In addition to covering Book Expo America (BEA) next week as a member of the press I will also be attending the North by Northeast Festival, aka NXNE, in official capacity as a blogger. This annual extravaganza–held in in Toronto each June since 1994–features music, film, and interactive/digital/publishing elements. Their website trumpets “650 bands and 40 films” over the week of activities. I attended last year and had a great time, discovering such bands and artists as Imaginary Cities, Gramercy Riffs, Harlan Pepper, Zeus, Mohawk Lodge, Carolyn Mark, Graham Wright, Wayne Petti of Cuff the Duke, Matthew Barber, and Brian Borcherdt. I also participated in a grand meet-up of many friends from the informal community that congregates on the CBC Radio 3 blog organized by host, friend, and author Grant Lawrence. So it’s a real treat to be going back this year, and this time as a blogger with full access to all festival events. Among the artists on this year’s NXNE schedule I most look forward to hearing live are Matt Mays (#1 on my personal bucket list of Canadian indie rockers I’m eager to see play), Andre Williams and The Sadies, Plants & Animals, and The Flaming Lips. And of course then there will be the serendipitous performances I can’t predict–new musical discoveries–the very thing that makes festival-going such a rich and exciting experience. I hope to be live-blogging and reporting from on the spot as much as possible.
While in Toronto I will also meet with book biz friends and contacts and a new company called Speakerfile that I’m representing to literary agents, authors, publicists, and publishers, in New York City, and elsewhere in North America. They’re building a great platform–think eHarmony®–for conference organizers and meeting planners on one side and experts and authors on the other. I will also be working with them at Book Expo America (BEA) next week, and again when I’m in Toronto the following week. If you are one of my friends in publishing or the media and are intrigued by Speakerfile’s model, please ask me to brief you on them. We also have meeting times still available for next week at the Javits Center, and I would be happy to introduce you to their CEO, Peter Evans. They have a great product and services that will be helpful to many in the publishing community eager to surmount the discoverability challenges that face us all nowadays. I’m really excited to be working with them.