It was exciting. It was chaotic. I met some great people and got a lot of books. There is so much that I've taken away from these experiences and I want to share it with all of you.
I was not nearly well-enough prepared for BookExpo. I arrived at Javits Center around 7AM and there were some people there but I wouldn't say that I was there at the wrong time. Anyway, when I arrived people are all huddled together over their schedules and floor maps, making plans like they were storming the beaches of Normandy. It wasn't until I got into BEA that I realized that they had the right idea.
Thankfully, I met some wonderful people and they helped me sort everything out! Here are some links to their blogs. You guys should definitely check them out and show them some love<3
Mariam: Instagram | Blog | Twitter | Goodreads |
Fran: Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads |
Alyssa: Blog | Twitter |
Rebecca: Blog | Twitter |
Unfortunately, these are only a few of the great people I met. To all of you who I have missed, drop me a line and say hello!
Tips for BEA
1) Talk and make as many friends and connections as possible. I'm not sure how well I would have done if it wasn't for everyone that I met. I'd say most of the people I spoke to were there to do exactly the same thing. Make sure you have business cards to exchange with everyone.
2) Check a suitcase. A huge suitcase. Like the suitcase if you're going on vacation for a week sized suitcase. There are so many great things you will receive throughout the day. It's really killer on your shoulders, back, you name it, it hurts. I did check a bag but it was just a big tote, and it wasn't enough! I was at BEA only for the last day and I came home with over 20 books, a bunch of totes,
3) Get in line early. If there is a book drop you really want to go to or an autograph signing. Go early. Go to the autograph area or booth at least two hours before if it's a major author or book. I can guarantee you others are already hovering around that area waiting for line to start and if you line up when the staff says the line starts, by the time you get there the line was cut off an hour before you got there.
4) Go with a team of people or team up with some newfound friends that you meet at BookExpo. There is so much going on that it's impossible to get to everything you want to. The best thing was to have your friends stand in other lines while you wait in one yourself and then switch when possible. I would not have been able to get everything I wanted and more without the help of the great people at I met at BookExpo.
5) Don't take extra books. It's one thing if you're standing in line for a friend or a family member who can't be there because their in another line or they couldn't make it to the event. It's a whole other thing to take more than one book just because. There are so many upsetting stories about people who waited in line for hours that should have gotten books but because people took extras, they didn't get it. If there are spare books when everyone in line has gone through already, it's no problem but don't take an extra before everyone else has gotten a chance.
6) Buy the Reader Pass or the Avid Reader Pass. I had bought the Reader Pass because that was all that was available when I was buying the ticket, and what it does is it lets you jump to the front of one line. This is the only way I managed to get my ARC of Six of Crows. As far as I understand the Avid Reader Pass allows you to jump more than one line. If there are books you really want and know that there is a slim chance you'll get it because it's so popular, get this pass and get your book!
Be aware that you might get harassed by those who don't have the pass that were standing in the line. It happened to a friend of mine. To them, it seems unfair because they waited for so long and because you jumped the line they won't get a book. It's sad that not everyone can get those most sought after books but if you pay extra for this pass, stand your ground. Don't let yourself be bullied. You earned it.
Oh boy, what to say about BookCon. There was some great moments..and there were some not so great. As I tweeted, if you were at the first day of BookCon this is most likely what you were doing:
If you wanted to meet a major author, you basically had to camp out in line HOURS ahead of time. I spent the entirety of my day in the autographing area. If I'm honest, I felt that it was really disorganized. There were several miscommunications between the people who ran BookCon and the authors and publishers. It happened a few times to me and people I know/was with where we were deceived by the people in charge of the autographing. I have no problem buying a book at an event for an author to sign, I do it all the time at the events held at my favorite bookstore Books of Wonder. But when it's advertised that the signing is free and that the people who make the cut will be given a book and then after hours of waiting are told that they have to leave and go buy a book..it was awful. There are so many sad stories of people upset because they didn't get to see their favorite authors or were cut out of a line that they were standing in for hours.
I have to give a shout out to my sister Julie. Guys check out her awesome instagram about all the great places in our hometown NYC. Without her stubbornness and her persuasive skills I wouldn't have been able to get a copy of P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han signed and another opportunity to meet my favorite author of all time, Leigh Bardugo. She also helps me out here on the blog from time to time with planning posts and all of my social media. Thank you, sis!
Tips for BookCon
1) Unless you're trying to get in line for a popular author or panel, don't kill yourself by arriving at the crack of dawn. They don't let anyone through the doors until 8AM, and that's just to get in lines for the queues for the panels or author signings. Otherwise the showcase floor doesn't open until 10AM. Why stand in line for the showcase floor when you can arrive at ten, well-rested and not sore from sitting on the cold floor and pretty much walk right on through?
2) Figure out everything you want to do and see a before you arrive at Book Con. Narrow it down to two or three major events because most likely you'll send your time waiting in line for those events before they even start. So, make a plan and focus. If you deviate, you'll just end up either missing the things you want most or not getting anything you want at all.
3) If you are trying to get into a popular panel or signing, go stand in line hours ahead of time. Or if they aren't allowing an official line, hover around the area way in advance. I'm talking hours in advance. For example, the queue to stand in line to meet Sarah J. Maas was open at 8AM and closed off minutes later from what I heard.
4) Don't use your friends/family to get extra books. What I mean by this is, don't take extra copies just for yourself. If you have what you want, let others around you have the chance to get a book too.
5) Don't take books you don't want. Chances are there are others dying for the book in your hands. There are just too many sad stories out there about how people stood and waited in line for a book and didn't get it. I have to tell you guys something I saw while waiting on the line to meet Leigh Bardugo. Now, I had already received my ARC of Six of Crows at BookExpo but my sisters wanted copies of their own so I stood on the other side of the ropes while they waited in line. Only the first twenty-five people were going to be able to get an ARC of Six of Crows. So, seeing as I was there for moral support, I ran up and down the line counting the people ahead of them to reassure them that they have a shot at their copies.
Now this is where the story gets ugly. There was a girl who was standing in line, who was saying for hours to everyone around that she didn't want the ARC. She said over and over again that she wasn't taking a copy, don't count her. Then when the ARCs were handed out, this girl who claimed she didn't want the book, took a copy. Leaving the poor girl behind her, who for hours thought she was going to get Six of Crows in tears. This story has a happy ending though. Behind my sisters were these two friends who had also witnessed this entire exchange and they decided to give one of their copies of Six of Crows away to the crying girl and share one copy between themselves. I wish I had exchanged numbers with those girls. Ladies, if you're reading this, you're awesome!
Differences between BookCon and BEA
1) BookCon is open to the general public. Everyone can go. Whereas BookExpo is for authors, publishers, agents, executive meet-ups, librarians, teachers, and bloggers. Which means, BookCon has ten-times more people. I wish that was the an exaggeration.
2) Because BookExpo is more to do with the professionals of the literature world the panels are more informative about how to help yourself move up in the business. BookCon has more panels with your favorite authors and celebrities.
3) BookExpo and BookCon is that BookCon has a lot of books and signings that you have to pay for. Meaning you have to buy the books at the event. BookExpo generally provides the books for you free of cost. Also BookExpo provides a lot of ARCs.
Despite all of the chaos and craziness, I had a lot of fun at both events. That's what important. I'm already making plans for next year! I hope you guys liked this post and got some useful information out of it. For more pictures from BookExpo and BookCon along with everything I picked up from these events check out my instagram.