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First notes from BEA: With so many writers, the 3G clogs like the 405

May 24, 2011 |  2:37 pm

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With New York's Javits Center filled with most everyone in publishing -- the staffs of major houses, representatives from bookstores across the country, authors, self-publishing houses, Scientologists (L. Ron Hubbard was an author), academic publishers, even media types like me -- capturing a 3G signal long enough to get a blog post online has been a challenge. We're all writers, after all.

For me, Tuesday has been a day of finding my footing. Where is the Apple booth? I still haven't found it. Instead, I discovered how to navigate between the two halves of the large center, able to find both Random House and HarperCollins. I know where Penguin and Norton are, found two sections of university presses, one huge area for kids books, scattered comics spots and an unexplored digital area.

Grove publisher Morgan Entrekin stood by as author Karl Marlantes ("Matterhorn") signed his new book, a nonfiction study of sending soldiers to war. There was a very big line for Colson Whitehead signing his upcoming book, and an even bigger one for Kathie Lee Gifford.

As for the mood of the expo so far, most people seem optimistic, if not ecstatic. I'm not sure I see as many people walking the floor as in past years, but pretty much everyone disagrees with me.

It's hard to get a handle on a conference with thousands of people in just a few hours. That's why we'll have more posts from BEA coming up, all week.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Traffic on the 405 Freeway. Credit: Reed Saxon / Associated Press

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