Book Expo America is right around the corner! In an effort to get our team prepared for BEA (now that we have finally recovered from last year), I thought Michelle and I could share a few lessons learned as well as some tips for beginners to the event.
We will be posting in several parts in an effort to break down the mountains of information about the massive expo. Please feel free to hit us up in the comment section and we will be happy to answer your questions! Here we go...
Part One: Getting Started
1. What is BEA?
BEA stands for Book Expo America. Here are the details straight from the BEA website:
"BookExpo America (BEA) is North America’s largest gathering of book trade professionals attracting an international audience. It is organized with the support of association partners including the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and the American Booksellers Association (ABA). BEA is recognized for the media attention it brings to upcoming books as well as for the notable authors it attracts to the convention itself."
Essentially, BEA is a huge convention bringing together publishers and authors with booksellers, librarians, educators and book media professionals (such as bloggers and traditional press.)
2. Should I attend BEA?
While you have to consider the expense - getting to NYC, hotels, meals, entrance and special ticket fees, shipping books home - the experience itself is priceless! If your business is books (or your side business), as a book lover, BEA is something you should experience at least once in your life!
I can't even list the many authors we were lucky enough to meet last year, as well as, fellow bloggers, publicists, librarians - plus all of the books (ooohhh the books...more on that later)!
If you're asking if it is worth the expense, the answer is absolutely, YES!
3. Ok, I'm sold! How do I sign up?
Head on over to the BEA Website and click the big orange "Registration" button. If you are a bookseller, educator or librarian, the process is pretty straight forward. You will just need to have your credentials handy to prove it :)
If you are a book blogger, the process can be confusing. So, here we go:
From the registration landing page (after you click the orange button) you will see options (links in the text) for "badge categories" and "pricing." If you take a peek at the badge catagories and scroll halfway down, you will see "Non-Editorial Media" - that's you, fellow book blogger!
However, if you look at the pricing chart, you will see "Book Buying Professionals" and "blogger" is listed there. So, that is your price. Confusing, non?
So...if you are ready to commit, then click the link "Register here" at the top of the page (in orange text - natch) and fill out the form. Be sure to put Non-Editorial Media - Blogger and provide a link to your website for verification.
If you want to attend the Author Breakfasts or any other additional packages, you can do so now or simply call and add on later (be sure to add on early because last year they were sold out for the Children's Author Breakfast before I could get tickets!)
5. Woohoo! I'm in!!! Now what?
I'm assuming that you are good with booking your flight, hotel, etc. A few tips for you though: There are three airports that service the NYC area - La Guardia, JFK and Newark (NJ). Public transportation to and from these airports is easy to find and naivigate (if you are nervous - do your NYC research on travel sites to see your options.)
Hotels will book up quickly surronding the Javits Center (where BEA is held) and honestly that area of town is not necessarily the most exciting to hang out in after the conference doors close. If you are a first timer to the city, I suggest taking the tried and true touristy route of Times Square area so you can see all of the sites. BEA has deals with area hotels that you can check out here. They also provides shuttle buses to and from these hotels at no charge - easy peasy!
6. Where's my badge? How do I get in?
Your badge will not be mailed to you. You will need to pick it up at the Javits Center. You can do this the first day of the conference, but I would suggest (if you are in town) to pick it up the day before. The Javits will be open for that purpose and people will be getting set up for the next day. The Remainders and Sidelines Pavilions will be open Wednesday from 11-5, but the main Exhibit Hall will be closed.
We found it very helpful to avoid the lines and have our passes in hand ready to go for the first day of the Expo.
Hope this helps you get started with your BEA adventure! Here are a few helpful links for you:
Goodreads Book Expo America Group - You have to ask request membership, but this is a great sourse of hot-off-the-presses BEA scoop and tips!
Future BEA Tips and Tricks Installments:
Part Four - Plotting and Planning - Scheduling and Scoop Sources
Part Five- I'm Here, Now What?
Part Six- What to Do With All of These Books?
Part Seven - Staying Organized After BEA
Don't forget to check out Steph's Stacks BEA 2014 page for the latest news and tips! Hope to see you there! If you want to meet up, feel free to let us know in the comments!