Skip to content

Book Expo America 2013: An afterview

June 4, 2013

Well, I’m home and settled in and mostly caught up with my book clubs and daughter’s schoolwork, so I can make a minute and reflect back on BEA 2013.

In a word: OW.

Ow, my feet.  Ow, my shoulders.  Ow, my back.  Ow, my bulging bookcases.  Ow, my dignity as I totally blanked on what to say to Brad Meltzer when he asked me what comics I was reading lately.  Ow, weird bruises in places where I must’ve been hit in the crowds.  Ow, my marriage when my husband saw how many books I was keeping.

🙂

We just gave away 9 boxes of books and I came home with over a hundred new ones, many but nowhere near all–not even half–of which are being given to my old library BUT STILL.  Some of them are signed to me and I’ll keep them, but many of them aren’t and I’ll try to read them ASAP (ha) and pass them on if they’re not keep-able.

Here are some BEA tips that they don’t tell you on the website:

BRING SNACKS.  Seriously.  Most people there don’t eat lunch because they are too busy.

CHECK A ROLLING BAG.  You can do a galley-dump in the middle of the day (when you’re not eating) and not worry about it.

OR JUST SHIP ‘EM HOME.  Many bulk-buyers do this but I don’t think it’s a terrible idea for others too.

GET THERE BEFORE 7AM.  I’m not kidding.  If you want those ticketed authors, you need to do that.

OR DO THAT THING WHERE YOU PAY AHEAD OF TIME FOR TICKETS.  I would’ve if I’d known.

ONLY BRING ONE BAG FROM HOME.  I brought like five grocery bags with me the first day, just in case.  Rookie mistake.  People will hand you bags all day.  I had one or two before they opened the doors the first day.

BAGS ARE SERIOUS BUSINESS. I’m not even kidding.  People will line up for them, RUN to get them.  Some of them are amazing and deserve it.  Props to Capstone for their gorgeous bag this year.

THOSE BAGS WILL BREAK. The ones that don’t will give you marks all over your shoulders. Don’t fill the bags more than 3/4 of the way unless you’re not attached to them. Use another bag. Someone else will hand you one in a second anyway.

TATTLE ON THE LINE CUTTERS.  The staff will handle it politely.

DON’T JUST USE THE EVENT MAGAZINE.  Go to the booths and get their schedules too.  I missed getting a copy of the new Neil Gaiman because I wasn’t paying enough attention.  Not everything is listed in there.

DON’T TAKE EVERY BOOK.  People said that to me, and of course I took every book, but I have a good place to send the ones I don’t want–my local library.  You could do it that way too, but I don’t suggest it.  Be picky.  Especially if you have back problems.

KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO SAY TO YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS–BUT KEEP IT TO TWO SENTENCES.  They have a lot to do.

ASK FOR THINGS.  You’ll get more than you think.

CHARGE EVERYTHING THE NIGHT BEFORE.  I still don’t know where the charging station is…

STAY AT ONE OF THE HOTELS THEY SUGGEST.  I didn’t, and while it wasn’t a big deal, I ended up paying about $80 in parking over three days.  It was a good way to dump the books, but that’s all it was good for.  Parking is a pain, driving in the city is appalling.  They have shuttles to the hotels.  Save your feets.

SCHEDULE SCHEDULE SCHEDULE.  They tell you this, but they don’t mention how very necessary it becomes.

BRING A PACK MULE–I MEAN, A FRIEND WHO LIKES BOOKS BUT DOESN’T OBSESS THE WAY YOU DO.  Thank you, Ryan!

Okay, that one’s just silly.  But having a friend there meant that I could double- and triple-book myself for signings and still manage to mostly get what I want.  He also helped with carrying books, which took away a lot of the back issues I was pretty sure I was going to have.  And he left with probably fifty books of his own.  Not a bad haul.

SIT DOWN IN LINE WHENEVER YOU CAN.  Especially if you have back problems.  But no one seems to mind much, as long as you’re not in anyone’s way.

MAKE FRIENDS.  Ha, Ryan just sent me a message: Make friends with someone who lives in Manhattan?  But seriously, just talk to people.  It’s so much fun, helps with the boredom of standing in line, and you end up making good connections.

TAKE THE FREE BOOZE.  Cuz, uh, it’s a muscle relaxant.

ACTUALLY LEAVE THE EXHIBIT HALL ONCE IN A WHILE.  There are some other cool things going on!

GO TO BED EARLY.  You deserve it.  Screw NYC nightlife.  You can do that any time.  You need rest.

After all, you’ll be up again at 5am the next day to get that ticket for that popular author you love.

PS They’re really really right about the comfortable shoes, hydrating, and the app.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: