What I learned at BEA
BEA is a terrific event. Unlike the LBF (London Book Fair), Publishers and Indie Authors give away their books to readers in order to help build awareness and a fan-base. I think that's a great idea.
For myself, I had great fun carefully picking 30 books and spending my last few days in New York after the fair, picking which to take home with me. My method was fairly straight-forward. I gave each one a go, skim-read the first 50 pages and in the end, picked just 2 books I considered compelling-enough to cram into my luggage. The rest were given good homes with friends who are avid readers.
However, the whole thing made me stop and think.
"The only story a reader really wants to read is a great story that's well-written.
The only brands the reader cares about is the Story and the Author. That's it."
Traditionally-published authors can produce great stories. And so can Self-Published/ Indie Authors.
And that's exactly the point. Most readers have no brand loyalty to a publisher, why should they? Indie or traditionally published
doesn't matter any more.
It's the story they want to read. In fact, provided the book is well written and professionally published, readers really don't care who publishes them.