For those of you who don’t know, BEA stands for Book Expo America. Book Expo America is an extremely large trade show where you receive ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies). Since it is a trade only show, you must be an industry professional. It’s a great opportunity for those professionals to get a look at the near future of publishing, and to connect with each other. Usually BEA is held in New York, but this year it was held in Chicago. From what I was told, this change of venue made for a more intimate environment and a less crazy exhibit.
I attended both BEA and BookCon (a consumer event) this past week with a friend of mine. I found BEA to be a more professional environment, and am not likely to attend BookCon in the future. There were way too many people and too much loitering, although it was a welcome opportunity to buy books to fill holes in my personal library. That being said, if you ever choose to attend a BEA or BookCon (which I highly recommend; it was a valuable experience), you need to go into each day with a plan of action. For you that may be picking up as many ARCs as possible, or it may mean giving you business card to as many agents, bloggers, or publishers that you can. A plan is essential.
Some BEA lessons learned: the publisher can make a huge difference in the quality and variety of books. Macmillan and their publishers were by far my most frequented booth. Also near the top of the list were Penguin Random House and Hachette. The books these publishers put out were often genres and authors I knew I enjoyed, and they featured beautiful writing styles. Another lesson: BEA is much less about the books and more about The business of publishing. Spend time masking connections and networking than attempting to collect books. You’ll get plenty of books (whether you want them or not), but those connections can help open doors in the publishing business. After all, it’s not always what you, it’s often who you know.
Some of the ARCs I’m very excited for include Rebel Genius, Michael DiMartino (co-creator of Avatar: The Last Airbender); Replica, Lauren Oliver (Delirium); Metaltown, Kristen Simmons (The Glass Arrow); Heartless, Marissa Meyer (The Lunar Chronicles); The Diabolic, S.J. Kincaid (Insignia); A Torch Against the Night, Sabaa Tahir (An Ember in the Ashes), and Stealing Snow, Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die).
Maybe you’ve noticed that all of these are YA Fantasy. Maybe you’re thinking that’s an awfully narrow niche for the next few weeks. Maybe you were hoping that is beach out a little at BEA and pick up some middle grade, contemporary, or even adult. Maybe you were even hoping that sudden influx of reading material would speed up the review process.
The answer to all of those maybes is yes, and that answer is a hint for some exciting news with regards to Better Call Your Bookie. The official announcement of this news is coming soon, so he on the lookout for updates! In the meantime, you can find me at the nearest masseuse.