Last week, I was lucky enough to be part of BEA (Book Expo America) for the third year in a row. Every BEA I've attended has been a little bit different, but all of them have been fantastic.
Today, I thought I'd do a little Q and A for people who have never been to BEA. Saturday I'll talk more about some of my favorite people.
Q: What do you do at BEA?
A: You get to meet authors and bloggers and librarians and teachers and publicists-- all day you're surrounded with books and people who love books -- what could be better?
Q: It can't be all bookish perfection, can it?
A: Well, the closest thing I can compare it to is going to Disney World. It's fun, but you get up really, really early so you can be one of the first people there. You spend lots of time walking and standing in lines. There are lines and crowds and the food costs a fortune and you want to do everything. At the end of the day, you're exhilarated and completely exhausted.
Q: Uh, can we talk about the books?
A: Sure. There are also books. Lots and lots and lots of books. Books that you've been dying for and books that you've never heard of. Books that you will want to hug to your chest and books that will elude you.
Q: How do you get the books?
A: There are many steps. Step one: in the weeks leading up to BEA, you begin your reconnaissance. You study the BEA guide, you scour publisher websites and Twitter feeds and tumblrs to find out what books are being given away and/or signed. You trade information with other bloggers on author signing schedules. You make a plan. Step two: You study your plan and realize that it requires human cloning. You cry and adjust the plan. Step three: You show up and try to execute your plan, but then there are schedule changes and long lines and serendipitous finds and inside tips from new friends. My rule is to make the plan, but stay flexible.
Q: What books did you get?
I'll be talking more about that in my Saturday post. In total, about 30. As a BEA veteran, I've learned to be selective, because it's easy to forget that you have to get all those books home and find a place to put them.
Q: Celebrities. I heard that there were celebrities at BEA too.
A: Yes, but I'm usually more concerned with the books and the authors. This year, I managed to miss Billy Idol, Hillary Clinton, Lena Dunham, and Grumpy Cat, among other famous people and pets...
On Saturday, I'll be talking about books and the second annual Book Blogger Picnic. And tomorrow I'll be doing a BEA swag giveaway, so be sure to stop by!