Since its inception in 2014, BookCon has mainly drawn women in the 18 to 30-year-old age bracket. While organizer ReedPop is happy to have those readers, it will introduce a series of new initiatives aimed at broadening the audience for the 2018 event taking place in New York City June 2-3.
According to BookCon director Brien McDonald, Reed will include more programming and events to attract fans interested in literary fiction, mystery/thriller, sci fi/fantasy, and romance. "While BookCon will continue to have a strong presence from YA authors and projects, this year will really show fans and the industry that we’re much more than YA, and are committed to giving fans of all kinds fun, accessible and interesting content."
McDonald said the decision to add new genres followed consumer research that sought to identify what subject areas they were must interested in seeing at BookCon. "This feedback was exciting because we know our publishing partners have the absolute best authors and books across these genres," McDonald said. "As we move forward, BookCon's author programming, marketing and voice will reflect content for these audiences and we'll work closely with our publishing partners to create author programming and brand activities to meet this fan demand."
Reflecting its efforts to expand BookCon, Reed announced today that Chuck Palahniuk, author of such novels as Fight Club, will be one of the headliners at the 2018 show. He will be promoting his newest book, Adjustment Day, which will be released in May 2018. Reed described the book as a "timely satire" that "takes America beyond our darkest dreams." Reed had previously announced that authors Charles Soule, Angie Thomas, Diane Guerrero, and Jason Reynolds have committed to attending the show.
In addition to expanding its programming, Reed has added new features to the show. It will be offering attendees access to something it's calling the "Bookstore of the Future," where readers can browse and purchase titles. According to McDonald, Reed plans to create a retail environment for attendees "that highlights the vibrancy of bookstores and serves as a learning laboratory for booksellers, publishers and other members of the trade so they can put those findings to work in their business."
A second new initiative is a series of writing workshops that Reed will run in conjunction with Sarah Lawrence College.
Reed is also updating its Family Headquarters, an areas catering to families, to offer more story times, interactive events, games and access to various consumer products. Additionally, McDonald said, Reed is developing a new lounge geared to book club members and readers of adult literature which will feature curated author talks, Q&A's with authors, and book discussions in what McDonald called "a more sophisticated and relaxed environment" than the Family Headquarters.