Monday, May 26, 2014

BEA Here I Come!

I'm thrilled to be attending BEA again! I cannot wait to meet many of the friends I've made online this year, and see all of you I got to know at the event last year. This will likely be my last post until after the event. I didn't do a great job of scheduling in advance, and I'm just kidding myself thinking I'll be able to get anything else up this week. But I'll be around on twitter and Instagram while I'm away. I'll also be missing all of you who cannot attend!

I wasn't sure if I'd do a pre-event post, because so many of you have put out great info, but I'd figure I'd write mine to remind myself of everything again. 

I'll be wearing and giving out
these awesome buttons this year!

1) Make a spreadsheet in Google docs. I'm definitely a need to know type of person, and there's so much going on every day that I want to maximize my time as much as possible. I'll print my schedule, but if it's in docs, I can also pull it up on my phone for a backup if I lose my sheets.

*Jenna has linked a list on her website of all the YA related drops and signings. This is a great starting point. 

2) Memorize the floor plan. Or at least familiarize it. This is all part of my need to know where to be when. The exhibit floor is HUGE and publishers are fairly spread out this year, so knowing approximately where they are is so helpful. 

3) Set some goals. I have 2 major goals this year: a) I'm trying to be more picky and not just grab everything I see. Only books that interest me, and I think I'll be able to read. b) I'd also like to pick up a few more adult books instead of just YA. I did this at ALA and was so happy to find some new favorites! Hannah @ So Obsessed With has been helping me sort through the adult lists. 

*Last year was my first year and my goals were much less lofty. Knowing the layout and general structure of the event has left more room in my head for other things. We'll see wether I'm able to stick to them.

If you are a visual person, and want to know more about what BEA and Javits looks like, check my BEA in pictures post from last year. 

Outside the Javits center. I hope it's as beautiful this year as it was last!
1) Arrive at the Javits center early, at least by 8 am. 

Bag check
2) Check a bag - I thought I was too cool for rolling bags last year. Big Mistake. Your back will DIE if you try to carry everything all day. Even if you don't have a rolling suitcase, check a tote and fill it up throughout the day. I think it's around $3 to do this and is so so worth it. BUT the baggage check fills up quick, so do this when you arrive. Don't wait until it's midday and your arms are tired. 

3) If you don't have a morning breakfast/event, get in line by 8:30 for the exhibit floor. I'd suggest a door that isn't the main entrance, because less(ish) people will be there.

Roomies drop at Little, Brown BYR
4) Unless you have a signing line to be in immediately, do a quick run around to publishers to check morning drops, especially those that don't publish their schedules. 

5) As you go through the publisher booths - or on a second time through, since you will be circling the floor a lot - ask publicists whether they have drop schedules. Many will. Some have posted them already, like Macmillan. Some like to be secretive about what they give out/when, but if you ask nicely about specific books, you may be able to get an answer of when the book you want will be dropped. 

Long lines at the Autographing Area
6) Get into signing lines an hour ahead. Even in booth signings can have long lines, if they're popular books or authors. Sometimes signing lines wrap past the partition. Or sometimes if you're early enough, the previous signing is still going on, so you have to wait in a side area. Get to know the people organizing the lines and stay on top of where you are, so you don't end up in a fake line. 
Bags of books
7) Take breaks and be flexible. The event is overwhelming and there is lots happening all at once, stepping out of the exhibit floor throughout the day to take a breath is necessary. But you may not have time to go out for lunch, so bring lots of snacks. Realize that you may not be able to get everything you want, but you will get a lot of it. Also, schedules change, so be willing to go with the flow. 

8) BEA is better with friends. Last year I got lots of galleys that I hadn't known about previously, because other bloggers were excited about them, and I tagged along to the signing or drops. But it was so fun to meet other bloggers, and go through the experience with them. 


1) If you mail books - Last year I walked to the Post Office and sent 4 boxes home via media mail. They arrived safely, though at least one box was a little torn. That is by far the cheapest mailing method, and I'll probably mail at least one box this year. I'm going to try to roll the rest home on the train with me. 

If you will be mailing, I suggest you bring good packing tape and a sharpie marker. Though you can buy tape and boxes at the PO, if you don't want to bring anything. I'd also suggest you use smaller boxes to mail, even if that means more of them. Books are so heavy that I found the smaller ones held up better. Then tape the entire box up. Don't be shy. This saved my books last year.  

2) Business cards - You will give these out to other bloggers and publishers. If you don't have your address on your cards, write it on a few of them for publishers. You might also want to bring some post-it notes to wrap around the cards. If you talk to a publisher specifically about a book they promise to send you, put it on the post-it so they remember. They might not anyway. I had a few tell me they'd send me a book last year and it never happened. Try to get their cards as well and send a follow up email. This was much more successful for me. 

3) Snacks. Comfortable shoes. Portable phone charger. Layers - temperatures on the show floor can fluctuate. 

Any hints you want to give me? 

I'd love to know if you'll be at BEA too! 

Please don't be shy about introducing yourself to me next week! 
I do look like that picture on my sidebar. 
And we can be friends even if you like love triangles. 

Yesterday, I narrowly escaped a dinosaur attack!


  1. Woo-hoo! Can't wait to see you again!

  2. Lauren this is such a cool post, I of course would be following all your tips if I was going! I hope you have an amazing time and get to meet many fab bloggers and authors!

  3. This is my first time to BEA and I'm so excited to be going! I'd love to meet you there. It's fun to see the faces behind the words. (:

    Sarcasm & Lemons

  4. I use the post office at the ALA and that helps so much! Good tip about the smaller boxes & a sharpie. I always forget that. Have fun, Lauren! :)

  5. Great post, Lauren! Have a great time and I can't wait to see what goodies you come back with! :)

  6. Awesome post, Lauren! I'll only be at BookCon on Saturday, but still, hope to see you there! :)

  7. Oh, fine. I am hating you a little bit, lol. <3 But I really do hope you are having an amazing time :D So, so jealous. <3 Cannot wait to read all about it when you get home again :D

  8. So great seeing you at BEA!!!
    In previous years, I've always checked a bag. I lugged my stuff this year and my back is still angry with me. But I also liked not having to deal with going downstairs to check my bag.

  9. I'm so, so thrilled that we were able to hang out for a little bit at BEA! It was so good to see you, though I'm kind of sad I forgot to ask you for one of your buttons :) But seriously, these are all EXCELLENT BEA tips -- and of the practical variety for sure. I hope your BEA 2014 experience was everything you wanted it to be!


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