I am SO excited to be attending BookExpo America this year. I’ve been looking forward to it for months, but now that it’s here, I don’t know what to do with myself.
I’ve been purposefully procrastinating because it’s so overwhelming, and therefore do not feel quite as prepared as I could be. But these past few days, I’ve really buckled down and done some research. I’d love to share with you what I’ve learned. I hope it’s interesting and helpful, especially for those of you who are also first-timers.
So I registered about a month ago for the BEA Bloggers Conference, which includes the 3-day BEA pass. (It’s also cheaper!) I checked and double-checked this, because the pricing chart was rather confusing and I wanted to be sure I was choosing the correct badge.
*I actually contacted Shae @ Shae Has Left the Room to ask her a few questions about registration, and she was super sweet and helpful. She also pointed me in the direction of the Press Pass, which is free. I submitted my info but was not approved for this pass. It was worth a shot! Thanks, Shae 🙂
Quick note: I’ve turned this into a family trip to NYC, so travel/lodging was taken care of. I did not go through the process of booking my own flights or searching for a roommate.
Tips & Tricks
Since registering, I’ve been Googling “BEA tips and tricks” and also searching through the archives of trusted blogger friends.
Many bloggers who’ve attended in the past put together fantastic pre- and post-BEA blog series chronicling their planning process and sharing their experiences. I’ve listed the links to these informative blogs below. (And what’s great is that many of these blogs point to other blogs with BEA posts and that’s how I’ve found them all! Yay for bloggers promoting other bloggers!)
Shae’s 6-part BEA Tips blog series
Octavia’s So You Want To Go To BEA? blog series
Jon’s What No One Tells You About BEA (And You Should Know…)
Liza’s Tips for BEA
Nose Graze’s How to Own the Hell Out of BookExpo America
Nose Graze’s BookExpo America Tips – Things I’m Glad I Did & Things I Learned
Through one of the sites listed above, I also discovered the Goodreads BookExpo America discussion. I submitted a question to the 2015 Signing Info thread and received a lengthy reply shortly thereafter.
What I’ve Learned
- Wear comfortable shoes!
- Bring a phone charger! (Apparently the Javits Center has terrible WiFi and drains your battery.)
- Bring snacks! (When do I ever NOT bring snacks?)
- Know the difference between ticketed and non-ticketed author signings!
- Utilize the ‘shipping’ area or bring a suitcase so you’re not carrying loads of books all day long!
- Create a color-coded schedule! (No, seriously. Almost every ‘BEA prep’ post I’ve read recommends this.)
I’ve explored nearly every inch of the official BEA site, and I’ve also played around a bit with the online BEA show planner. Now, I’m creating a spreadsheet (my color-coded schedule) and researching the ARCs I’ll want to look out for at the event.
Check out the Publisher’s Weekly list of ‘Can’t-Miss Kids’ Galleys.’
Besides all the books (ARCs! ARCs! signed copies!), I’m really looking forward to meeting/networking with other bloggers. I think it’s going to be really cool to meet some of my online friends in person, and to have the chance to tell them how much I appreciate their work. I’ve even ordered business cards, which I’m pretty stoked about.
Clearly I am not an expert on all-things BEA. But I’m a pretty good finder-of-online-information, so if you have any questions, I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.
ALSO, let me know if you’ll be there! We can stand in lines together and chat!