My Pre-BEA Planning

April 28, 2014 Random Ramblings 21

On twitter, not too long ago, I asked if anyone would be interested in me doing a few BEA post. Three BEA post to be precise:

  1. Pre-BEA
  2. Post BEA {Not a haul post}
  3. So You Want to Attend BEA {this would go live around December 2014/January 2015}

After a lot of “YES!!!!” I’m very honored and horrified to share with you MY pre-BEA planning. Also known as “that moment when I realized I’m a hopeless mess and I’m in way over my head”.


Stage 1 ~ I discovered BEA and went crazy with planning

I started blogging in November 2012. I saw my very first BEA tweet in February 2013. For those of you that are unaware BEA (Book Expo America) is the 2nd larger book convention in the WORLD. Not only are there tables overflowing with ARC’s but there are other bloggers, author signing and an awesome opportunity to meet lots of people who belong to the publishing world. And all this awesomeness occurs during a 4 day convention in the huge and awe inspiring city of New York. By March of 2013 I was convinced I would go to BEA13, but I had no clue that it would cost so much (more on that in a second)! So I did what any reasonable and respectable adult book nerd would have. I sat in front of my computer green with envy at all the “I’m at BEA!” tweets and pics. And when a few other green folks started tweeting their envy I decided I was going to get this group together and we were going to go to BEA 2014!

Stage 2 ~ Octavia the planning freak emerges!

Long story short after endless hours researching and spreadsheets my rag tag group of green people fell through. Things happen situations change and it’s ok! But then something glorious happened. Nikki had sent out a tweet in January 2014 saying she really wanted to go to BEA this year but it was just way too expensive. *cue the choir*

sister act


Immediately my crazy planning started up and this time things were going PERFECTLY! So what exactly are these “plans” I’ve so carefully and meticulously gone over with Nikki? Well I’m so happy you asked!

Stage 3 ~ My planning skills are mad yo’

Yes I know this is what you came here for! My mad planning secrets! Well first I did what any normal person would do….I made a list. Of course this was just the first of many list but hey we’ll get to those soon ok. This “father of all BEA list” consisted of the bones of BEA:

  • Transportation
  • Shelter
  • Passes
  • Eating & Stuff


I thought of everything (besides driving of course) and after crunching numbers for a flight, amtrak and even a bus, flying was best. Not just because it was the fastest but because BEA is just the start of my trip (long story). So once that was settled Nikki bought her ticket and I soon followed suit. Now I know this is the “most fickle” portion of planning any trip but let me tell you…YOU’RE OVER THINKING IT! Nikki bought her flight about 15 weeks before BEA (early Feb). I bought mine about 9 weeks out (mid March) and I tell you no lies when I say I STALKED those prices. I seriously had every airline app on my phone as well as a few of those “we’ll search all of the flights for you with just one click” apps. And do you know what happened? NOTHING. Prices were most expensive in January, they dropped by about 13 bucks in Feb and they’re still at the same place as of today. Will this be the same for everyone? I have no clue.


If you’ve heard the words “New York City hotels” they were probably immediately followed by “are expensive as hell!” right? Knowing this I knew the best thing to do was grab a roommate that I could trust and genuinely enjoy being around. But even with a roommate I wanted to make sure a room with two beds wasn’t going to run 800+ a night…which is actually kind of low for NYC. So what did I do? What kind of magic did I work to get a great deal, in an ideal location, with fabulous reviews? I made an excel sheet of course! I went onto Trip Advisor found the highest ranking hotels and hostels within a 30min walk/bus trip to the Javits center (there were over 50!) and I started religiously checking their prices. What I found is a cool hostel with phenomenal TripAdvisor reviews, for about 230 bucks (a piece) for Wednesday – Saturday, that’s also smack dab in the middle of Times Square and about a 17minute walk from the Javits Center. Yes…

I am Awesome


This one is tricky. The blogger pass cost me 119. But being the “go hard or go home” woman that I am I just HAD to add the “Avid Reader Pass” for an extra hundred bucks. Of course I went to add it and it was SOLD OUT! Seriously! SOLD OUT! So I just grabbed the regular Reader Pass for 50 bucks and to be honest I’m cool with that.

Eating & Stuff

This trip is about BEA. Not going to see the MET or the Statue of Liberty or the Naked Cowboy. That said I like to eat, and I know how expensive going out for breakfast, lunch and dinner 4 days in a row can be. I also know that I don’t want to ship my books via USPS since there were so many horror stories last year. And I’m no good at navigating so I’ll need to split a cab with Nikki to get to and from the airport in Newark. Add in the fact that I have absolutely NO spring/summer clothes, and lets just say I have a pretty penny set aside now. This should cover food, shipping via FedEx (they offer flat rate shipping 25-27 bucks for an XL box), cab fare, clothes/shoes and business cards.


This is what BEA is known for! All the glorious books that every booth is supposedly shoving down your throats. But after spending 8-10 hours walking around this giant convention center where the hell are all these books going to go? Suitcases and other bags of that size are NOT allowed on the floor and Superman is just a tad busy saving Metropolis again. So where does that leave you and those poor arms of yours? It leaves you pissed off and tired that’s where! Unless you remember that one fantabulous loophole. BEA does NOT allow rolling bags/duffle bags/rolling suitcases on the floor but the convention center WILL allow you to check a bag for 3 bucks. Make it to the center, check your bag, grab some books and take turns dropping said books off at certain intervals. TA DA! Loophole found and exploited!


BEA 2014 Total Price ~ $1,240 (estimated as of now)

Being the poor person I am (seriously a moth just flew out my wallet!) I actually didn’t pay for BEA in a lump sum. I took from late January all the way through mid April to have my ducks counted and ready to go. And that’s all my “pre-BEA” torture planning! Will all this planning be in vain? I don’t know! Well everything go exactly the way I’m picturing it in my head? Probably not! Am I damn excited to not only be going but to also be meeting so many of my fabulous blogger friends? Damn right I am!

Are you coming to BEA? Tell me in the comments and maybe we’ll see each other on the floor!


After writing and scheduling this post I found A TON of BEA tips and tools provided by other bloggers! Such as:

Reader of Fictions: BEA 2013: Hotels, shipping books, and the conference itself.
Jenna Does Books: BEA 2014: Autographing Authors List
And there are others I just can’t remember where and who posted them but when I do I’ll let y’all know!

21 Responses to “My Pre-BEA Planning”

  1. Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

    Gah! I’m still planning right now, I haven’t booked tickets yet or anything. I did the press pass (which is free) and I’m hoping to get a plane ticket and book my hotel soon. I’m trying to see if I can stay with a friend or some family that live in the city. Last year I stayed with family and commuted to the city, but I was lucky if I got in by 9ish which is way too late. My goal is to spend about $600 (including airfare). If you book with Southwest, you get two suitcases under 50 pounds free, and I always stick my books in one big suitcase so that I won’t have to pay for shipping because shipping at BEA can be dubious for so many reasons. But I totally would love to meet up at BEA!
    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books recently posted…Top Ten Books If You Like Teen TVMy Profile

    • Octavia

      lol yeah it’s definitely costing me a pretty penny! But trust me when I say it won’t be this expensive for everyone. All in all it’s closer to about 800 bucks (including shipping) but I added in the price of an entire summer wardrobe, taxi’s, I over estimated for food and most importantly my trip includes the price of 4 plane tickets. I have a whole lot of craziness going on in that 1200 price lol! 😀
      Octavia recently posted…Announcing the Abhorsen Readalong!My Profile

  2. Krista

    This is my second year attending BEA. It’s definitely an amazing experience that I think all bloggers should experience. Good for you and your mad planning skillz!

    Did you know you can take the NJ Transit train from the Newark airport to Penn Station in Midtown for only $12.50 one way? I’m betting that’s WAY cheaper than a cab. There’s not a ton of space for luggage and whatnot, but if you pack relatively light (I’ll have a large suitcase and a tote bag), you should be fine. 🙂

    Have fun – hopefully I’ll see you there!

      • Krista

        From what I gather (this will be my first year riding the train from the Newark airport too), it’s a straight shot, meaning, you don’t have to switch trains. Penn Station is the fourth stop, so it’ll stop three times to let other passengers on, but you stay put. I’m also staying in Midtown, so I’m just going to walk to my hotel from Penn Station.

        • Octavia

          Yeah I just googled it! But the AirTrain is closed from May 1st – July 15th 🙁 Looks like they’re replacing it with buses for the time being and I’m so not up for that kind of chaos. But it’s alright! Thanks for the info 🙂
          Octavia recently posted…Announcing the Abhorsen Readalong!My Profile

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