Originally, I wasn’t planning on going to BEA 2013 this year. I was planning on saving up and attending it next year with Christine, Nancy, Octavia, Meagan, Shannon, and Tamara. (Check out all their lovely blogs. ;D)
However, when I won a BEA Power Reader ticket giveaway, I was so excited because hey, this might prepare me for the real thing next year! And boy, did it ever. Here is a list I compiled to make remind what to do and what not to do next year.
1. Google Maps is not exactly accurate. When you see a street that’s not on Google Maps, follow the nearest person heading towards the direction you think is right. Chances are, they are heading to BEA too. (I swear, there were five other people that she didn’t know following her like me.)
2. There are entrances to Javits Center that goes straight to the 3rd floor. Not every entrance leads to the 2nd floor. Duh Kelly, duh! -smacks head-
3. Chances are, you won’t make it to ¼ of your planned signings on your schedule, so choose the ones you really, really, really want to go to. The 13 author Harlequin line made me miss out on three signings I really want to go to because the line was so long. The worse part was, when it was finally my turn to meet the authors, they ran out of two books I really wanted.
4. Walk around! You might bump into random galley drops and other goodies (like free bags! All those free bags!). I was randomly walking around because I had some time free in my schedule when I happened upon a random galley drop for a book I was looking forward to. And the thing is, that galley had a HUGEEE long line the day before and this galley drop’s line was non-existent because it was a surprise galley drop. If I hadn’t walked around, I would have never gotten that galley.
5. Talk to the people in the booths! I stopped by the Flux booth and talked to a guy there. I mentioned that I was very excited for the Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles galley drop later and he gave me Leaving Paradise, Simone Elkeles’ first book, published from them, right off the display shelves! So seriously, walk up and talk.
6. There will be books that you get that you don’t want. You think it’s as easy as “don’t take books you don’t want then!” but in reality, it’s not. For example, Harlequin had a 13 author signing. Sure, I thought, I’ll only see the authors and books I want/know. However, Harlequin and all the authors expected every single person to stop by every single author to get their book signed. Do you really want to be the only one in line who tells an author that you’re not interested in their book and therefore you don’t want one or need it signed? I don’t think so. When I left the Harlequin booth, I had 10 signed books (3 authors ran out of books, 2 of which I wanted -sobs-). Out of the 10 signed books, I only wanted five, leaving me with five books I didn’t want. People will literally shove books you don’t want into your hands.
Here’s what you can do: 1) Leave books you don’t want on tables. There are tables near booths everywhere and you can just leave them there. Other people walking by will see it and if they want it, they can take it. This will help save you from carrying extra books you don’t want home.
Or 2) While you’re waiting on a signing line, ask the people around you if they want that certain book you don’t want. I did that and it turns out the person behind me wanted that signed book with a passion and actually went to BEA for it, but just didn’t know where to look. I made her day and in turn, she made mine because I made her so happy.
7. People are very grabby to the extreme. I thought people were exaggerating, but they weren’t. I was standing in line for the Frozen galley signing and so many people just walked up straight to the booth, skipping the line, and grabbed a copy, reading it. The people at the booth sometimes had to literally pull the galley out of their hands because some people didn’t want to go on line and wait for the galley and the signing like everyone else.
And yep, that’s basically all the things I wished I knew beforehand. But now that I’m sort-of experienced, next year should be a lot better, right?