BEA 2012 was our first BEA and you can read about our experienceshere and here. It was definitely an experience and after a lot of debating we’ve decided to do BEA 2013 ! It’s a big financial and time commitment but we only do this once a year so we figured why not ? Here are some tips we picked up from last year:
Tote Bag + Rolling Bag
Last year we had no intention of getting a lot of books, but it just kind of happened.To help carry books on the floor I used a good sized tote bag. I also checked in a rolling piece of luggage for 3$ so that when the tote got heavy, I put the books in the checked bag.
Business cards are a must ! They are an excellent way to show off your blog and an easy way to exchange information with authors, publishers and bloggers you meet. I suggest ordering some from Zazzle.com, they offer customizable card for a decent price and quick shipping. Or print your own.
Business Card Holder
When it comes to handing out cards you don’t want to fumble in your bag. Bring a lanyard with a card holder or something that can easily be slipped into a pocket.
Chances are you will be in the Javits center all day, so your phone battery will get drained. I would invest in either a case that charges your phone or one of those portable chargers.
Teen Author Carnival
This is a really fun author event held during BEA, but not hosted by BEA so you don’t need a badge to get in. I like this event because it gives you the chance to meet so many authors both new and familiar in a calmer fashion than the BEA signing lines. This event is where I learned about books like Send Me A Sign, Burn for Burn and Pushing The Limits. Stay tuned to the TAC Twitter for the author list.
YA Editors Buzz
This was my favorite BEA event. It is a panel where you hear YA editors talk about what attracted them to a book and a little about the editing process It’s nice to hear about a book from the editor’s perspective. They also have ARCs at the event, but I don’t suggest trying to get any of these unless you want to experience an ARC mob.
Talk to Publicists
This was something I wish I had worked on more. The publicists can tell you which books are going to be their imprints next big thing as well as give you some insight on what the publicity teams expect from bloggers.
Get in Line Early
Most signings only have a limited number of copies for the author to sign, so it is smart to be early as lines form quickly. I always showed up 45 minutes to an hour early if it was an author I thought would be popular and it was nice to be first or second in line.
Talk to People in Line
Chances are you’ll be in line for a while and chatting with people nearby passes the time. You never know what new bookish things you may discover.
Look out for Galley Drops
Be on the lookout for when galley drops are going to be, so you can get the book you want. Some are handed out at the booth and others are posted online, so be on the lookout
Look at Publisher’s Weekly
They always have inside information on what goes on at BEA !
Don’t Get in The Taxi Line outside Javits
This line is long, I suggest walking a few blocks away from the center and finding one on the street if you need one.
These are just a few tips, but I think the most important thing is to have a good time and accomplish the BEA goals that are important to you. Whether it’s meeting a specific author or just learning more about the business.