We’ve switched over to Word Press as the software for writing our blogs. From what I hear, that is entirely good — it should only make for better, more visually interesting, posts. Unfortunately I don’t think it changes the limitations on your comments — you still can’t include links. SLJ and LJ are moving offices, as is JLG — the whole new combined company will be in the same building as WNYC — the largest NPR, public radio, station in the country. That move has two potential benefits — WNYC has a performance space in the building, so company employees may get to hear some nice music and interesting discussions. And, one can only hope, the proximity might inspire WNYC to spend more coverage time on books for younger readers.
Speaking of crossover, I went to BEA this week, since it was in New York. In past years many of the purely children’s publishers were housed on a separate floor, in fact in the basement. This year, in a smaller convention, all of the publishers were together. In fact some of the largest booths were publishers from other countries, which were treating the event as something like Frankfurt or Bologna — an international book gathering, not just a place to meet American booksellers. One whole section of the floor was devoted to digital publishing — mainly companies hawking e-reader devices. So BEA was a portrait of where book publishing is now — shrinking, overall, yet also coming together, trying new formats, reaching across borders. The conference felt healthier than in some previous years where the booths were laden down with books — one had the sickening feeling that everyone was overpublishing in a desperate way — doing more, and more, and more in a frantic hope that something would succeed, or the fear that once you began to cut back, who knew how far that could go? Now at least a good part of the cuts have come and gone — and a pruned back publishing shows signs of new life. It will be interesting to see what ALA Annual feels like, by comparison.