BEA Questions: Advice Please

In just a few short weeks, I am going to New York City for Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention! I am so excited to meet fellow bloggers and to be a part of a bookish celebration.

This will be my first vacation away from my son since he was born. I’ll arrive Tuesday afternoon (I know, I’m missing part of it, but it’s as good as I could do!) and I’m staying until the next Tuesday morning (very very early). My husband will come either Friday afternoon to join me and show me the town, or he may be able to get off work earlier and join me for the rest of the week too. (We haven’t yet gotten his tickets.)

I have never accepted a review copy and I’ve never been interested in meeting publishers, but I’m getting a chance to do so. I want to take advantage of it all. I’m getting a bit nervous about the entire event.

  • How much should I worry about planning for the evenings? I really want to just take it by ear and not schedule anything, but then maybe I’ll be too late and everyone else will be somewhere and I’ll just be stuck enjoying NYC without anyone else. (Which would be fine too, I’m a solitary individual for the most part.)
  • I don’t think I’m going to be interested in free copies of books. Am I insane to think that? Do I need to be prepared to receive books? Am I going to be bombarded with books I can’t say no to? I don’t want to take free copies that will otherwise go to someone who will read them. I really want to try to resist as much as possible. I don’t often read modern fiction.
  • I have business cards, I have comfortable but nice clothes to wear, I’ll bring a camera and book bag. What am I forgetting?
  • What other questions should I have?

I found that Miss Remmers is doing a RSS feed of everyone who is going to BEA/BBC. Get your name on there! I want to “meet” the bloggers I’m going to meet before I get there if possible! I don’t want to not “recognize” you or your blog. There are so many people I don’t know.

Are you coming to BEA and/or BBC? I want to know which blog readers are going to be there! Especially those of you who love the classics like me. I look forward to continuing our discussions of the great books in person.

Also, what fun things should I plan on doing in NYC? I definitely want to go to the Statue of Liberty, The Strand bookstore, maybe a museum or two. My husband is coming and we’ll have the weekend together so I’m not too worried about seeing the town after BEA/BBC.

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  1. Hi Rebecca!
    This is my first time visiting your blog – I subscribed to Miss Remmers RSS feed of bloggers going to BEA and saw your post this morning.

    I went to BEA last year, I’m going this year and I’m a native of the NYC area 🙂 This is just my advice, obviously – but do what feels right to you!

    As for planning – do it but don’t go crazy. I didn’t stay for many after hours events last year but I do want to attend some this time around. The New York Public Libriaries have things planned, as well as Books of Wonder (a really great bookstore downtown). I would check around the interwebs, makes notes for yourself of things that sound like fun and have a general ‘plan’ of must not miss events. Also be open to meeting people when you get there and planning things together.

    PLAN ON RECEIVING BOOKS! While you might not want any now – once you get there I’m pretty sure you will change your mind. ALOT of authors will be signing books so even if you don’t partake of the copies that publisher booths will be giving out, you’ll most likely find an author (or dozen) that you very much would like to see. BE PREPARED! Even if you only bring a small tote bag to check, bring something to carry home goodies in at the end of the day. There are so many books at BEA that the chances of you not seeing anything that you would read, I would say, is very low.

    Stalk the BEA website! I like having a general list of what publisher booths I want to visit and the floor plan is posted – I study that intensely!

    If you’ve never been to NYC it might be helpful to look up some places you really want to see and figure out the best times and ways to get there.

    You will be very tired after walking the floor of BEA all day but if you’re staying in the city through the weekend after – might be a good idea to plan sight seeing events for then.

    Ok…that’s a little more then my 2 cents 🙂 Hope it helps some! Email if you have any questions about anything.

    I hope you have a great time!!

    ~Emily

    1. Emily aka WilowRaven » Since I wrote this post and read your comments, I’ve been browsing the website and yeah, I think I’m going to end up (1) having a blast and (2) getting tons of books. Sigh. It’s going to be fun but I hope I can not get TOO MANY books…

  2. Oh I will be there and would love to meet you! Free books… they can be hard to say no to. They are constantly pushed into your hands. But I think that you can hold out if you want to – that is my plan for this year!

    As to planning evenings, I didn’t plan a ton last year but I just tagged along with my roomie Amanda 😉 People start posting things on their blogs closer to the event it seems saying they want to organize a supper or something, and I know last year Harper Collins organized a reception one evening as well. I’ll likely mostly play it by ear and kind of see what happens.

    1. Amy » Yeay! So excited to meet you. And see my response above about the books…I think I’m probably going to get a few. I’m going to try to play it by ear, trying to keep my eyes open to see what’s all going on.

  3. I thought long and hard about going as BEA lines up perfectly with when I finish school for the semester, but I haven’t been home since December and did not want to delay being home any longer.

    I have been to NYC on several occasions though and if you have the time, I would strongly recommend visiting Ellis Island. I haven’t been in a couple of years but I remember being absolutely enthralled with the place. The tour my family and I went on was really interesting!

