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!
Haha! I loved the book obtaining section. From what I could see on twitter there seemed to be a very stressful thing. What would happen if you went in with no prep? I imagine it would be crazy stressful. I'd probably just stand at the doors having no clue what to do. I hope to go one year. Looking forward to hearing more about your experience!ReplyDelete
Well, my first year I went with no prep and I did just fine. The next year I overprepped. This year I sort of took a middle approach. It is good to know some tips and tricks -- which other bloggers generously shared with me -- but I have fun there no matter what!Delete
Oh my, I've been wanting to go to BEA for ever! I work of Penguin Random House, but in the strategy guide imprint BradyGames. I think I'm going to make it a personal and blogger goal to go next year with I'm not 7months pregnant! I can't wait to read more about what books you brought home!ReplyDelete
Yeah, being on your feet that much while pregnant might be tough! Hope to see you there next year!Delete
This is when I get jealous of where you live because you can go to BEA without paying a ton to get there. ;) So, so fun! One of these years I will get to go. Can't wait to see what you got. I'm especially curious to see if you found Mortal Heart.ReplyDelete
I am lucky, but in 2016 the Fair moves to Chicago, so not sure if next year will be my last year....Delete
YAY for this post! I am hoping to go to BEA next year... and really hoping it works out and honestly, I have no idea how to be prepared for it and honestly, as excited as I am by the prospect of going there, I am also somewhat terrified O_OReplyDelete
I cannot wait to see the stuff you got on Saturday!! :D
Rashika @ The Social Potato
I'd love to meet you!!Delete
Oh my gods, book nerd heaven! I need to save money so I can go to this thing next year! It sounds like so much fun!!ReplyDelete
It is really fun! Hope you can make it.Delete
Glad you got to go to BEA and that you got so many books! I agree, after you've been once you realize you have to be judicious in the ones you take home. Can't wait to see what you got and hear more!ReplyDelete
Compare to others, 30 probably isn't a lot. But my first year I got way too many and learned my lesson!Delete
You missed Grumpy Cat!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOL I would love to see his grump up close. So cute. Wow I would be so overwhelmed there! Looks fun though. I really hope to attend one day.ReplyDelete
I know :(Delete
I was sick Saturday -- and still am -- and that's the day he was there. My blogger friend Karen from For What It's Worth saw him and said he was really tiny!
I'm a little scared... But so excited to (hopefully) go next year! Thanks for the Q&A! :)ReplyDelete
I will see you there!!Delete
I'm of two minds about BEA. On the one hand, it's sounds amazing and a great place to really connect to publishers/authors/other bloggers. On the other, I really hate getting up early (extra early since I'd have to drive into the city)/long lines/large crowds. So... I went to Comic Con once and it was alright, I didn't have any huge panic attacks or anything so that's a plus, but yeah. I don't do well with crowds for the most part, so I've always been nervous about going, but it does seem like it would be a really amazing place.ReplyDelete
Yes, the crowds first thing in the morning can be a little crazy, but it's a huge space, so once everyone gets inside the crowding isn't all that bad. I heard that BookCon (the BEA event on Saturday) was very crowded but I wasn't there.Delete
I had never even heard of this until I entered the book blogging world! My eyes are green with envy as I read all the posts about this event! I'm so glad you had a chance to go! 30 books! Holy moly! Heaven! Cannot wait to see what they are :)ReplyDelete
It was really fun!Delete
Seems like a lot of fun. We do have a similar huge event here in Germany every year, called The Frankfurter Buchmesse (book fair) and it's the biggest book fair in the whole world I think, with authors and publishers coming from around the world. The thing is that I never managed to go because I had no babysitter for my two daughters since my husband had to work and we have no one to help us with the kids.ReplyDelete
But I do hope that I can attend this year.
Anyway, glad you could go and hope you had a lot of fun. Can't wait to see the books!
I have heard of that fair -- the book fair of all book fairs. I hope you can go and tell us all about it!Delete
It's kind of my dream to go to something like this..although, omg, CROWDS. I would be so overwhelmed! But still, books everywhere with hundreds of people completely passionate about them?? It's unbelievably awesome. That's funny that Grumpy Cat was there! I mean, that's awful. I'm sure he hated it. x)ReplyDelete
That's my strategy -- focus on the books and I don't notice the crowds. It's organized chaos for the most part. At 9 am when everyone is rushing in it feels a bit like line drop at Disney (if you've experienced that) but just like at Disney, everyone disperses and it's find. The food court downstairs was really crowded, though. I went down there with three friends and lost them completely!Delete
This just sounds like a mega awesome, book heaven for me! I really wish I lived in the US or could afford to travel all the way there just to go to this <3 I'd pick BEA over Disney World any day... and that's saying a lot. 30 books and that's after being selective? WOW! Glad you had such a great time.ReplyDelete
Grumpy Cat was the cutest, tiniest thing ever lol I was NOT expecting that. Or her giant posse!ReplyDelete
Karen @ For What It's Worth
BEA as Bookish Disney World - I love it!! :-)ReplyDelete
Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction
Oh Grumpy cat, haha! Happy to her you enjoyed BEA =) This is a great Q & A and exactly the type of post I was looking for last year before attending.ReplyDelete
Haha wow, I can't believe there were celebrities there too! BEA pretty much sounds like a dream for us book people, it's a shame I live in Australia lol. Great recap!ReplyDelete
I cannot wait to see your next post! I saw so many pics and recaps and it all seems so amazing. I really wish to visit one day! Great post :)ReplyDelete
Haha, I love this post. And I love how laid-back your attitude about BEA is compared to others. Of course, you're kind of a veteran, so I think your approach is one that has to be acquired through experience. =)ReplyDelete