So You Want To Go To BEA? ~Tip #4: These Are Your People!~

March 22, 2015 Features & Spotlights 9

Happy Sunday lovelies and welcome to another So You Want To Go To BEA post! Today I want to talk to all my crazy shy and easily overwhelmed folks. In fact, let’s get the awkward out the way now shall we?

Hug You

That’s right huns…I’M A HUGGER!!

One of the best parts of BEA is being surrounded by other bookish folks! Some you may have spent MONTHS talking to via twitter or email and are just now meeting; and folks you’ve never exchanged two words with but somehow become best friends by the end of the convention! This is one of the ONLY times (for me anyway) that I am around people who understand that I read for fun. People who understand WHY I really did laugh out loud while reading or who got way too emotional and sobbed. People who won’t judge me for this. That said I want to take a second and reassure the shy people that IT IS OK TO COME UP AND TALK! I had the pleasure of meeting Cassi of My Thoughts Literally and not only is she an absolute sweetheart but before BEA we had rarely talked on twitter. I would have never guessed she was shy and I am so happy that fate threw us together (and kept us that way) long enough for us to become honest friends.

You’ll hear over and over, “I’m shy” or “I didn’t just want to come up” or “I wasn’t sure it was you” or blah blah blah. The entire convention people are staring at each others chest (or bags) trying to get a good look at their badge just to make sure they are such and such from X Y Z blog. DO THIS! I promise you no one will get offended or think you’re bonkers! We’re all doing the EXACT SAME THING! Not only that but don’t feel awkward for jumping into a random convo about your love for all things Rainbow Rowell (or whomever)! This is how I formed the first (of so many) circles at BEA. And by circles I don’t mean cliques. I mean real circles of people just hanging out in the middle of the floor.

Say What

Yeah…well the nice people at BEA don’t allow you to form “lines” while waiting for a signing or ARC drop. In fact they don’t even want you lining up until 30 minutes BEFORE the event (super stupid trust me). So, as a way to get around that rule without breaking it I started forming random circles with people I didn’t know (and many I did) where we just talked for the hour or two (or 3 Holly Black line!) we were in circle together. During that time we traded spots for bathroom breaks, book drops (more on this next month), other signings (holding spots is cool for one or two people but don’t be a jerk K?). We even passed around those beautiful business cards we all spend a fortune on! In all honesty I had so much fun in these circles and it is one of the things I remember best about BEA14. Meeting random people, equally excited for this signing or that ARC drop and being able to OPENLY talk book feels with them is something I wouldn’t trade for anything. I don’t have the benefit of having people like this in my day to day life so for me this was one the highest points of the event.

I love you

So, this month’s topic is short but I really want you to be comfortable going up and making friends at BEA. I won’t promise that everyone is nice and welcoming but I will promise that for every jerk there are 50 other people circling up to be your new bookish friend. And don’t forget! If you see me on the floor COME UP AND SAY HI!! I have perpetual bitch face but I’m really not as evil as I look. šŸ˜‰

octavia sig

9 Responses to “So You Want To Go To BEA? ~Tip #4: These Are Your People!~”

  1. Bridget

    Hah, maybe this wasn’t what I was supposed to take away from this post, but I’m glad to know that business cards are something that people actually do for BEA and I wouldn’t be crazy for ordering some. =P
    Bridget recently posted…Neverwhere ā€“ Neil GaimanMy Profile

  2. Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally

    Haha, thanks? No but seriously, I am shy and a little awkward. There was definitely a few times I saw someone I recognized and I didn’t say anything. I regret that. This advice is so accurate. These are your people and they want to chat with you just as much as you want to chat with them. There were some times I went through entire conversations with people without even realizing I totally subscribe to their blog or follow them on Twitter. The best place to chat is definitely the “not a lines” and the actual lines. SO MANY LINES! Chat about the books you got, the authors you met, why you want the book you’re waiting for, where you’re going next, how much your feet hurt, unicorns. The topics of conversation are endless. This year I hope to be better at going up to people. Everyone is so cool and welcoming. I never had anyone be like “who’s this weird chick talking to me… IGNORE. The people I met and the conversations I had were my favorite part of BEA14 as well. I can’t wait to see everyone again this year and meet some new folks! Except I’m not a hugger. If you hug me it may be like when Voldemort hugs Draco (I’ll be Draco).
    Cassi @ My Thoughts Literally recently posted…Book Review: We All Looked Up by Tommy WallachMy Profile

  3. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    It’s funny because I have been thinking ALL those things that you’ve said. I have been panicking for so long, I can’t even remember. I think my biggest worry is not my inherent nerdiness (because um, well, we are all nerds deep down, no?) but I worry about the whole “what to wear” and not feeling comfortable with myself because of weight issues. But I really need to keep this in mind, because I do NOT want to miss out on an opportunity to meet so many lovely people- that is kind of the whole point!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…Review: Half Wild by Sally GreenMy Profile

  4. Jessica Tom

    Great series Octavia!! I’m actually an *author* who’ll be signing ARCs at BEA and I came across your posts in my research. I’m kind of in the same boat as some of your readers — it’ll be my first time, I’m a bit overwhelmed, but overall, I’m really pumped! If you have time, stop by Table 14 at 3pm on Wednesday! Thanks for putting these posts together.
    Jessica Tom recently posted…What to expect when your novel is copyeditedMy Profile

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge