So, I'm sure this time of year you probably see a veritable plethora of BEA tips and tricks posts. Knowing that I'm going to keep this short and simple. More just a listing of things I've learned from attending for the last five years.
Here we go:
* BEA (The Book Expo or Book Expo America, as it's officially known) is both AMAZING and utterly EXHAUSTING. One of my favorite days of the whole year...and one that I need several days to recover from! We'll see if it's any different this year since I'm staying in NYC overnight to go two days...
* Your feet WILL hurt. It does not matter what shoes you wear. By the end of the day, standing in line, moving to a different line, standing in line again... rinse, repeat, etc....you're feet will be killing you. Go home, put them up and just think of how it was worth the pain. (Oh, and ditto for your shoulders/back)
* No matter how few books and such you think you'll be limiting to yourself, pack as if you're bringing TWICE that much home. Meaning... bring a giant roll-y bag to check (it only costs $3.00 for the day) that you can deliver books to throughout the day. This will help with your feet, back, and shoulder aches PLUS you can just roll home your books if you're not paying to ship them home.
* Talk to people. TALK to everyone! I've talked to other bloggers, librarians, people at booths, people in lines...you never know who you'll meet. I've been AMAZED to find out that the person I've been chatting up standing in line in front of me is actually the author whose signing I'm planning to attend later that day! Plus, once you get comfortable doing it, you'll be amazed who you feel like you can just approach... I've walked up to John Green, Diana Peterfreund, Shannon Hale, R.L. Stine, and plenty of others just to let them know how much I appreciate their work.
* MAKE A PLAN...AND THEN THROW MOST OF IT OUT THE WINDOW. No, seriously. You should go into BEA with at least an idea of what you'd like to do, see, and walk out with throughout the day...but stuff happens. Lines will be excruciatingly long. Signings will be happening at the same time across the floor. You will be about to faint from hunger and if you don't stop to take a break right this second something terrible might happen....and you'll have to let things go. Don't be afraid to let things go! Stop by a publisher's booth later and ask if they have extra unsigned copies. Chat up fellow attendees and see if you can do any swapsies. JUST ENJOY what you DID get to do and see and know what to plan for next year.
So, that's my basic BEA tips and tricks... hope you have a blast if you're going and if you can't make it this year, maybe there's next year! If you're there this year, I hope to see you!!