Industry Industry Trends

April 15, 2020 • Sarah Schwartz
UnBound at BookExpo

Felix Doolittle bookmarks

Got a bookish clientele? Then you’ll love this carefully curated experience!

Originally slated to run May 27 through May 29, BookExpo is the publishing industry’s leading trade event, where booksellers, specialty retailers, librarians, national chains, publishers and tastemakers converge on Jacob Javits Center in New York City to discover the latest titles, authors, distribution channels, technology and trends. What I found most compelling during my visit in 2019 was that it enables you to hone in on those upcoming titles and topics that will be on your customers’ minds in the months to come.

Journal from Umlaut
Ümlaut Brooklyn

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 situation and in order to be in compliance with the state’s request that large gatherings be postponed, producer Reedpop announced March 20 that BookExpo, UnBound and BookCon have been postponed until spring of 2021.

Tiffany Thomas Trays & Dishes from GeoCentral

“We are committed to running a show for this industry and the fans this year. What will that show look like? We are not exactly sure yet. But we believe we will be on the other side of this and ready to get together and do what we love to do: discover, discuss, celebrate and connect through books,” said Jenny Martin, Event Director BookExpo & BookCon. “If the situation changes again between now and July, we will change along with it. We run events, we pivot proudly. Right now, we remain focused on the goal of serving our community this summer with those who want to do the same.”

Apartment 2 Cards
Apartment 2 Cards

BookExpo will still feature the cutting edge education sessions and new connections to grow your business that it is renowned for, continued Martin. “BookExpo is a truly unique opportunity for specialty retailers to see an unmatched range of books from a variety of publishing houses that only exhibit here. In an exciting, immersive few days, retailers can partake in enlightening discussions to support the health of their businesses and source a breadth of books, ranging from children’s to cooking, to travel, to lifestyle, art, culture and so much more.”

Warren Tales Spring introduction greeting card
Warren Tales

BookExpo actually encompasses several events, including BookCon, BookExpo’s consumer extension, as well as UnBound, featuring a curated assortment of distinctive bookish goods. Event Director Patti Stracher-Lee, who for 25 years was vice president and show director of National Stationery Show (NSS), brought her deep industry knowledge and contacts to help launch it in 2019.

Replace Eraser from Blackwing

Carefully crafted with content and experiences, the BookExpo experience is immersive as soon as you arrive, and its educational program content is unparalleled! If you have only visited gift shows, be ready for something completely different. There are stages on and off the show floor, autographing and exciting promotions/events inside the booths. Most programs are free, and there are few ticketed events, among them the Children and Adult Author Breakfasts. This year’s Children’s Author Breakfast is slated to be moderated by Judy Blume!

Iceland from Big Wheel Press
Big Wheel Press

From a sourcing perspective, the show floor is filled with the book publishing industry’s best, and offers multiple opportunities to discover the lesser known, jewel publishers of beautiful gift, coffee table and children’s books. Learn more at, and visit to register and receive a complimentary badge!

Birthday Card from Guttersnipe Press
Guttersnipe Press

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
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