Well, it’s over. I finally made it back after a nightmarish time trying to get through a line of 200 disgruntled would be United Airlines passengers . . . giving up after two fruitless hour being shuttled from one line to another and buying a seat on Frontier with no waiting!

But here I be, hard at work once again, ;-). Our trip to BEA was fruitful in free books given away by bigger publishers, with money to burn apparently. Is that any way to make money? The show was overwhelming to me. For three days I walked through the hall (picking up freebies) talking to folks, and looking, analyzing, and sometimes puzzling over book cover and interior design choices.

I saw a lot of neat design, some very strange design, and some really awful design. Who knows how or why these will or won’t be “successful” (earn a profit) or how much the design even contributes or takes away from that success or failure.

More than 411,000 books were published in the U.S. last year. Yet, only something like 37% of the population ever sets foot in a bookstore. Clearly this cannot continue. What’s the next big thing in publishing? Technology, for sure, but beyond that? I don’t think anybody knows, but they are spending money like water trying to figure it out.

Meanwhile I’ll keep on doing what I do, trying to do it better, trying to read the trends (and the books) and figure out what makes a successful book design. I’m hoping to outlast the end of the book…if not, well I still know how to garden and raise chickens.

Here’s our little booth. Graphic courtesy yours truly.