Book Expo America: Part 1

After Book Expo, I felt a blog was in order; however, this turned into a series unto itself. This was my first BEA, so everything herein should be taken with a grain of salt. Please enjoy!

PART 1: Advice Side

My day job decided to send me to Book Expo 2018. This meant my goals aren’t necessarily the same as the media, librarian, blogger/reviewer, or similar folks attending Book Expo. 75-80% of my time was in meetings. I organized meetings. I attended and advised in meetings. A lot of meals were actually meetings, so my time to wander was limited.

Thanks to a number of websites – I had a few rules for myself:

  1. Don’t wait in lines if I can’t see the front (roughly 10 or less)
  2. If in a line, be friendly and make friends with folks around me
  3. Always ask – don’t assume

On Wednesday, I focused on learning the layout / meeting a few publishers who hadn’t scheduled meetings with me or my boss. Only one ended up having anything we were interested in, but that’s neither here nor there for this blog. The remainders dealer and some various others were there. I got a comic from Ingram, and that was about it.

Thursday was my main day. Excitement had me up and out early, which was good. The line at 6:30am was ridiculous for tickets. I got the ones I wanted, but I ended up giving one away because I didn’t have time. My big suggestion? Get as many line skipping tickets as possible if you’re busy. If I had more than one, I might’ve been able to use all my tickets in the time crunch.

However, if you want a good amount of books without lines – go to the buzz book panels. You get all the books, but you have to face some elbowing. A few friends forewarned that brawls had broken out before, so sit toward the back and be prepared for shoving.

If you want to go to a signing early in the morning, don’t bother with the paid breakfasts. You can get some awesome books, but if you don’t like the authors (or you’re going for a signature), it’s not really worth it. Especially – as was the case for the Adult Author Breakfast this year – if the authors avoid signing. They informed the audience they’d be upstairs signing – they weren’t / didn’t. Frustrating but a smart move for them. Also – the breakfasts aren’t great. So there’s that.

Beyond that – my advice repeats a lot of other blogs:

  1. Wear comfortable shoes
  2. Use a backpack, not a purse or shoulder satchel (unless you find the other two more comfortable when weighted with 10-20lbs of books
  3. Avoid the Starbucks if you’re at Javits


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