So You Want To Go To BEA?

November 16, 2014 Features & Spotlights 34

Hey there you beautiful people you! If you’ve been following Read. Sleep. Repeat. for a while you may remember me mentioning this post way back in May after I came back from BEA 2014. If you’re new to this party sit down relax and trust me when I say this is going to be fun! I’m going to try and keep from overwhelming you guys by breaking this into many post over the next few months. Each tip will have a dedicated post (the month is beside the tip) and with that post a lot more detail and hopefully some useful tips.

BEA, officially known as Book Expo America, is the 2nd largest book convention in the WORLD! It’s a convention dedicated to folks like you and I who love books and are more than willing to spend hours in line to have said books signed by awesome authors. The convention is 3 days long and in New York (though 2016’s will be in Chicago according to the website) and to be frank it’s the single most amazing event I’ve ever been to. Even though you initially want to go for all the books and cool authors you’ll more than likely walk away even more excited by all the lovely bloggers you got to meet. But enough of the mushy! On to my tips and trips for BEA 2015!!!

Tip #1: {Dedicated post coming December 2014}

The buddy system is your friend. I had the pleasure of rooming with Nikki of There Were Books Involved… for BEA14 and we shall repeat that for BEA15! Having a roommate that you like and can trust is key for many reasons. The first, and most obvious, is cost. Splitting your hotel fare with someone else can be the only thing that makes BEA feasible. Not only this but there are other events that you’re going to want to attend and having this friend can seriously make those event 1,000x’s more excitingΒ and enjoyable.

Tip #2: {Dedicated post coming January 2015}

PLAN YOUR HEART OUT! This tip actually has many sub levels but they all come back to this main tip. PLAN. PLAN. PLAN! Plan your flights, your hotel, your outfits, backup outfits, signings, drops, meals, events! PLAN it in such a way you feel like there is no room for error. I started “planning” for BEA14 in March 2013. MARCH 2013! I didn’t have every detail ironed out but I knew where I wanted to stay, how long I would be able to stay, and a general idea of how the drops and signings would work. Β I had a budget and a goal and I wrote all this out, made excel sheets and memorized it all.

Tip #3: {Dedicated post coming February 2015}

Accept defeat. Remember step #2? All that planning and handwork you’re going to do? LET IT GO! It was awesome to have a plan and know what I wanted but at the end of the day if you’re stressing on making sure every single detail is fulfilled you won’t enjoy the convention. So yes, have your lodging, hotel, shipping (USPS? FedEx? UPS?), shoes and roommate figured out but remember that any 100% plans you think you have for the actual floor are not guaranteed.

Tip #4: {Dedicated post coming March 2015}

These are your people! I know how awkward and horrible it is to just go up to someone and start talking but for once in your life you are literally SURROUNDED by people who will stand and talk bookish with you for HOURS! Take advantage of that! Get to know some of your twitter friends and followers. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone is nice or welcoming (no finger-pointing just fact) but for each one of those bitchy folks there are 30 more super sweet and welcoming people.

Tip #5: {Dedicated post coming April 2015}

It’s ok to imitate Santa. Make a list, check it 37 times and make sure you have what’s important to you crossed off. Are you freaked out about your business cards being perfect? Put it on the list. Don’t know if you should get a BEA approve hotel? Put it on the list and compare it to other places nearby. Worried you won’t be able to find a roommate? Put it on the list and approach people you already are friends with. My point is make list of the things that you’re worried about, things you have no reason to worry about and everything in between. Time will fly by and all this planning, hoping and work will be crammed into 3 days. Try and make it count.

So stay tuned for the dedicated post coming soon and as always submit questions below! I’m no veteran but I’d love to help you!

O-Sign RSR 2.0.2

34 Responses to “So You Want To Go To BEA?”

  1. Midnyte Reader

    I think this is a great idea to do a post a month leading up to BEA. This way people won’t get overwhelmed reading everything at once. They all sound like great tips and I agree with all of them. Looking forward to reading them. I have a little bit of a different experience because I commute in, but many of these tips are still valid to me.
    Midnyte Reader recently posted…Feature & Follow – Book song! (11/14/14).My Profile

    • Octavia

      Thanks! I was going to do just one big post but I was overwhelmed just writing it so this seemed more logical all the way around. πŸ™‚ Since you’re a commuter have you been to BEA before? It would be cool to add a commuter perspective to these post.
      Octavia recently posted…So You Want To Go To BEA?My Profile

  2. Pili

    YESS!! I need to start making my own plans for the rest of the trip, because I’m gonna be probably spending more time also going to Chicago or somewhere else once I am in the US for my vacation!