    1. Christina » oooo I can’t wait to see Ellis Island! I really enjoy genealogy. Plus, my grandpa went through there when he was just a year old!

  4. There will definitely be books and other things pushed on you and it will feel really impolite to say no. I didn’t really want to pick up very many last year. I wanted to come home with around 10, but I still brought home over 40. Of course, you have the option of just saying yes, taking the book, and leaving it lying around in a conspicuous place that another attendee is bound to see. Or perhaps you can just be better at saying “no thanks” than I am.

    I found that planning my evenings, but not too vigerously, was a good plan. I had places to go, but I had options as well. There were a couple nights with several events going on, and I had them all listed as possibilities, but didn’t really decide until I was there where to go. I liked having places to go and people to meet. My main focus there was to meet other bloggers, and so planning with friends when to meet up was very nice for me. Not everything I planned was a company event either. LIke Amy mentioned above, a couple times we just got together with friends for dinner. That was really nice. I think if I did publisher-sponsered events every night I would get really tired really fast.

    I wish I could come this year!!

    1. Amanda » see my other comments above — I think I’m resigned to getting books — and actually starting to get excited about reading new ones! Browsing the BEA site is dangerous. I’m so excited that you are coming after all!! I can’t wait to meet you!

      1. I saw that on Twitter the other day I think – yeah if you’re into kidlit, there’s a lot there. Since this will be my third major book conference, I’m really hoping to tone down my book acquisition even more this time. I really only have two books I’m interested in. I’ve looked around at about half of what’s listed on the website, and still only have those two books. But those are big ones! I hope I can get them.

        I’m very excited to get to meet you too! And have fun at Ellis Island. Trisha (Eclectic/Eccentric) and Jenny (Take Me Away) went there last year.

        1. Amanda » I may end up going to Ellis Island after BEA with my hubby. And as for kidlit, those are essentially the only books jumping out at me. And I hear ELEPHANT AND PIGGY will be there in person. Cant wait to get a pic with them for Raisin to see…. (although, you probably don’t know elephant and piggy since you’re boys are already reading, huh…)

  5. I’m so glad I’ll get the chance to meet you in NYC! My advice is to make some plans for lunches/dinners but also leave some flexibility in case you get last minute invitations. It will be hard to avoid taking book home with you so do plan on room in your suitcases for a minimum of 10 new books. Also, look at the BEA planning website to see if there are any authors you want to meet. Some of these require tickets (even for signings) and you’ll have to pick those up early in the morning on the date of the author event – you’ll need to plan your schedule accordingly.

    Hope that helps!

    PS. I’m still looking for 1 or 2 more roommates, so if any of your blog visitors need a roommate please send them my way! 🙂

  6. Hi Rebecca – My name is Jenn, and I found you through the BEA blog feed. This is my first year as well, though I’ve been to New York 3 times. My brother lives in Brooklyn, so I’m actually staying 10 days so I can visit with him, too. I have just heard people say – COMFY shoes. This is difficult for me because I love shoes, but I’ll probably have an extra pair in my bag just in case.

    Can’t wait to meet everyone!

  7. I feel like I should have tons of really good advice about NYC things to see, since I live here, but I feel like I do not have good ideas. I’m sure you already have way too many things to see in the city. If you do want suggestions, though, NYMag has lists of events and exhibitions that are going on any given night in the city, and you can always find good things.

    http://nymag.com/search/search.cgi?t=event;rpp=25

    I’m trying to figure out how to plan for myself too! I can only do one day of BEA, just because I can’t get off work, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to meet up with some book bloggers in the evenings. 🙂

    1. Jenny » I am so excited that I’ll be able to meet you, how awesome! Definitely have to find time to get together. I’m looking forward to big blogger meet ups! And thanks for the NYC info. Off to browse!

  8. I’m not arriving until sometime Wednesday (late morning/early afternoon, I think) and staying through till Sunday morning, and I haven’t made any plans at all for my evenings and, like you, don’t know how much planing I need to do ahead of time. I’m happy to spend evenings on my own, but would really hate to miss the opportunity to meet folks like you. We should make some definite plans together for one evening 🙂

  9. Hey all! I also found you through the BEA RSS… I’m a BEA newbie myself and would love to meet up with fellow bloggers – plus – question – for those of you who have gone before – what are the majo things you do plan on doing at BEA? what events are you most looking forward to? I thought the books were a big part of it …but it seems that isn’t it?

    1. Noa » oh yes, books certainly are the big draw for most BEA attendees. I just don’t normally read modern fiction books so I was thinking more in terms of meeting bloggers and seeing the book industry in action. Having browsed the website, though, I have found a number of children’s books/authors and even some nonfiction books that appeal to me, so I’m thinking I”ll end up with books anyway! Looking forward to meeting you — and everyone!

  10. Rebecca – thanks! Looking forward to meeting you and everyone too!
    Are you signed up for the Book Blogger’s Convention?

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