After initially postponing BookExpo and BookCon 2020 from their original May 27–31 dates to July 22–26, conference organizer Reedpop subsequently canceled both events. Today, Reedpop has announced the events will be replaced by new virtual events taking place this month: BookExpo Online, from May 26-29, and BookCon Online, May 30 and 31.
All programming for both BookExpo Online and BookConline 2020 will be presented on the BookExpo Facebook pages and BookCon Facebook page and, will be free and open to the public. Organizers said an additional day will be added in July, with programming focused on booksellers.
“We know how valuable it is for our community to gather and we felt it was important to reimagine the experiences you look forward to each year at BookExpo and BookCon to fit our current reality," Jenny Martin, event director for BookExpo and BookCon, said in a statement.
A roster of 12 events for BookExpo Online is now available. Programming includes a new "Librarians' Day" on May 26, which will feature a panel on the release of the annual Audio Publishers Association Consumer Survey and a discussion on the impact of Covid-19 on library services.
On Wednesday, May 27, the 2020 Adult Book & Author Dinner will be held online on and feature presentations by U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, author Carmen Maria Machado, U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar, and author Rebecca Roanhorse, to be hosted by MSNBC political analyst Zerlina Maxwell. On Thursday, May 28, the Children’s Book & Author Dinner will be held, featuring Judy Blume, Natalie Portman, Marie Lu, Raj Haldar, Misty Copeland, and Kwame Mbalia.
Friday, May 29, will be focused on presenting editor's buzz panels covering adult, YA, and middle grade books, which will now bring a book's author and editor together for conversation. Friday will also offer online discussions of new children's picture books and graphic novels, as well as a speed dating session for booksellers and librarians running book clubs.
BookConline follows that weekend, May 30 and 31. With its emphasis on fan engagement, BookConline will primarily consist of Q&A sessions and panel discussions. Nearly 100 authors are committed to participate, including Cassandra Clare, Zoraida Cordova, Jenny Han, Judy Blume, Jodi Picoult, Nic Stone, and Mike Curato. Four panel discussions have already been scheduled, and they will cover new YA and middle grade books, the influence of Korean young adult icons on authors, the diverse and inclusive superheroes in comics, and the ongoing fascination with dystopian worlds. More programming is expected to be announced shortly.