ERIN C. DUNIGAN | DATE 6/8/2013
Book Expo America (BEA) is somewhat like a family reunion… or at least our annual party is. There’s nothing quite like gathering together on a Manhattan rooftop, while the sun is setting, and eating passed hors d'oeuvres with 200+ of your colleagues and friends. Yup, that's right, one big crazy book-loving family.
BEA is especially exciting for me. I have only worked at ARTBOOK | D.A.P. for four years now, but as the primary customer service representative I am in constant contact with our warehouse, publishers, customers and sales reps. So when BEA rolls around and I can actually put a face with the email address, have a toast and share a sweaty hug, I get an adrenaline rush of book-selling bliss. For some of my colleagues who've been in this business for a long time, the nostalgia flows as freely as the cucumber gimlets. At this year’s party - held in the rooftop lounge at Hôtel Americano and co-hosted by Bookforum - I spoke with an overjoyed California-based publishing executive who had just realized that the book buyer for one of our top Brooklyn accounts was an old college friend! Whether or not the publishing industry is shrinking, it really is a small world.
ARTBOOK | D.A.P. VP and Trade Sales Director Avery Lozada with Bernard Bonnet, revered Book Buyer at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Sean Hayes and Simone Grant of the Morgan Library & Museum.
ARTBOOK | D.A.P. Director of Customer Service Carson Hall with our President and Publisher, Sharon Helgason Gallagher, and Will Balliett of Thames & Hudson.
Charlie Rhyne of Strand Books with David Hunter, Key Accounts Sales Director at ARTBOOK | D.A.P.
Sharon Helgason Gallagher, Publisher and President of ARTBOOK | D.A.P., with her husband, Skuta Helgason, Director of ARTBOOK | RETAIL.This year our BEA party fell on a sweltering Wednesday evening, the day before the annual expo commenced. Thursday morning we all gathered together at the Javits Center, slightly groggy, debating how many people fell into the rooftop pool that served as the centerpiece of the previous evening's festivities (the answer is one.) Then it was time to put our noses to the grindstone and get down to business.
The rest of the convention, stretching over the course of three days, is a blur of handshakes, meetings and industry chatter. And then it’s over. We all head home, hoarse, exhausted and happy with the few new connections we’ve forged. “See you next year,” we say as we hug each other goodbye. And so I look forward to June 2014, when all of the book world will again descend upon New York City; and despite the latest trials and tribulations of the publishing industry, we can all take a moment to drink, be merry, and catch up with old friends.