David Young, CEO of the Hachette Book Group, said the Nook’s success had “frankly astounded” him. Random House CEO Markus Dohle acknowledged he was initially “worried a bit” about the Nook, but praised Barnes & Noble for its “extraordinary accomplishment.”
Even the American Booksellers Association, the trade group representing independent sellers, was congratulating its longtime rival.
“They’ve married the physical location to the eBook device in a way that is profound,” says Len Vlahos, the association’s chief operating officer.
BookExpo America is a combination of trade show, seminar, soapbox, and family reunion, with agents, authors, booksellers, and publishers assembled under the Javits roof and in and out of the center’s erratic Wi-Fi service.
The convention is also a testament to the endless and surprising variety of publishers, where a booth this week for the Lebanese Ministry of Culture stood across the aisle from a display of American Girl products.
Among the “buzz” books were the novels “The Art of Fielding” by Chad Harbach and Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus.”
Buzz words included “petting zoo,” meaning an in-store selection of eBook devices that customers are allowed to handle; and “showroom,” the latest pitch for the value of a physical, “bricks-and-mortar” bookstore.