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Washington Convention Center

May 18

The Industry

book publishing, marketing, and retailing

The Attendees

24,000 booksellers, librarians, retailers, publishers, authors, publishing-rights professionals, and supersized-sack-toting book lovers

The Issues

Riding Da Vinci ’s coattails: “Is religion about to play itself out?” asked one attendee of a session on “channel and consumer strategies” to boost sales of new fact-filled fiction titles. Assured a panelist: “There’s no fatigue for a good story well told.” One question that stumped the panelists: Why does Dan Brown always appear in the same clothes?

Truth in fiction—and nonfiction: “Readers are going to demand a higher degree of accuracy from fiction,” said one panelist. As for James Frey’s exploits, another quipped, “I believe they happened, just not necessarily to him.”

Visionary products: Hi-Look’s Designer Microfiber Lens Cloths feature famous paintings. Wipe smudges off your spectacles with The Scream, Mona Lisa, Girl With a Pearl Earring, or The Starry Night.

Real-life drama: One session was titled “Coping With Disaster: What to Do When the Next Hurricane Strikes.” Based on The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast; Time: Hurricane Katrina: The Storm That Changed America; Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster; Hurricane Katrina: Through the Eyes of Storm Chasers; and the presenters’ forthcoming Disaster: Hurricane Katrina and the Failure of Homeland Security, the answer seems to be “write a book.”—Rob Tierney