowledged within the general world of books . . . and winning awards for knitting and spinning books, especially about traditional and ethnic techniques, may help the subjects be taken more seriously in the wider world (see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee‘s writing and presentations and blog for the importance and challenge of this). There were nearly 1,400 entries in the ForeWord competition and 2,690 in the IPPYs. The photo shows me (somewhat overloaded with people and noise) with Jim Barnes, Independent Publisher editor and coordinator of the IPPY awards.
After the IPPY festivities, it was time for a cab across town to Webster Hall for a concert by the Rock Bottom Remainders, a group of well-known authors who resurrect their garage-band personas to raise money for good causes. The location was less concert hall than mob scene; after more than an hour in line outside (not very well organized) and forty-five minutes in the standing-room-everywhere crowd inside (Roger McGuinn helping out on lead guitar and Lesley Gore showing up just for fun) turned out to be what my energy and feet could handle, so I figured I’d done my bit for partying and the support of literacy and cabbed back to the hotel to recoup my energy for today. (The photo at the top of this post shows Lesley Gore singing "It’s My Party," which Amy Tan had just sung, too.)
And now I need to sort my notes and lists of booths so I can figure out what I’m going to do my best to learn today at BookExpo America. Because yesterday was filled front-to-back with appointments, I haven’t really seen the show floor at all. It’s impossible to see it all, so I’ll need a plan. One thing I learned by reading yesterday’s show daily (a slick, 68-page, large-format on-the-spot magazine produced by Publishers Weekly) is that not only does Crazy Aunt Purl have a book coming out from HCI in October, her publisher is giving the book enough push that she’s at BookExpo doing signings. This is good.
Now I need breakfast and a plan (and a fresh pair of feet for today’s walking-and-standing, although that won’t happen).
One of my scribbled notes from a two-person meeting yesterday: "Would it be easier just to write an encyclopedia?" And that’s the sort of day it was.