    BUT I need to start looking at flights and hotels and thiiiings!! I cannot decide if I should stay at the Mayfair or try and find a closer hotel to the Jarvis… so many things!!
    Pili recently posted…Showcase Sunday #49!!My Profile

    • Octavia

      There isn’t an official rule that says you can’t (that I know of) but I certainly would not suggest it. The lines are ridiculously long and there really isn’t time to have an author sign more than just the ARC they have in front of them for you. Not to mention you REALLY don’t want to lug that stuff around all day. I know you stay in NY but trust me, between the ARC drops (4+ a day), the actual signings and then the piles just sitting at the booths you really aren’t going to want to add an extra 3 or more books from your own collection too.
      Octavia recently posted…So You Want To Go To BEA?My Profile

    • Octavia

      BEA is an intimidating and overwhelming event! But it’s also a ton of fun and one of the coolest events I’ve ever been to. The conference itself is really a giant space (Javits is HUGE) that has “booths” in place for publishers around the globe, and you basically get to spend your entire day walking around this huge space picking up books (there are PILES of them), having them signed and if you want, going to panels. It’s basically a book lovers dream! πŸ˜€ Do you have specific things that puzzle you or is the conference as a whole really just throwing you for a loop?
      Octavia recently posted…So You Want To Go To BEA?My Profile

        • Octavia

          There really is no way to put that part of the craziness into words! Nikki and I stood in line for Holly Black for 3 hours! We stood in a Bloomsbury drop line (totes) for an hour and a half! The doors to the convention open at 9…we made it there and waited in line by 7. One one day we made it at around 6:30! Lines are probably the most hectic things about BEA but they also give you a chance to talk to other bookish folks.

          Book drops is exactly what it sounds like. At a certain time a publisher will literally drop a stack of books in the isle and it’s basically a free for all. Some of the drops are very organized and planned out so you can wait in line. Others are complete surprises and you just have to be lucky.
          Octavia recently posted…I Want It That Way by Ann AguirreMy Profile

  3. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    Oh, this is such a wonderful post! I have to admit, I am already getting nervous and had been hoping to see someone post something like this! So THANK YOU! I am fortunate enough to be in PA, within about 2 hours of NYC (which of course, is another big reason to go this year, and not when it is in Chicago!). But I assume a hotel is still probably necessary, right? My mom will be coming along (because frankly, I am too nervous to go by myself), and I am so glad to know we haven’t waited too long to book a room. I can’t wait for more of your posts about this!!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Books I’m Never Going to Review: Part OneMy Profile

    • Octavia

      I’m happy this post seems helpful so far to you! Personally, and you may choose differently, I would still get a hotel. After being on the floor for hours your feet hurt, your arms hurt, you’re tired and driving is the last thing you’ll want to do. And typically each day there is an event happening outside of BEA, such as a party at a book store or blogger meet up and you’ll miss some cool things if you head out and then drive all the way back the next day.

      One thing I will say. Once you walk through the convention center doors all nerves melt away. There are so many bookish people and the energy really fits that. Was your mom going to hit the floor with you? Or just be in the city? I only ask because of the passes we have to buy in order to get in, it’s something to think about. πŸ™‚
      Octavia recently posted…So You Want To Go To BEA?My Profile

      • Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

        I think you are right. The thought of so much driving after such long days sounds like a nightmare! And I don’t think we’ve completely decided if she was going to come with me and need a pass. I mean, she loves going to the city, so I know she wouldn’t mind being left to her own devices for the day, BUT I think it is something she’d actually enjoy too. Thanks for reminding me that this is something we will need to discuss (and probably sooner than later!)

        Also, it’s really good to know that there are outside events too, that is definitely NOT something I would want to miss!
        Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Ten Sequels That I Need to Get My Grubby Hands OnMy Profile

  4. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    So true! Especially tip #4. You and Nikki were the perfect examples of friendly blogging “strangers” – you guys showed me where to go to mail my book home (important information to have!). Would never had known if I hadn’t gone up to someone and asked (who then flagged you down for me since they knew you were heading that way). Can’t wait for this year’s BEA!
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…Mini Review – Maybe Not by Colleen HooverMy Profile

  5. Laura Spaulding

    I just got a trip to NYC for BEA for Christmas! It’ll be my first time and I have so many questions. This post is great. A couple questions I have are, How do you find out about the off site events? Is it worth going to BookCon after BEA? Are there events going on pre and post BEA? (should I plan to come to NYC early and state late)

    • Octavia

      I’m just going to jump right in!

      1. Offsite events are usually promoted in April & May through twitter, Facebook and tumblr. I found out about most events via twitter and friends!
      2. BookCon2014 was crazy and I would not wish that on my worst enemy. But they are going about it differently for 2015 so it may not be too hectic. I would say hold out until you see which authors are going to be there and make that decision.
      3. There are events that happen pre & post BEA. But that’s not why I suggest coming a day early and staying a day or two late. By the end of BEA (and BookCon if you choose to go) you are going to be beyond exhausted. Your feet are going to threaten to kill you in your sleep and jumping on a plane and heading back to reality is the last thing you’ll want to do. That said Nikki and I are planning on staying Tues-Sun. That gives us time to relax too after BEA, see the city and go to a few events while we’re there.

      Did I hit them all???
      Octavia recently posted…The Book Spending Debacle of 2014My Profile

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