Are you planning on going to Book Expo America (BEA) in May? I am registered and can't wait to get on that train and head for New York.
If you are a librarian, bookseller, or book reviewer, you'll want to be at the Javits Center from May 25 to May 27. You'll meet, you'll greet, you'll drown in books and all bookish talk.
I was asked by the organizers of the first-ever Book Bloggers Convention to pass along a bit of advice to those who've never attended BEA (and perhaps offer some reminders to those who have).
Beth Fish Reads's Top Ten BEA Tips
10. Don't be shy! When you recognize a fellow blogger or Twitter friend (by face or by name tag), just walk on up and introduce yourself. People are friendly, and everyone is almost exactly how you'd imagine him or her to be.
9. Practice up on your text messaging. The Javits center is loud and crowded; the only way to communicate with your friends is to text message. [To all of you who tried to text me last year: I'm prepared--I'll be faster!]
8. Carry water and a snack. The cafeteria is expensive and not all that great. Be sure to have water and a granola bar or something to hold you over until your friends are ready for a lunch break.
7. Get up early for tickets. If you are dying to get autographed books, remember that some are ticketed. The tickets are given out on a first come, first served basis, so be prepared to get up at the crack of dawn and stand in line. Everyone else you know will be there too.
6. Save your quarters. If you plan to take the bus anywhere, be sure you have a bunch of quarters. Your life will be much, much easier if you come to the city with change instead of trying to hunt down quarters once you're there (ask me how I know).
5. Look for tote bags. Lots of booths will be giving away tote bags. You'll see them in all shapes and colors and sizes. Some are amazingly cool, some come in limited numbers. Grab the ones you like. You'll need them for your ARCs.
4. Study the program. Look over the program and pick up Publisher Weekly's daily newsletter. There are special events and author appearances and great panels. The only way you'll be able to make the most of your time is to have at least some sort of plan of attack.
3. Be polite: ask. Remember to ask before taking a book from a booth. Some books are there for display and so attendees can get a chance to look through the titles. Do not assume that the books are there for the taking. Even if there is a huge stack of books; they might be in reserve for an author signing.
2. Bring business cards. You'll be spending a good amount of time exchanging business cards with fellow bloggers, authors, publicists, and booksellers. Be sure to have your cards in an easy-to-reach place. You'll also want some way to keep safe the cards you collect.
And the top tip is . . .
1. Shoes. You will be on your feet for hours. You will be walking on hard concrete floors. You will be carrying books. You need to take care of your feet. Comfy shoes are more important than cute shoes. Pick your shoes first, your outfit second. Really. Trust me on this.
I will be at BEA 2010, and I hope to see many, many of you there.
Don't forget to visit the other bloggers who will be posting their best BEA tips over the next couple of weeks. For a full schedule, see this post at the Book Blogger Convention blog.
And while you're there. Look around the blog and think about attending the first-ever Book Blogger Convention. It looks like it is going to be a memorable event.