Monday, May 3, 2010

Everything you need to know about BEA - PART ONE

Last year I had the pleasure of attending Book Expo America, which is the largest annual book trade fair in the United States. Nearly all significant book publishers in the United States, and many from abroad, have booths and exhibits at BEA, and use the fair as an opportunity to showcase upcoming titles, sell current books, socialize with colleagues from other publishing houses, and sell and buy subsidiary rights and international rights (although not on the scale of the rights negotiation that occurs at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October). Authors, librarians, and buyers for book retailers also attend the event.[1]

New to the addition of attendees are Bloggers, luckily for you I attended BEA last year and have collected some questions from those of you attending this year or in the future!

1) What to wear?

You want to wear something that is comfortable. You can dress nice, feel comfortable and not look like your ready to attend a funeral or wedding. I personally throw on a pair of cargo jeans and a t-shirt--I'm a laid back type of person and do not feel the need to 'sell' myself to anyone attending BEA.

2) Do we get a BEA guide thing at BEA?

Yes! You may want to check into BEA a day before BEA actually starts--you will be given a badge and a guide to BEA. It's about 300 pages. DO NOT lose your badge or guide, they will help you navigate around the convention center.

Be sure to bring a backpack to hold books and comfortable shoes!

3) At what point -if ever- is it polite to talk about your own writing? I assume you wait until other person ASKS you about it especially if that person happens to be an author or agent, etc.

You will not have much one on one time with authors, they are there usually to sign books and move on to whatever it is they have to do in the city next. Some authors do attend BEA, however I do not suggesting talking to an author about your work as there is nothing they can do to help you be published.

As for agents, all agents have submission guidelines on their website for a reason. ;)

If you casually mention in conversation that you're working on a book and someone asks more feel free to share--but don't expect anything to come of it. This is an event to sell books to people not buy your idea!

4) Is it ok to chat with author and take pics when they're autographing and such?

It's up to the author. Ask and if they have enough time they usually will take a picture with you, have your camera ready!

5) What time should we get to BEA?

I suggest an hour early, this may mean you need to leave your hotel even earlier. This allows you to grab a copy of Publishers Weekly and to look through your guide for the day! Do not expect to get much sleep while you're in the Big Apple--you can do that on the flight home!

6) What events should I attend?

The TAC of course!

Please forgive me if I misspelled anything, it's 6AM and I've yet to get any rest. If you have any questions post them in the comments--if I get enough I'll make a PART TWO!

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Donna said...

We must be on the same brain wave.

BookChic said...

Thanks for this!! I'll probably keep this unread in my Google Reader and re-read it the weekend before while I pack, lol.

And I'll check out Donna's too! I need all the help I can get! :)