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BEA Expands Podcast Coverage

Shelf Awareness reports that Book Expo America, in a bid to make it “a year-round convention without walls,” is expanding its podcasting offerings and launching video streaming coverage of events from the show as well as other material related to books, authors and the industry. Aside from highlights of last year’s event in Washington, BEA now offers podcasts of the National Book Awards ceremony, and podcast and streaming video coverage of the panel “Protecting Privacy, Challenging Secrecy, and Standing Up for the First Amendment,” held September 28 in Washington. For next year’s show in New York City, BEA is setting up the BEA Authors’ Studio; under the program, authors and publishers will be able to record 5- to 10-minute audio interviews for booksellers, other industry members and the general public.

“BEA is about relationships and the exchange of information and ideas,” BEA event director Lance Fensterman said in a statement. “Our new digital ventures extend those principles beyond the three physical days of the show and typify the course I have set for BEA in coming years. The podcast program marks the beginning of a vision for BEA which utilizes the platform we have within the book and publishing industry to better serve the industry 365 days a year.”

In other words, it’s yet another way for BEA to reclaim relevancy when the London Book Fair continues to encroach on territory by pushing its dates back to April, and perhaps to expand its audience base so that it could have a hope and prayer of reaching Frankfurt-style numbers. But this will work if the content is compelling and well-produced – otherwise the general public will turn its back or worse, not even notice…

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