Wednesday, 3 June 2015

PP US Megatrip! Week One: Book Expo America!

Hello all from NYC! I cannot believe that I have been here for over a week already - time has gone so fast! I arrived on Monday the 25th May, shattered from a 4am start, feeling a little worse for wear with the arrival of a bad cold, a long flight and the lengthly process it takes to get through US airport security! I was ready for bed but of course it was only 3 o’clock in the afternoon in NY. The sun was shining, the temperature was sizzling and as I saw the Manhattan skyline rise up on the horizon in my taxi journey from JFK, I felt immediately at home again and ready to explore! I had a day of getting everything organised for BEA and then on the Wednesday nose dived straight into it!

Manhattan Skyline.

Javits Centre ready and looming for BEA.

Each of my days at Book Expo America were jam packed with meetings so it’s been an exhausting week! As normal, the fair was buzzing everyday, brimming with publishers, authors and illustrators from across the globe, all there to share the very thing we love best: books! The atmosphere was intense and exciting and it was a real pleasure to see what our US clients have been up to this past year! Even more so to see the works of our wonderful illustrators and author/illustrators shining on some of the stands!

Capstone's Santa Shimmy with artwork from our lovely Emma Randall.

More lovely work from Emma Randall with Goodnight Octopus on Cottage Door Press's stand.

Petra Brown's gorgeous illustrations for some fantastic titles at the Sleeping Bear booth.

Most thrilling for me was seeing the exceptional display that Sterling Books had made for our very own Brendan Kearney and his work on fabulous picture book Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast. There were even Team Lady Pancake and Team Sir French Toast tote bags, as well as shiny magnets! I promptly picked my team and wore my SFT tote all round the fair collecting books, momentos and client catalogues on my way.


I met with many of the publishers from around the USA that we already have well established and fantastic relationships with but BEA especially was a real opportunity to meet with US publishers that we don’t yet work with and to forge new relationships and I’m thrilled to say that was definitely the case. It’s rare for all of the meetings at a book fair to be exceptional but these really were and I cannot thank our wonderful US clients both old and new enough for a truly fantastic week. I am so excited to work with all of you on upcoming projects! A special thanks to Sleeping Bear Press, Source Books, Capstone and Walter Foster for some truly inspirational meetings!

Here's one of my favourite titles that caught my eye at BEA - Abrams Book's In My Heart:

And here is me sporting a beard from one of Capstone's hilarious and inventive Wearable Books!

After a delightful week of books, I had a weekend that was as hectic as the week, walking the length of the island and visiting Central Park for a lounge in the sunshine and an afternoon at the American Museum of Natural History where I indulged in two of my other passions: dinosaurs and our incredible universe.

On Sunday I visited the 9/11 Memorial site where I was surprised to find I spent 4 hours! That was certainly enough time though as I emerged emotionally exhausted and filled with a new found reverence for the strong folks of NYC and a better understanding of that fateful day. 

One World Trade Centre.

With the end of Sunday came a turn in the weather and I seem to be constantly soaked through from the torrential rain! Feels just like London! I've spent my evenings exploring the NY Highline, a magnificent oasis pathway raised above the city and, I confess, checking out as many local bars and gluten-free restaurants as possible.

The second week of my trip has started with a bang and I have been shooting from NY publisher to publisher and developing a truly excellent knowledge of the NY Subway! I’ll write again at the end of the week to fill you in. Night night from the NY skyline!

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