Book Expo America, the annual book festival that promotes the fall and winter and spring lines of virtually every major publisher in America, is going to undergo some changes.

BEA is in New York this year. Next year it was supposed to be in Washington D.C. and the year after that it was supposed to visit Las Vegas for the first time. The shows producers have just canceled the DC and Vegas shows and are keeping BEA in New York City for the foreseeable future. (On a personal note, this is a bummer: I was really looking forward to seeing booksellers and librarians unleashed on Las Vegas.)

And while BEA has always taken place over weekends, after this year it will be moved to a Tuesday to Thursday structure, cutting one day and probably making it impossible for a lot of booksellers to attend the event. The most important part of the linked article is this bit:

By keeping the show in New York, BEA executives hope to lower the costs for the major publishers as well as boost media interest in the event; an increase in media coverage was one of the major improvements publishers said they would like to see at the show.

As far as I can tell, this is effectively removing the most interesting part of BEA for me: The entry-level booksellers getting drunk at parties and being wooed by publishers. The book world certainly doesn't need another publicist-media orgy, but it looks like that's what they're getting. It's insulting to the people who actually work on the ground floor of the industry.