Its hard to believe its that time of the year again for Book Expo America. Its happening again in New York City at the Jacob Javitis Center. Running from May27th to 29th, 2015. I am not quite sure yet how many days I will be attending BEA as it will depend on what is going on.
Are you going to BEA this year? Please leave me a comment so I know if you are going or not.
Is this your first time or have you been before? For me this will be my fourth time going. I went in 2010 and it was a blast. Although I wish I had known then what I know now because it would have been so helpful.
If your a first time goer I thought I would share some info with you and by no means am I an expert its just stuff that I have seen or has happened to me. Please share any tips you have or may want to know.
1) Comfortable shoes. This is going to be repeated over and over but trust me you will do a lot of walking around NYC and Javitis. I had shoes that I thought were comfy but my first day in NYC I ended up getting blisters which meant I had to rush out and buy sneakers. Funny enough it seemed like I could not get my size anywhere.
2) Pack lightly. This is something I did right I packed enough for the week only and one or two extra tops just in case I went out. I admit I have a bad habit of over packing because really you never know what is going to happen, right? But if you think about the week and what you plan on doing it will help alot.
3) Business cards. You will be handing out cards to all kinds of publishers and reps plus a few bloggers perhaps. This year I will be bringing my new cards because I am now self hosted.
4) Shuttle buses. Every year shuttle bus are provided to BEA attendees. Take advantage of them if you can. Just check where the nearest one is from your hotel. I took them in the morning and they were pretty quick but leaving at the end of the day is another story because you will be in rush hour. Also you should know that there is no shuttle buses running during the day so basically its the morning and afternoon.
5) Getting into BEA. I heard this has been a problem the first year I went. You don’t have to push, shove or cut to get in the show floor. Be patient and wait. Some people have been there way before you. I didn’t see anything because I was attending an author breakfast when the doors opened but I did hear alot of people complaining about this.
6) Snacks and water. Just a heads up eating at Javitis is expensive. You honestly could buy three water bottles for the price you will pay inside plus lunch was super expensive inside as well. I bought a bottle with me and just refilled it and I made sure I had some snacks to tie me over. If your hotel provides breakfast you can grab an apple or banana. I am guilty of doing that. Plan ahead. I heard that there was a food cart outside selling hotdogs so that could be a cheaper alternative to eating inside.
7) Another alternative to shipping. Suitcases aren’t allowed on the floor but you can check it in for a small daily fee (under $5 a day). The section is downstairs. (As you walk in from getting off the shuttle buses) There is always someone there to watch over the suitcases. I didn’t have a problem with leaving my books in the suitcase. It helped when my arms were getting sore. The only thing that confused me at first was because I shared a suitcase with my roommate and was confused by the books at first and wondering if I had the right suitcase.
8) Shipping. There is shipping on site to ship your books home (which I think I will be doing this time but it all depends on my budget) or you can walk to the nearest post office and use them. The only thing with shipping is I heard that some people take it upon themselves to raid other peoples boxes. I know this for a fact because it happened to a blog I follow. So anything that is of value keep it with you. I just think for people to do that is just wrong. Its basically stealing in my eyes. So if you want your books to be save and sound I suggest the suitcase on wheels. Just remember there is no suitcases etc on the show room floor.
9) Be polite and professional. I know this is easier said then done but really what you do will reflect on you and all book bloggers. It takes just two seconds to say “Excuse Me” “Sorry” Thank You” you will be surprised at how far those words can go and mean to someone. Just remember your actions are going to be reflected on us as bloggers. Always say thank you to some who hands you a book or swag.
10) Common sense and courtesy. If you are standing in line please don’t be saving spots for ten of your friends, other people behind you have been waiting just as long as you or cutting into the line for that same reason. Personally I don’t mind one or two but when you text or call them to say the line is moving and the next thing you know 10 additional people are ahead of you. (This has happened to me quite a few times my first year there.) Also if you see one person talking to another (in a line) and one person moves to talk don’t get all in there face and yell them out for line jumping that isn’t cool especially when they say they have no interest in the book. (I witnessed that and sadly I know the blogger that did that) and once I got home I ended up unfollowing that blog.
11) The displays, booths or other peoples boxes in shipping. This one might get me into trouble but just because your at BEA that doesn’t entitle you to just take something from a display or box (either a fellow attendees or in a booth or conference room)without permission. Always ask someone before you take something from a booth. Those boxes are sealed for a reason. As for the shipping area I really think that is wrong for you to go into someone’s box and take what ever you want. Its not your box, that person you are stealing from probably went through alot of trouble to get those books. How would it feel if someone did that to you? Pretty crumby right?
12)Keep the flow of traffic going. Don’t stop in the middle of the isle to chit chat with friends and start pulling out your books to show what you got. Move to the side if you want to do that. I don’t know how many people I bumped into because of that. The isle’s aren’t that big and you have to remember that there is alot of people walking around with bags full of books.
13) Getting around NYC. The best way to see the city is really to walk but if you can’t I have to suggest the subway. Its not as scary as it sounds although I wish the people who worked inside the booths were a little more friendlier and approachable. The subway system can be a little complicated so you should know where you are going. This was the most I ever walked around a city and I enjoyed it. Except when I got lost and no one seemed to know where anything was.
14) Sight seeing. Don’t go to NYC just for BEA get out and do some sight seeing. There is so much to see and do. This year I am hoping to get more sight seeing down and as its looking I know Monday and Friday will be those days for me possibly more.
So if your going have fun and remember going to BEA is a privilege, not a right. Don’t walk in there with entitlement thinking that you deserve to do whatever you want just because you are a book blogger.