Book Expo America is in just 17 days. BEA, from June 4-7 in New York City, is “the largest publishing event in North America.” This will be my first time attending. On June 4, there is the BEA Blogger Con, sponsored by BEA, which I am also planning to attend.
Here are some tips posts I’ve bookmarked:
Book Expo America Tips for Writers by Jerry Simmons. This post was a useful overview of what the event is all about, with info like:
BEA is focused around the six big publishers, no doubt, without them the BEA would hold little relevance to the general public. As it stands today, the media is interested simply because of the celebrity authors and future bestsellers that are on display. Each of these big companies may spend well in excess of $1 million on this show so it is a big deal for them and they spend a lot of time in New York preparing.
Booth placement is key for this show and the sponsors do the best they can to make everyone happy. Size of the booth is indicative of how much money the sponsors are receiving from the big publishers. Having attended more than 20 I would have to say that the BEA as it now stands is as much representative of corporate publishing as anything else.
This post from Library Journal is librarian focused but I found it very useful.
After Seven trips to BEA, YA author Michelle Madow offers her best tips, such as:
10) If you see an author walking around at lunch looking for a place to sit, invite them to eat with you and your friends. In 2010 my brother spotted R.L. Stine looking for a seat and invited him to join us. We ended up eating together for an hour and having a great conversation! It was so interesting talking with R.L. Stine about his books, and learning about his writing process. He’s such a cool, nice guy!
Tips from BEA Event Director Steve Rosato, including eating a good breakfast, wearing sensible shoes, and having business cards. I actually did have business cards made up:
The folks at Wastepaper Prose — readers and writers — have a very nice series of posts on BEA. I especially liked What the Heck Do I Do Now?
Ultimate BEA Party Guide 2012 (romance genre focused, some invitation only) from Andrew Shaffer. I’ve always wanted to attend a Lady Jane’s Salon:
Lady Jane’s Salon Monthly Romance Reading Series. Madame X. 94 West Houston St, Soho. 7pm-9pm. $5 cover or donated romance novel.
Romance reader and writer Katiebabs, also a seasoned BEA veteran, has a tips post from both points of view.
There is a BEABlogger Con, schedule here, on June 4. As I have mentioned here before, it is very author/industry focused. I declined an invitation to serve on a panel, as have many others, for that reason. A recent promo video, Get Your Swag Bag On is so insulting I don’t even know where to begin. Suffice to say that I am not attending BEA for the purpose of gorging myself on free books.
Here’s a partial list of bloggers attending BEA.
Thankfully, there is another option on the same day, the UNcon. Folks are suggesting topics they can lead discussions around. One of them is “authors on Twitter”, another is “negative reviews”. Both of those are more interesting to me than the topics on offer at the official con. that said, I’ll do what the people I most want to spend time with are doing, and right now that looks like BEA blogger con.
If you can’t make it to New York, you can participate in Armchair BEA:
So, what exactly does being a participant entail? First and foremost, you’ll be able to celebrate and participate in an event that happens each year in New York City, Book Expo America, from the comfort of your very own home, hopefully a snugly armchair! Secondly, and we hope equally as important, you’ll be able to meet new book bloggers and join together in a celebration of the wonderful community that comes out of book blogging. Last year we had over 600 participants, so you’re bound to meet some new great bookish friends! Lastly, it means participating, however you’re able to. This can be by posting, tweeting, discussing, or even by simply reading and commenting on participating blogs. Your level of participation is entirely up to you, but we hope you’ll find something to get you involved in this fabulous event!
I’ve been struggling a bit trying to figure out what my goals are for the conference. Like every other blogger, I’ve received tons of emails from authors and publishers asking to set up meeting at booths, etc., and I’ve turned all but one down (I’m attending the Random House breakfast for “power readers”). As a blogger, I registered as “non editorial media.” I gather other bloggers are going to network, grow their blogs, and get industry news that will create great content. I’m most interested in seeing and meeting other bloggers, hearing what authors have to say about their work, and hearing what some publishers have to say about trends in various genres. I’m signed up to attend one breakfast, hosted by Stephen Colbert, and featuring authors like Jo Nesbo and Barbara Kingsolver, and I’ve noted the locations of a few of my favorite authors. I’m not sure about networking or growing my blog. I’m on the fence about the blog in general.
But one of the main things, for me — and my fellow working moms will especially understand this — is to be someplace where I’m not at anyone else’s beck and call. For three days, I don’t have to answer an email from a student or colleague, take an ethics call from the hospital, give a talk, make a snack, let the cats out, walk the dogs, pay a bill, straighten the family room, etc. etc. Just the freedom to walk through a crowd of people who do not need me for anything will be pure bliss. Between that and seeing old friends and new, I can’t wait for BEA.