Book Expo Australia 2015

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A couple of weekends ago was the second annual Book Expo Australia held at Sydney Olympic Park. With only one previous year to compare it to there was an uncertainty about what to expect, and with last year having a few issues, it was interesting to see what had been improved and learnt from their inaugural year.

Entering the hall on Saturday morning it was immediately clear of the differences. While last year there were stalls filling the hall regarding a range of books and book related things, this year was much sparser though still filled with interesting content.

Publishers of both traditional and other were present, stalls filled with information about publishing your book. There were stalls where authors sat with their books on display that you could buy then and there and have them signed, and there were some gorgeous artworks and book and cover illustrations stalls as well. In addition there was a book sale running that had tables filled with books all going for bargain prices with deals such as 3 for $10, or $5 per book.

Unfortunately there were a couple of negatives. I’d have loved more sessions on offer, with a bit more variety. Even though last year’s sessions didn’t run all that well, the topics were interesting and the day was longer to fit more things in. This time Saturday and Sunday’s schedule were identical and there were only a couple of sessions I wanted to go to. Having said that though, the sessions themselves were much improved organisation wise compared to last year.

There had already been a few cancellations before the event started, with the Book Bloggers conference losing its room. Information from the Facebook page mentioned it being moved to an informal location which was a shame, even more so the confusion on the day finding it. I missed even this informal gathering, mainly because there was no set time for it to occur so there was no way to know when to show up and when I did it had apparently already happened. The official conference sounded awesome, there was going to be tips about how to write helpful reviews, how to approach negative reviews, dealing with requests, and social media presence among other things. Hopefully the same conference can get up for next year’s Book Expo.

I am a bit annoyed I missed the bloggers session, both that it was officially cancelled and that the informal gathering wasn’t organised or advertised that well. Having missed the meeting that apparently had already happened in the morning, I walked past a second one as I was heading home which was well underway and too late to join in with, I believe this second one was a book vloggers gathering though.

On to the positives though! The Fantasy seminar about world building was an absolute joy to attend. The three speakers were Tracey Joyce, Patricia Leslie, and Rob Clague who all gave excellent advice about their own experience and how they tackle building an entire fantasy world. Better yet before the session started I had an informal chat with one of the speakers about my own Fantasy work and my issues with my upcoming NaNo idea.

The second session I attended was supposed to be about Romance writing, and how to draw the line between romance and erotica, but the brief must have been lost somewhere because it was just authors discussing their own works, and their writing process. It was a bit weird, a bit boring, but it also wasn’t very long so that was a bonus. A few tips on writing romance managed to slip through so that was something. There were other sessions about mystery crime and autobiographies, climate fiction and getting kids to read. I didn’t attend any of these but they sounded interesting.

Away from stalls and seminars there were other activities going on throughout the hall. There were activities with illustrator Dave Hackett, and at one point during the day there was a poetry slam on the floor that I managed to catch. It wasn’t all books and reading though, there were some craft stalls; there was even a stall where you could craft or buy beautiful decorations to make your very own fairy garden.

Despite there only being a couple of dozen stalls, they were interesting and had great information. Publishers and authors had their details and books on display, and there were a steady crowd attending so striking up a conversation about reading and writing and books was not hard. I only attended the Expo on Saturday, and for its second year the organisers did a pretty good job. There was variety in the stalls, and for the limited seminars there was some variety and different experiences. Having seen how it’s evolving in these early years, I am eager to see where the Expo is going to go and I look forward to seeing it grow and expand into something even bigger and better in coming years.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. allvce
    Oct 26, 2015 @ 19:28:56

    Oh, that sounds better than last year… Pity about that bloggers session, that sounded awesome!

    Like

    Reply

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