Mia Eaton straps on her walking shoes and preps for BEA.
BookExpo America happens next week, and for anyone not already familiar with it, BEA
is a massive publishing convention, dominated by the sales, marketing, and distribution of books, taking place in the nexus of publishing, New York City. Only half-jokingly called a "big top event" it really can be a circus, so for BEA-goers of all kinds, preparation and flexibility are the way to go.
At the very least, make sure you wear comfortable shoes (even though this year all exhibits are on one floor, whew!), bring a few tote bags to lug all those new books and materials, and grab the map they'll be handing out. There's even a new web app called BEA Go To
, for all the news and reference information you could want. It will work on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, as well as Android phones and Blackberries. Visit that link for more info and downloading.
This year, new developments
like the educational DIY Authors Conference and Marketplace
held the Monday before BEA opens, Let's Get Digital
have me really excited. This year's also looking super librarian
Whether you're an industry insider, a book-blogger, author, or member of the media, the hardest part is pinpointing which panels and discussions you want to make sure not to miss, which exhibitors to visit, and who to plan to meet or interview. This is where you really need to do your homework beforehand, make a schedule and familiarize yourself with who and what will be there. Some like to make epic spreadsheets or use the searching
and planning tools
available on the BEA site. A hearty mix of flexibility and extroverted energy will help you get the most out of your day.
At the very minimum, you'll want to attend at least one of the Author Breakfasts or Lunches
, and this year, there will be a mad rush to hear Barbara Streisand's opening keynote. I'll be jumping up and down (on the inside) for Jon Stewart and Condoleeza Rice, and a whole bunch of others.
As for picking the other events, I'll be looking for things that will give me a feel for the way industry winds are blowing (that's really the whole point to BEA), and keeping an eye out for people I already follow with interest. You might want to check out the websites and twitter feeds of publishing houses and professionals who interest you, to see where they'll be, or who they'll be checking out. For example, I'm super excited about this year's 7x20x21
For anyone in the NYC area who won't be attending this year's BEA (since it's not really "for" authors or readers as much as for industry insiders), I'm excited to see that BEA has done some reaching out to local booksellers and venues, to host New York Book Week
with (free and ticketed) evening events at the 92nd Street Y, NYPL 42nd Street building, and other libraries and bookstores citywide.
For book bloggers, there is the aptly-named Book Blogger Convention
held Friday after the main hustle of BEA is over, also at the Javits Center, and a ticket to BBC will get you onto the BEA exhibition floor so you can check out the vendors.
For more about BEA and getting the most out of it, check out these podcasts on WriteOn
Check out Publisher's Weekly
, and their news devoted to this year's BEA.
And be sure to catch up with posts on BEA's own blog, The BEAN
So, will any She Writers be there, presenting, exhibiting, or attending? What will you be doing? What are you hoping to learn? Tell us! I hope to see you there.