Last week, I attended BEA a.k.a. Book Expo America, the largest publishing event in the nation. BEA is a publishing industry event for bloggers, publishers, librarians, authors and retailers.
It's where you get to see which books are going to be the big titles for the fall and the next year and the opportunity to read these titles months before they go to print.
Read more, I know you want
This was my first year going to BEA in New York and I had a huge blast. I researched a lot before going, but there's things that you learn for yourself during the three days that it lasts.
I created a survival guide of sorts for those interested in attending Book Expo who have never gone before and are looking for an overall guide to the event, which I found really hard to find one concrete source with everything.
Scroll down for my ultimate guide to Book Expo America!
BEFORE THE EVENT
Plenty of people I met just scribbled down the events on paper, but I wanted my schedule to be as self-explanatory as possible, so it would be one less thing to stress about during the event.
However, It's better to be safe than sorry so carry around extra physical copies of your schedule and screenshot it to your camera roll in the rare case you can't access your google sheets map due to
Figure out your options and don't try to spend more than what you have. It's also good to book your hotel/lodging early. The longer you wait, the more limited and expensive your options will be.
DURING THE EVENT
This is where I'm going to sound like a cheesy mom out of a sitcom but have fun. For real. Plenty of people would kill to be in your place and make the most of it. So chill and relax. Don't get swept in the wave of anxiety and completely isolate yourself.
Here are some pics during my three days at BEA:
Some universal truths about BEA:
-You're not going to make all the events you want to go
-Get there early.
-Be friendly. Don't
-Take a break. It's okay to miss that galley drop from Harper that you wanted to check out. Walking around and carrying those books and talking to people is exhausting. Give yourself a break to regroup.
-Don't isolate yourself or to your group of friends. Talk to people in line, in the booths etc. This is a conference after all.
-Dress professionally. This is an industry conference, so dress nicely. You don't have to put on a pencil skirt and heels, but you're representing yourself and your website. Dress how you want as long as it's not a baggy shirt and sweats. And no flip flops! Why?!
AFTER THE EVENTS
Taking the books home.
There's a couple ways to take your books home. If you live nearby or took a train, then all you have to do is just put them in a suitcase and take them home.
If you traveled by plane or that option is not available, then you have the following options:
-Take them with you on the plane as luggage. Every airline has different costs about suitcases and the limit and weight so consider how many suitcases you're taking with you and the potential costs depending on the airline you're flying with.
-Mail them home.
You can mail them with BEA, which has a service where they mail them for you, but they had a base fee of $45 plus additional costs. It can be expensive, but also if you're staying in a hotel, ask about their mailing system since most have one and compare costs with BEA's mailing system.
Organize your books
Before I put all my books back on my bookshelf, I put them in piles according to the planned release date of them based on month and took pictures of them on my phone so I wouldn't forget.
Finally, since I love lists:
BEA MUST BRING LIST
-Cash: you need to pay three dollars in cash to store your suitcase and it's really worth it.
-Extra shoes: I put a pair of flats in my suitcase just in case my feet hurt and I needed to change.
-Copies of the maps
-Copies of your schedule or any other lists
-Bag: you will be given, literally given, plenty of
That's my Book Expo America Guide and mini-recap! I hope you found my post informative and insightful!
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