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Guest Blogger: Storey Publishing Publicist Amy Greeman

Amy Greeman is currently Publicity Director at Storey Publishing and has worked in publicity for the last 18 years for such organization as HBO, Bantam Doubleday Dell, and Simon & Schuster. She has owned dogs all her life and is currently owned by a Wirehaired Dachshund.


Pets and Books, Books and Pets

Book Expo America is essentially a bookseller’s trade show, but really, it’s so much more than that. Held annually, for the last few years in New York City at the Jacob Javitz Center, BEA is a polyglot of booksellers, bookstore owners, media escorts, librarians, journalists, television producers, publishing executives, publishers, warehousers and distributors, authors, literary agents, really, anyone with even a pinky-toe in the world of words will be there. For years, those of us in publishing bemoan the drop-off in attendance that is usually forecast a few weeks in advance, but when you’re on the floor it often seems like a non-stop whirl of activity, meetings, snacks, and free books. This year promises to be very exciting with Apple’s iPad adapting e-books and applications for those books – I’ll be interested to see how that looks and what books will take off in that format.
For pet books, it’s been a year or two of shifting perspectives. It seems as though the “nuts and bolts” of feeding, training, and behavior education have given way to celebrities with dog books. Cesar Milan has made an empire of his strategies in interpreting canine behaviors, Victoria Stilwell, host of Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog,” will have a new book shortly, and even a non-name in the animal world, Beth Ostrosky Stern (wife of shock-jock Howard) will be promoting a dog-care handbook she’s written. I’ll be interested to see if books for dog- and cat-owners are still viable right now with no big name attached to them. One of the truisms of publishing in this era of economic uncertainty is that many people will spend money on their children that they wouldn’t spend on themselves, and I wonder if pet-owners and caregivers feel the same way about their animals. Storey Publishing has slowed down on acquiring books on dogs and cats because we’ve found that the books we specialize in, technique and breed books, don’t really sell as well as those flashier celebrity publications, and we aren’t really willing to branch away from our mission statement to accommodate that market segment. But it’ll be an exercise in adaptability to see if the market will return to that “nuts and bolts” plan. Tell me what you think! What’s your prediction for the future of pet books?

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