Portland’s Big Book Weekend Included Many BPNW Members


BPNW member Gazebo Gardens hosted a number of author signings at their booth at PNBA.

Book people invaded Portland, OR, from October 5 to 8. Both the popular literary festival Wordstock and the for-the-trade PNBA Trade Show happened in east Portland. The first at the Oregon Conference Center on Saturday and Sunday, and the latter at a facility near the airport from Sunday through Tuesday.

BPNW current and former members popped up at both shows, running booths, participating in seminars, and, in the case of Idyll Arbor, being a “Buzz Book” at the PNBA convention.

Some members felt that the attendance at Wordstock seemed less that previous years. Whether it was competition from the sunshine during an unseasonably warm October weekend or the $11 entrance fee, the literary festival had plenty of empty seats for big readings, although panels on YA paranormal fiction appeared packed.

At the Trade Show, the Sunday educational seminars seemed well attended as did the ever popular dessert social on Sunday night.  The Monday trade show traffic was brisk, especially in the morning.

Many bookstore buyers browsing the show discussed how they’d like to support small press but authors and publishers needed to work with stores to help build an audience. Don’t just propose doing a signing at a store, they suggested.  Instead, tell them about how a book could be the basis for an educational event and how the publisher or the author planned to bring new audience into the bookstore.

Librarians loved the local angles of many books and suggested when contacting them that authors and publishers make sure to emphasize how a book might fill out a niche in a collection.

Both groups asked that publishers put the name of their distributors clearly on any literature going to their buyers. If your book is stocked by Ingram, Baker & Taylor, or others, be sure to let them know.

Check our Facebook page for more from the floor of both shows.